11 Ways to improve your Import Benefits

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Ways to improve your Import Benefits

1. Work With A Government-regulated Trading Program
Ghana, Ivory Coast, and many other countries have strict regulations that include regulating trade between African farmers and exporters in their country and the outside world. While such programs may seem restrictive or overbearing, they have many benefits for foreign importers including reduced risk when trading with a government-approved firm. To increase security, when at all possible, participate in government-sanctioned trade programs. In fact, in some cases, it may be illegal to trade outside of these programs.

2. Analyse gaps in your existing Supply Chain
Alliances form, trade embargoes dissolve, and countries adopt new practices – all reasons why it’s valuable to review your supply chain from time to time. Dedicate some time periodically to discussing new and favorable trade agreements that may reduce or eliminate taxes, new trade agreements between your country and countries where your target product is manufactured or grown. Also look for ways to cut costs in your operation through efficient ordering and transport practices.

3. Obtain A Third-party Risk Assessment
Hire a third-party compliance consultant or firm to assess risk and evaluate your import/logistics. While it may also be beneficial to have an in-house staff member dedicated to compliance, familiarity with the operation over time makes it easy to miss potential threats. Hiring an experienced, outside adviser will doubtless prove beneficial. At best alert you to potential risks before they arise, and at least provide you with alternative points of view to tighten your logistics and secure your import operations.

4. Join A Local Trade Association –
Joining a local trade organization either in the country where you operate, or the country where you import can significantly increase your import benefits by providing news, security tips, and general information about foreign trade. Joining a local trade organization can be a great way to secure new business and also gain and trust suppliers and referrals from other contacts.

5. Invest In Good Software –
When participating in international trade, working with different cultures, currencies, laws, and languages can make staying on top of payments, customs regulations and guidelines, and other deadlines very taxing. It’s essential to invest in a good software program or several programs to manage invoicing, accounting, and payments, as well as document deadlines and communications with customs officials and business partners to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

6. Set A Goal
One of the best ways to improve your business and achieve success is to set a goal. You may set a goal to reduce your import costs by a certain percentage or to increase the amount you import without increasing your budget. Many companies fear to set a goal, or worse, don’t bother because outside factors may reduce or eliminate the chance of achieving your goal, especially in the import and export business. Even if you don’t quite reach your goal, setting a goal provides a great way to evaluate business practices and create strategies to reduce trade barriers in the future.

7. Increase Your Order Quantity
Bulk ordering reduces costs associated with repeated transactions including payment, shipping, and customs charges. After developing trust and rapport with a buyer, consider renegotiating to import more products at a reduced cost per product. To make the deal equally beneficial for the buyer, offering advance payment or other favorable terms may increase your likelihood of securing a better deal. Bulk ordering products off-season can also reduce rates by eliminating the need to order products during times of year when demand is high, and the product is sold at a higher price. It’s more cost effective to make a few large orders than frequent small orders.

8. Develop A Niche
You may import only one product, but certain forms of the product may sell better than another. Compare the costliest products to import based on cost per product, customs, and shipping fees, compared with your most profitable products based on highest demand. Look for opportunities to eliminate products that are costly and low-volume sellers. Focus on the products that are cheapest to obtain and bring in the highest revenue. It’s important to look at data over the year, as prices fluctuate throughout the year and may also change over time as global supply and demand vary.

9. Research Local Area To Understand Potential Concerns
Before engaging in trade with a local supplier, research the local area to identify concerns. In some parts of Africa, landlocked countries face long delays transporting products on unpaved roads, which can reduce the shelf life of perishable products. Research the local area to identify concerns and find ways to mitigate concerns before engaging in trade.

10. Establish Clear Written Expectations
Writing details of your trade agreement clearly and openly will reduce the likelihood of a dispute, and provide a clear way to evaluate terms in the unfortunate event that you encounter conflict. Even in long-standing relationships, it will be helpful to develop an agreement in writing if you don’t have one already. Any time new procedures or processes are outlined in email communication or other conversation, consider adding a formal addendum to your written contract or agreement to be signed by both parties.

11. Free Trade Warehousing Zone
A FTWZ is a designated foreign territory within the geography which is to be used as an international trading hub linking to global supply chains.

Operators provide integrated logistics services, such as:

  • Customized warehousing for various kinds of products – Pharmaceuticals, chemicals, electronics, valuables, Defence etc.
  • A range of storage facilities, such as single product, cold storage, break bulk, containerized and dry cargo
  • Handling, Kitting, Packing, Assembling, Labelling, Re-packing, and transportation services
  • Commercial office space with supporting amenities for swift operations
  • A one stop custom clearance of import and export of goods without the delay of congestion.
  • It is a business model wherein you can not only perform point 1 to 10 but also avail duty, tax, and compliance benefits.

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