Smoothing the way for PIC exporters

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Developed by the United Kingdom Government, the UK Trade Tariff Database is a tool which can smooth the way for ongoing trade between international suppliers and the UK while keeping both exporters and importers informed.

Pacific Trade Invest Europe says the free tool has relevance for Pacific Island Country exporters to the UK.

Trade Promotions Advisor at PTI Europe Robyn Ekstrom says the database can be accessed online and is free to use.

“For PIC businesses new to export and not sure how to classify their goods, there is a link which will help them find the right commodity code which can then be used find the duty, VAT and excise rates that their product will attract during customs clearance procedures at the UK border,” Robyn says.

Both traditional and emerging exporters taking up the opportunity to participate in global trade via ecommerce platforms and online sales, will find this database useful for calculating the UK landed cost of their products, she adds.

The landed cost of an imported item is the total cost of purchasing the item and getting it from its country of origin to the country in which it will be sold.

“This is important as it ensures your product is competitive and you will avoid surprises,” Robyn says.

A variety of fees make up the landed cost of imports and obviously, this can have an impact on the attractiveness of your product.

Included in the landed cost is:

  • The Purchase Price – the cost of the item agreed upon by the buyer and seller;
  • Freight – this includes not only shipping by air, sea, rail or road from one country or another, but also getting the item from the warehouse or factory to the port of export;
  • Loading – at each transfer between truck and ship at the port of export, for example, loading and unloading fees may be added;
  • Insurance – depending on the arrangement and contract, the buyer or seller will bear responsibility for items lost, stolen, or damaged during transport; and
  • Customs duties and import/export taxes – in most cases the taxes and fees are levied at the port of import and are set by the destination country. These fees make up part of the landed cost.

For PIC exporters, Governments and trade development agencies and planners, the UK Trade Tariff Database will be helpful in identifying customs duties and import taxes that will impact on the landed cost of products exported to the UK.

Customs formalities are a major part of international trade; any goods which leave, enter or pass through a country will be subject to customs clearance procedures.

When goods are imported and customs cleared in a destination country, they may be subject to customs duties.

These are a tax imposed by countries on goods imported unto that country, and are often calculated as a percentage of the value of the goods.

Although import duty is most often paid by the importer; this can nevertheless affect the final selling price of your goods.

“One important point to remember is that it is a legal obligation, to declare goods correctly and accurately in any customs declaration,” Robyn says.

“This means using the correct tariff number which most accurately represents your goods, using a series of General Rules.

“It is illegal to use a tariff number which offers a low rate of import duty but which is not correct.”

For more information, contact Robyn Ekstrom of PTI Geneva –  robyn.ekstrom@pifs-geneva.ch .

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