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Old May 23, 2003, 08:26 AM
Michael Ross (Qld, Aust)
 
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Default Here's another good'n...

> I am looking into the possibility of
> starting an import/export business and was
> wondering if anyone can offer any helpful
> advice?

Adam:

First, Jim Straw also has an excellent book on exporting. You can read more about it here: http://www.businesslyceum.com/sellamerican.html (I highly recommend it)

As for any "advice"... that would ultimately depend on WHAT you wanted to import or export.

For instance... say you decide you want to import cosmetics. First, you need to get all the CAS Numbers of the ingredients, then you need to see if they are allowed into the country. If they are, you can go ahead and import. If they are not, you need to apply for a license to bring the chemical in (Yes, I know it is an ingredient, but you still need a license to bring it in.) The license will allow you to import X kilos... maybe 1,000 - which would allow you to import a lot of cosmetic with 0.5gram of ingredient per product.

If you want to import "vitamins" than you will have the same rule apply. AND, you may also need to "list" your product. At $400 per product even if the ingredient is fine and even if it is exactly the same as another product, it will cost your $4,000 to list ten different vitamin products. So one 500 strength Vitamin C will cost $400, one 1000 strength vitamin C will cost $400, one 500 strength vitamin C with a different name will cost $400, and so on and so forth. (Next time you are in the chemist or health store, have a look at each bottle of vitamins. Each one cost $400 to "list".)

Some products may cause you grief when they arrive - what if there is dirt on the tires of tractors you bring in? Customs isn't in the "detailing" business. And they won't let it into the country to be washed. So back it goes. Not even getting offloaded.

Wood may not be allowed in. Depending on type and origin.

Ivory is totally out.

Drugs are a no no. Remember the CAS Numbers. For instance... there is a new soda out called Naughty Boy. It contains opium/morphine. No more than you would get if you had nanna's poppy seed cake. But it is there nonetheless. A product like that would not be allowed in.

Besides all that... importing can cost you big dollars. Far easier to export - or pre-sell the product you want to import and then import it. (There is a chap in Melbourne who did just that. He would get hold of a product sample, run around like a chook without a head and presell a bunch. When he had pre-sold a container load he would bring it into the country. Made a lot of money. Worked hard. Involved selling.) You don't need to buy a container load to start though... a box full is enough - providing there is more than one in a box. :o)

Personally, I would not buy a product from the EBC. I have my reasons and won't go into them here. Go with Jim's course and Dennis' course - download Dennis' primer too, it has good info. Go with the info from people who do it.

Michael Ross


More good info. here
 


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