purchase of goods is the first step to importing them. The
purchase itself is straightforward, although finding an
appropriate supplier may be slightly more difficult. Nevertheless,
the advent of web-based technologies has made locating Ecuadorian
suppliers easier than ever before. Web sites like ours are
meant to help importers find the Ecuadorian suppliers they
are looking for in a rapid and efficient manner.
soon - EcuadorExports Virtual Marketplace. In a short amount
of time, importers will be able to locate suppliers, as
well as purchase products, directly on EcuadorExports. Look
for these services below the Trading Floor menu, which will
offer catalog searches of exporter products, a request for
quote system, and live auctions.
and firms duly and legally established abroad may apply
to the National Finance
Corporation (Coorporacion Fiananciera Nacional) CFN
for export loans (to purchase Ecuadorian goods), up to the
value of the shipment (not to exceed US$5,000,000.oo). The
interest rate is LIBOR + spread established by CFN. Payment
installments every 180 days and the term varies:
goods (for commercialization) up to 360 days
goods up to 2 years
assets up to 5 years
up to 5 years
the Movement of Goods:
the importer has purchased the goods, he or she must monitor
the incoming shipment, from the point of embarkation, until
delivery. Often, inexperienced importers expect that purchased
goods will arrive, without a hitch. This rarely happens,
however, and importers should not rely solely upon carriers
and other outside companies. Instead, importers should be
actively involved in the importing process, from start to
companies, customs brokers, and customs officials participate
in bringing shipments from foreign countries to the U.S.
This process and the role of the various players are outlined
freight Forwarder (Agencia de Carga): Notifies the importer
two days before the shipment arrives at the port of entry;
and releases freight to the terminal operator.
broker: Obtains customs releases and other clearances
at the port of entry; and verifies that the shipment is
customs official: Collects duty; and verifies that the
shipment complies with customs regulations.
operator: Contacts domestic carrier; verifies that the
delivery order is accurate; and releases the goods to the
freight carrier: Receives the shipment; and delivers
shipment to the importer.
so many people are involved in the movement of goods, it
is not uncommon for coordination problems to exits. Therefore,
the day a shipment arrives, it is advisable to send a company
representative to the port of entry to oversee the processing
of the imported goods.
agents assume control of a shipment, when it arrives at
a U.S. port of entry. Any shipment worth more than $1000
must go through the formal entry process. This process includes
the following four steps:
Completion and filing of entry documents (see below).
2) The classification and inspection of the merchandise.
3) A declaration of value.
4) A determination of duty and payment.
this process requires approximately five days. Once the
amount of duty has been assessed, a customs official will
notify the importer. The importer should then instruct his
or her customs broker to pay the duty, so as to obtain the
release of goods. If the shipment is not retrieved within
five days, customs transfers it to a warehouse, where the
importer is charged for storage. (If the merchandise remains
in storage for one year, customs may auction the goods to
pay for storage costs.)
Customs uses 22 entries to classify shipments to its ports
of entry. The most common are:
entry: This is the most common. It is used for goods
brought directly into the importer's stock and which are
intended for domestic resale.
transportation entry: Allows goods to be forwarded immediately
from the port of entry to another destination for customs
entry: Is used for goods that will be stored at bonded
withdrawal for consumption entry: This is used when
goods are taken out of the bonded Customs warehouses.
exportation entry: Used when goods are to be transshipped
to a third country.
declaration and entry form: Filed by U.S. citizens returning
requires certain documents, before it will release a shipment
from its custody. Specifically, they demand the following:
An entry form; typically one of the six listed above, completed
by the importer or its customs broker.
2) A commercial invoice from the exporter.
3) A bill of lading from the exporter or the freight forwarder.
of these documents must provide a description of the shipment,
the value of the merchandise, and the amount of duty to
be paid. The importer or its broker must pay the duty or
post bond guaranteeing payment, before customs will release
Customs charges three types of import duties:
Specific duties assessed on a unit of merchandise or goods,
such as $10 per pound.
2) Ad valorum duties assessed as a flat percentage of the
transaction, such as 10 percent of the total value of the
3) Compound duties that combine specific and ad valorum
duties, such as $5 per pound plus 10 percent of the total
value of the shipment.
Tariff Schedules of the United States, an enormous document,
contains the duties assessed by U.S. Customs on nearly every
imaginable type of merchandise. In the event that an import
does not appear in this document, officials at the port
of entry determine the type of duty and the applicable rate.
goods and merchandise are those that are not taxed, when
they enter the U.S. Duty-free status is typically assigned
to items that are not to be sold in the U.S., such as materials
imported specifically to be modified or further processed
in the U.S. (and to be exported later), samples used to
sell a product, items intended for review or experimentation,
etc. The personal belongings of individuals are also considered
is a term used to describe refunds of duties previously
paid on imported goods. Drawbacks apply to importers, who
export their products, or exporters of articles that are
manufactured with previously imported goods. Companies are
eligible to receive drawbacks if:
The imported goods are used in the production of final products
in the U.S., and these products are then exported.
2) The importer rejects the goods because they are not what
3) The importer returns the goods to the exporter within
three years in the same condition as when they arrived.
4) The imported goods are banned. These goods will either
be returned to the exporter or destroyed by Customs.
5) The goods are exported from a Customs warehouse or if
the goods are temporarily removed from a Customs warehouse
for repair, re-supply, or maintenance.
drawbacks from Customs is complicated, and, therefore, companies
eligible for drawbacks usually hire a drawback specialist.
Import Restrictions and Barriers:
U.S. Customs Service bars the entry of or severely restricts
goods that are considered detrimental to U.S. citizens.
This list is long - some prominent examples are alcoholic
beverages, arms and explosives, currency, narcotics, endangered
species, and toxic substances. Customs may confiscate such
goods or they may simply require that the goods be further
processed (e.g., labeled, modified, etc.), before they are
addition to restricting goods because they are harmful,
Customs also restricts imports to protect domestic companies.
These types of trade barriers include quotas and antidumping
are two types of import quotas: tariff-rate and absolute.
The U.S. government uses tariff-rate quotas to control the
pricing of domestic products. For example, if domestic producers
are pricing products at rates higher than the government
wants, it lowers tariff-rate quotas to allow imports to
enter at favorable duty rates. The government often uses
tariff-rate quotas to keep the price of essential goods,
such as milk, lower.
quotas, by contrast, are used to control the quantity of
goods that are imported during a specified period of time.
Customs employs absolute quotas to manage the imported quantity
of certain goods, such as cotton and steel rods. Unfortunately,
if one is importing goods subject to an absolute quota,
there is no way to know if the shipment will be restricted,
until after it arrives. If a shipment does, in fact, arrive
after the quota has been filled, an "over-quota"
duty will be assessed.
addition to quotas, the U.S. government also makes use of
antidumping regulations to protect American producers. Antidumping
legislation restricts the importation of goods that create
an unfair environment for U.S. producers. Generally, Customs
considers imported goods to be "dumped" when they
are sold for less than the cost of production. Customs charges
additional duties on dumped imports to level the playing
field for U.S. producers.