How to Expand your Amazon Business into Global Markets.
If you have an established Amazon business and want to expand into new markets, you need to consider several details first.
The process of delivering imports to foreign Amazon warehouses is riddled with potential stumbling blocks. This can be overwhelming, especially when a missed step could spell disaster for your business. Avoid painful delays, unnecessary costs, and even stuck merchandise using these tips to help you with your first international shipment:
1. Register for VAT
To import into and sell in a foreign country, you will need a foreign VAT registration, with very few threshold exceptions. Most countries have VAT or sales tax requirements, so it’s always a good idea to check before you send your inventory into a foreign market. We can put you in touch with our parent company, VATIT, who can quickly and efficiently facilitate the VAT registration process for you.
2. Use a Reputable Freight Forwarder
Partnering with the right freight company that you trust can be the difference between success and failure. Recent events such as Brexit and Covid-19 have caused freight prices to fluctuate significantly. Having an established relationship with a freight partner can help you secure more reasonable rates and add valuable services to your shipments.
Zee works with a network of trusted partners and carriers who fully understand the process and requirements involved in getting your shipments successfully delivered to Amazon’s Fulfilment Centres. Over the years, we have secured dependable relationships, open communication, and highly competitive rates for the best service possible.
3. Find a Customs Broker and an Importer of Record (IOR)
Having your inventory stuck in customs is a scenario no seller wants. Stuck shipments can cause delays, lost revenue and ultimately adds stress and administration that is best avoided. Recruit the services of both a customs broker and an Importer of record to ensure your foreign shipments get to their destination quickly and easily. Since Amazon will not serve as an IOR for any shipment of FBA inventory, our Importer of Record and Logistics service fills a gap that few others can. As an IOR service provider, we take on the full legal responsibility for your import and use our local legal entity to clear the shipment through customs on your behalf. Next, you will need to enlist a broker to file the paperwork. This is often a value-added service offered by freight forwarders. Our freight partners work with us to manage your brokerage.
4. Perform a Pre-Shipping Inspection
Many Amazon FBA packaging and labeling requirements (weights, labeling & carton measurements) are applied as a standard when shipping your goods to their warehouse. It’s essential you do pre-shipping inspections to prevent your inventory from being delayed or rejected by Amazon.
5. Customs Clearance
Local import laws and regulations can be vastly different depending on where you go. Partner with a company that can assist and advise in the pre-compliance phase of your transaction. This will save you valuable time and help to prevent lost revenue and even stuck merchandise.
Through years of experience, Zee can advise on the correct documents and procedures that you require to ensure your shipment is customs compliant.
6. Accurately Calculate and Pay Duties, Taxes, and Shipping Costs
When it comes to importing into foreign countries, Amazon will not take responsibility for any duties or taxes to which your shipment might be subject. Your shipment will need to be clear by customs, and all associated taxes, duties, or additional charges must be paid before being delivered to Amazon. Without this, your shipment will not be released from customs.
Due to the complexity of importing and exporting FBA inventory, accurate cost calculation is a common pain point for sellers. Not only are costs continually changing, but often variable costs are overlooked during initial pricing. For example, German customs require that the declared price of goods be calculated using the ‘Deductive Method’ (the cost of the goods is no longer accepted as the import value). Zee has many years of experience calculating costs and has developed an up-to-date pricing database system that ensures no cost is overlooked.
Ultimately the import process for Amazon FBA can be tricky, and often sellers get overwhelmed. Zee offers the missing link between you and the global expansion of your Amazon business.