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Import from China Mini-Course - Part 4 - Section 3

"Get Import Tax Information From The Horse's Mouth!"

Before you start importing -- and I mean, before you even buy samples – you should do some basic research about import rules in your own country.

The responsibility is on you to find out this information, not on your Chinese supplier: even if they want to help you it's unlikely that they can give you authoritative facts about such a complex topic, especially when such rules in China are usually different anyway.

However, if you have good communications with your supplier, it may be worth asking if they have ever had customers buying the same goods from them to import to the same country as you.

It's possible they can give you some anecdotal information that will help your planning. But anecdotal information is not hard fact so please start by finding out the official importing and tax information directly from the government agency source:

Your Country

Your Official Customs Website

Australia

Australian Customs Service
http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page.cfm

Brazil

Secretaria da Receita Federal
http://www.receita.fazenda.gov.br/

Canada

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/menu-e.html

France

Site internet de la Douane
http://www.douane.gouv.fr/

Germany

Zoll online
http://www.zoll-d.de/

India

Central Board of Excise and Customs

http://www.cbec.gov.in/

Italy

Agenzia delle Dogane
http://www.agenziadogane.it/index.htm
+ Sito istituzionale della Guardia di Finanza
http://www.gdf.it/

New Zealand

New Zealand Customs Service
http://www.customs.govt.nz/default.htm

Spain

A.E.A.T.
http://www.aeat.es/

UK

HM Revenue and Customs

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/

USA

US Customs and Border Protection – Importing Information :
http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/import/

European Union (all)

Some general (and quite complex) legal / taxation rules are noted in this website:
http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/lif/ind/en_analytical_index_02.html

Some of those websites are atrocious examples of web programming so good luck getting information for your country! ;)

If your country is not listed here, please visit BuyUSA.gov by clicking this link and use the menu called "Find Export Information by Country"

 

Sources of import tax information:

  • Start with your country's official customs information website. Phone them with specific questions only after you already know the basics.
  • Read websites and internet discussion boards which are focussed on importing and your particular products. Don't take other people's experiences with tax as solid facts, but use the ideas to prepare yourself for the type of issues that may come up, and to think up the right questions you need to ask your supplier and Customs office.
  • If you are planning to import large quantities or high value products, you should definitely be considering paying for the services of a customs broker, even if it's just for advice.

Read on for some ideas about reducing your import tax bill.

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