This is a short and sweet post but VERY important if you’re importing products for your eCommerce business.
Lately we are seeing some issues with customer’s products we are processing in our facility and by bringing these ‘real life, real business’ issues to light I’m hoping I can save you from dealing with the same challenges these customers are facing.
1.) Incorrect description of products on invoices and forms.
We have seen this from people who have shipped to us from suppliers (not via our shipping) and the supplier or forwarder does not understand USCBP.
Example: Herb Grinder / Drug Grinder used on commercial invoice.
Herb grinder will generally get through customer but drug grinder will get confiscated and you will lose your goods, the money in shipping, etc.
2.) FDA clearance paperwork not in order
If you’re buying anything that requires FDA or any certification then you need to make sure your suppliers provide you with the paperwork and it needs to be in the name of the supplier(s) on the invoice.
Example: Medical device FDA paperwork in one manufacturer’s name, invoice in reseller’s name, additional paperwork for pass through not provided.
Example: Medical device has no FDA registration, incorrect wording used in description, causes questions by FDA and long term delays in launching the product.
3.) Made in China
We have had multiple customers who’s products have been held by customs because the USCBP required country of origin label was not visible on their product during inspection.
US Law states that the country of origin must be visible on the package of the product you’re importing. So having that sticker is US law and when USCBP checks your cargo and it is not there they will hold it. And we will have to jump through hoops to get it released, you will get increased fees from the port, late fees, etc.
There are a lot of moving parts to this business, and it is impossible to know them all when you just start out. Finding a reputable partner to help you navigate these hurdles is a key factor in the success or failure of your business.
A good partner in Freight Forwarding and Prep can help insure that these issues are lessened and can help resolve them when they come up. Trust me when I say having your goods seized, or held up by customs indefinitely is really not a lot of fun. It costs money and time.
In my experience it is the small things like a ‘Made in China’ label that cause issues that can be easily avoided, but most of these issues are by sellers who are trying to be “cheap” instead of “frugal”. Cheap meaning you do not want to pay professionals to do the job they know better and or try to circumvent the systems. You may get away with it once, but in doing so it ends up costing you more money and time than if you just paid the professionals to do their job.
We would love to be your partner in freight forwarding and prep. You can fill out a freight forwarding work order here. If you have questions about any of our services, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org OR call us at 832-463-0988.
Another GREAT place to get your ‘burning’ eCommerce questions answered is in our Facebook Group here.
Join us in China for one of our China Super Sourcing trips and save lots of time and money on your products, freight, prepping, etc. Find out the dates and get all the details of our next trip here.