Importing from outside EU

Discussion in 'International Business' started by Feltshop, Mar 27, 2010.

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  1. Feltshop

    Feltshop UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Hi, been lurking on the forums for quite a while, this is my first post.

    I am currently outside the UK, and planning to take full advantage of the global economy. With market channels such as SellOnAmazon, Ebay (in addition to our own website), payment options such as PayPal and a plethora of order fulfilment services, there's really no need for sellers to be present in the country in order to reach the UK market.

    However, a few problems remain - mainly to do with:

    1) Importing goods to UK.
    I've searched the EU Taric database, and couldn't find our product in it. We plan to sell wool felt souvenirs, accessories, bags, scarves and other handicrafts.
    Question: Would I need to contract a freight/customs agent? The desired end result would be for my goods to arrive to the fulfilment company's warehouse.

    2) Taxation
    Naturally, selling in the UK would mean paying UK taxes. Would I need to register as a business? Is it possible to be elsewhere and trade in the UK? Or would I need to register a local company?

    This is a superb forum, and I'm sure that we can be useful contributors, willing to share experience and knowledge.
     
    Posted: Mar 27, 2010 By: Feltshop Member since: Mar 27, 2010
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  2. Morraine

    Morraine UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Hi Feltshop!
    Yes exploiting globalisation via online e-commerce is something I'm working on my self at the moment as well but I'm based in the UK and will be using fulfilment operations in other continents to service those locations (as well as local eu locations) in the fitness equipment market place.

    This is question that intrigues me but this will be for international location.
    As I'm already based here I'm not sure for companies based out side of EU but selling to the end user.

    I thought you might pay the duty and vat on the full amount of your expected sell price when you import it but then what happens if you discount it? you also need an import license so you would need a EU company for this.

    i think you may be able to work with the fulfillment company and let them import it with there number and when you sell some thing they pay the vat on it but this just sound like its getting very complex so I'm not sure.
     
    Posted: Mar 27, 2010 By: Morraine Member since: Oct 31, 2008
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  3. Christiane

    Christiane UKBF Ace Free Member

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    1. It depends how you want to ship your goods. If it's door to door, then it's delivered directly to your fulfilment agency. Airfreight and seafreight will require the involvement of a shipping agent.

    2. I'm pretty sure the business has to be registered in the UK if you import goods into the UK. You can use your accountant address as the registered address for your business.
     
    Posted: Mar 27, 2010 By: Christiane Member since: Dec 3, 2006
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  4. Feltshop

    Feltshop UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Great stuff, thanks.

    Am I correct in thinking that if I use DHL door to door delivery and the products that I'm shipping aren't in the EU TARIC database, then I'm not liable to any import duty?

    Does anyone think that this entire enterprise is a bit unrealistic? Selling goods to UK customers from a UK warehouse, but not being physically present?

    I guess global e-commerce hasn't grown to the level that we'd like it to be at :)
     
    Posted: Mar 28, 2010 By: Feltshop Member since: Mar 27, 2010
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  5. Christiane

    Christiane UKBF Ace Free Member

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    I'm sure there will be duty to be paid for the goods you mentioned. I think there is a list on the HMRC website. They charge VAT on duty too, and that's not a joke.

    How will deal with your customers? Email only? Will you have a UK phone number redirected to you?
     
    Posted: Mar 28, 2010 By: Christiane Member since: Dec 3, 2006
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  6. Feltshop

    Feltshop UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I'm aware of being charged VAT, but I'll research on the subject of import duty. Weird, but it seems that import tariffs for UK are not available online. Some sort of paid subscription is required to access the database on HMRC website.

    Regarding customers - crazy idea, but would a virtual office work (with call forwarding)? Or perhaps calls directed via skype, which is proving to be a great business tool.

    I'm guessing that registering to a virtual office address won't work, correct?

    Thanks for the replies, just.b, much appreciated
     
    Posted: Mar 28, 2010 By: Feltshop Member since: Mar 27, 2010
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  7. Morraine

    Morraine UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    To be honest Feltshop i think you can outsource alot of this to your fulfillment company that you use in the uk.

    Why not talk to a few and see what they say they will also do your freight forwarding trough customs.

    there are plenty of offshore businesses that sell goods in the UK direct to clients via the Internet and mail order that use a fulfilment company

    Take a look at this company Ive already been in talks with them for me but I'm based in the UK so have never talked to them about it from the position of a company based out side of the UK. but i know they do this for international companies.

    http://www.btbmf.co.uk/mailing_houses_fulfilment_pages/mailing_houses_fulfilment_services/efulfilment_ecommerce_fulfilment_services.htm?kw=ecommerce%20fulfilment&fl=340660&ci=2157405324&network=s
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2010
    Posted: Mar 28, 2010 By: Morraine Member since: Oct 31, 2008
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  8. Feltshop

    Feltshop UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Looks good, thanks, but a major gripe: no prices in sight. There's a ton of links on their website which APPEAR to lead you to their pricing structure, yet it all deadends at a telephone or email. Angers me quite a lot. Not even sample prices.

    Still, send them an email with a request for their quotes. Let's see what comes of it.
     
    Posted: Mar 28, 2010 By: Feltshop Member since: Mar 27, 2010
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