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10 Biggest obstacles for companies when importing

The formal importation of goods is an opportunity to analyze the feasibility of reducing costs in organizations, but there are challenges that need to be handled carefully to avoid complications and extra costs in the process.

To talk a little about the setbacks faced by importers, whether they are newbies or veterans, we put together this article with the ten main obstacles during operations.

What are the biggest challenges for importing companies?

In imports, there are many external factors, beyond the will of the importer, which may surprise. For this reason, import companies commonly face challenges during the processes. 

However, it is good to bear in mind that these challenges can be circumvented and even avoided if the operation is well planned. How about knowing a little more about the ten biggest import obstacles?

High import costs

The costs involved in the import operation can be high, especially if we consider an order with a very low value, since the fixed costs end up adding a high percentage within the total value of the operation. This can be a problem, as it directly affects the pricing of the product.

make bad partnerships

Not knowing the international market can lead the importer to close partnerships that are not so good. Choosing a dubious supplier can bring a serious headache, as the goods delivered may have a lower quality than expected.

It is essential to have a partner for supplier validation and factory approval in China or in another country.

Complexity of Brazilian legislation

Brazilian legislation is not simple to understand, and for foreign trade, this reality is no different.

There are many codes, licenses, accreditations and other points that need attention before, during and after nationalization, under penalty of being questioned by the Brazilian tax authorities. In the Customs Regulation alone (Decree nº 6.759/09) there are more than 800 articles!

Lack of strategic support from service providers

Service providers in the field of foreign trade need to be the “right arm” of the importer, as they are the ones who hold the expertise in your field of operation. 

When choosing a provider over another, it is mandatory to take into account their support throughout the process, so that they can help the importer to make strategic decisions at each stage of the release.

Political and economic instability

Politics and economics can dictate the progress of an import process. This is because tax rates, exemptions, benefits and tax incentives are directly linked to government decisions and its regulatory bodies. 

If there is a conflict between these bodies or instability in the political-economic sphere, there may be significant changes regarding the planning of the import process, such as changing tax rates or even exemption or resumption of application of certain fees in the operation.

Delay in the process

When an importer goes about planning his purchases, he takes into account his sales schedule: ideally, there should never be a shortage of stock! 

Some setbacks during the transit time can end up delaying the arrival and release of the material, long journeys often include stops at international ports along the way, which can increase the time en route.

Bureaucracies of Brazilian legislation

The bureaucratic profile of Brazilian regulatory bodies is a unanimous statement, and this can cause delays in customs clearance procedures. Depending on the scope of the import operation, there are several bodies involved, and sometimes they depend on each other's authorization to follow their own procedures. 

For example: an Import Declaration can be released for collection at the port/airport of destination, but if the Ministry of Agriculture has not inspected the wood in the packaging, the goods will continue to wait for this secondary release inside the warehouse, with no possibility of removal.

High tax costs

The Brazilian tax burden is quite high compared to other countries, and this has a direct impact on the global cost of imports, since tax collection is an integral part of the cost of goods, that is, their entry price. 

The higher the tax burden, the higher the cost of the nationalized product and, consequently, the higher the value presented to the final consumer.

Lack of strategic planning

Todas as operações de importação precisam ser, necessariamente, planejadas a fundo para evitar contratempos.

It doesn't matter if the load is small, a box or a project load, with several containers in the same shipment: they all need to be strategically analyzed, since all the release stages are interconnected. 

Think of the case in which a load arrives at the port, is cleared by customs within the foreseen period, but the importer has not previously carried out the logistical delivery study: he may need to pay extra storage costs in a primary zone until he is able to negotiate and contract a carrier accredited to load the goods.

Difficulties with customs

The importer may need to go through some challenges during customs clearance. Federal Revenue inspectors are free to analyze the processes and point out discrepancies or clarification points during nationalization, which generally takes a certain amount of time to complete. 

In addition, it may be necessary to review data previously declared in the operation, if the inspector responsible for the analysis indicates this need. Depending on the case, these modifications may result in the application of fines and/or collection of extra taxes.

The importation of goods needs to be a very well planned and executed operation, since there is a wide list of obstacles during the course of the process. Relying on specialized import advice is a great way to facilitate overcoming challenges in the world of foreign trade.

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