How Does Importing Work?

Evren Kalinbacak/iStock/Getty Images

Consumers and businesses in one nation often prefer to purchase some merchandise that's been manufactured in another country. The reasons for this are as varied as those for choosing one domestic brand over. For instance, many people in the U.S. prefer Jamaican coffee, Canadian maple syrup, German automobiles, and African diamonds. Retailers and other businesses seek to meet this demand by importing those items from the countries where they're produced.

What Is an Import?

Trading Commodities Around the Globe

An import is any product or service transported into one country from a different country according to trade law regulations. The purpose of importing is to trade various commodities and services between countries. These goods and services are generally made and supplied by foreign manufacturers to be purchased and used by domestic consumers in other countries.

When goods and services are sent from one foreign country to another it is referred to as exporting goods and services. The importing and exporting business create the foundation for global trade. When importing (bringing) goods into a country, a nation's customs department will typically be involved. Customs officials help to make sure that the trading is legal.

Trading goods and services will also involve tariff and trade agreements. A tariff is a tax or levy on the goods and/or services being transported into another country

How Does Importing Work?

The Many Products Traded Between Countries

When a country has a demand for certain goods and services that are not accessible within the country, these goods and services are sought after in other countries and transported into the country. A trade imbalance takes place when there is more importing of other countries' goods and services occurring than exporting of its goods and services into other countries.

The importing of goods and services depends largely upon a country's revenue and its ability to create resources. Some countries import goods from other countries though they already have the goods themselves. This occurs because there is a larger product demand than what is being produced within the importing country.

The Two Major Forms of Imports

The Many Countries That Import and Export Goods and Services

When it comes to importing there are two major forms of imports: intermediate goods and services and industrial and consumer goods. Corporations that participate in international trading import goods and services that are not accessible in their domestic market.

Importers search for goods and services all over the globe to import and sell. They are also interested in foreign resources to acquire goods and services at the lowest price possible. In fact, foreign resources are generally a major component in an importer's international supply chain.

The Internet and International Trading

Today, the Internet plays an increasingly important role in the importing and exporting of goods and services. There are many trade organizations that have established websites for international importers, exporters and agent representatives. Trade professionals can become members of these organizations and advertise the goods and services that they have available.

Importers can search for a seller's goods, and exporters can search for potential buyers (importers) for their products. Trade fairs are organized and held in various countries several times throughout the year. Importers and exporters come together and meet personally and, often times, establish long-lasting, trade relationships.

References

Resources

About the Author

Claudette Pendleton runs a virtual company from home. She performs quality work for several companies. Her areas of expertise include transcription, elementary essay assessment, title editing, freelance writing and editing as well as website user testing and real estate. Claudette enjoys the variety of her work and has been working in these areas for over 7 years.

Photo Credits

  • Evren Kalinbacak/iStock/Getty Images