This topic provides an overview of how importers should plan their importing strategy and procedures.

In Practice

When importing, the person responsible for purchasing the goods and agreeing the contract terms should instruct the supplier of any requirements and, where appropriate, tell them the carrier/forwarder to use. Lack of control prior to the movement of goods is a common mistake.

The responsibilities of the importer will depend very much on the Incoterms® rule — or shipping term — agreed in the contract. Importers must know where responsibility lies for controlling the goods and ensure the rest of the team who looks after the import of goods in your organisation knows.


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