How to Sell Internationally on Amazon

Posted on 18 April 2022

What is FBA?

If you have an established Amazon business and want to expand into new markets, you need to consider several details first.

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.

In this guide, you’ll find a handy checklist of things to do if you want to learn how to sell internationally on Amazon. By the end, you’ll be better equipped to expand your empire and take advantage of Amazon’s global network of fulfilment centres.

We have also compiled a Going Global Checklist for you to download and keep and use as a reference.

What is Amazon Global Selling?

Amazon Global Selling (AGS) allows businesses to expand internationally. You can list your products on Amazon’s many international sites, rather than just that of your home country. For example, you can sell in North America, Australia, and Japan, to name a few.

With Amazon FBA, customers in multiple countries can order products only stored in one country, as Amazon takes care of shipping and fulfilment for you. With AGS, you can list and sell items in multiple territories at once, regardless of whether Amazon ships and fulfils your orders.

How Does AGS Work?

To take part in AGS, you need to follow these four steps:

  1. Work out what you want to sell and where
  2. List your products across multiple marketplaces
  3. Ship your products to your customers (Amazon FBA can help with this!)
  4. Support your customers, either via your channels or Amazon’s

Learn more on Amazon’s website to get started.

Checklist: How to Sell Internationally on Amazon in Six Steps

Below you’ll find a checklist for selling internationally on Amazon to help ensure your business is equipped to leap into international waters.

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 sending 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.

2. Use a Reputable Freight Forwarder

Partnering with the right freight company 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. 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 of 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 and lost revenue and ultimately adds stress and administration that is best avoided.

Recruit the services of both a customs broker and an IOR 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 whole 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 labelling requirements (weights, labelling and carton measurements) are applied as a standard when shipping your goods to their warehouse. It would help if you did 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 your shipment may be subject to. Your shipment will need to be cleared 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.

Zee FBA Services

Zee provides a range of services to help you expand your empire. We can help you with customs clearance, stuck shipment, and air freight – removing the roadblocks on the journey to selling internationally on Amazon.

Zee’s Going Global Checklist