Getting through customs on both sides of the Pacific
Although they are inseparable, and that one comes right after the other, export and import are two distinct and independent activities. Each process involves different types of government regulations, logistical support, and local culture. While on the U.S. side, most customs ports are more homogeneous, things are a lot more different on the China side.
Chinese ports have a funny way of doing business. While the ports are seemingly under the direct and strict supervision of the central government, as they indeed are, each port in China has its own ways of interpreting these directives as well as sidestepping certain "flexible" regulations. This means that one Chinese customs broker (or freight forwarder) in the Shenzhen area might not be familiar with how things are done in Qingdao or Shanghai. Getting stuff in or out may have different requirements, both official and under the table, for most of these major ports. For minor ports of entry in China, things get even more ambiguous if not just plain ornery. It is very difficult for any one U.S. buyers to have different contacts to cover different ports in order to make import into or export from China an easier task.
Furthermore, for print matters, many times the Chinese customs will involve the central news and publication department to ensure that no propaganda gets in or out.
This is where our service excels! Thanks to the decade plus experience and contacts we have in China, we are very familiar with the distinct characteristics of China's major ports. What can get through with which port, and which port will require additional fee, time, and document are all within our grasp. We understand what is involved to clear through Chinese customs.
China requires each exporter to have a government issued license. Most factories in China do not have this license as it exporting is usually subcontracted out to a trading company that specializes in doing export. This set-up adds another layer of risk for those who'd venture to buy from China directly. While one may feel he's established good communication rapport with a new found Chinese factory, when it comes to payment, the money will have to flow through the designated trading company. If something goes wrong, who's ultimately responsible? The factory or the trading company? Obviously, while confusing, this type of set-up between the factory and a trading company does help the factory to escape certain accountability issues. Furthermore, would the money get to the intended destination (factory) when one pays this unknown trading company? There are many times when trading companies will withhold a payment to the factory due to various reasons (or excuses). When the factory does not get the payment, despite the fact that the buyer had already paid to the designated trading company, what happens then? Will the factory start/continue to manufacture? Or will it wait until the payment clears through? There are a lot of unknown and uncontrollable issues at stake; this is serves to further muddy the murky puddle of uncertainty even more. For more about potential issues when buying directly from China, contact us for additional information.
While most of our customers are looking for a one way trip (export from China and import into the U.S.), our ability to handle both import and export in China and the U.S. will benefit those with higher and broader requirements tremendously. Our services go much further beyond than just simple customs clearance, for that, we leave it in the hands of customs brokers. We are positioned so that we are able to process the entire chain of custody from the point of inception to the ultimate destination.