GLOBAL IMPORTATION & DISTRIBUTION SUPPORT

In close cooperation with our partners, NWNS offers an extended Equipment Importation & Distributions Support Service. With our (bonded) warehousing and integration facilities in strategic locations we believe we can add significant value to the implementation of any (global) telecom project. 

Our warehousing and integration facilities are located in The Netherlands (Near the port of Rotterdam), Dubai Free Zone (UAE), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Melbourne (FL-USA) and Singapore (open 2020). 

Click here for more information on NWNS's Integration Services.

IT Equipment Importation

The import process of IT and (VSAT) satellite hardware into countries can be very complex and time consuming. NWNS offers international import licensing, permits, and Importer of Record (IoR) services in over 120 international destinations. In addition NWNS offers Import VAT Refund services in more than 40 global destinations.

Our Importer of Record Services and customs compliance services combined with our global Import VAT refund, implementation and maintenance service allows our clients to have access to truly global reach with one point of contact.

Your Problem and Our Solution

Shipping VSAT and technology equipment globally is complex for even the most experienced logistics experts. This type of IT hardware can be highly regulated, requiring extensive import permits and, in most countries, a local Importer of Record (known for short as IOR) is required. Without specialist knowledge these valuable assets are bound to end up stuck in customs causing unforeseen and costly delays.

We at NWNS act on Customer's behalf to apply for all required import permits and licenses and arrange brokerage, clearance and local delivery in the destination country. When using our Importer of Record services the clearance and filing is done in the name of a 3rd party company. As a result all tax payments and associated risk lies with NWNS. 

Risks and unpredictable elements include:

  • Strict governmental customs authorities;
  • Complex rules regarding import and export controls for the movement of technology goods;
  • Non-compliance can result in fines, penalties, legal issues, seized shipments, delays and losses;
  • Ever-changing regulatory environment;
And the process sounds like a pain - that's because it is. Moreover, it's different for every country. Still it is NWNS's objective and business to ensure complete import compliance to guarantee smooth and efficient IOR customs clearance and IOR logistics, every time. 

Summarising: NWNS provides it customers with an import support service through which we:

  • Apply for all required import licenses and permits - telecom licenses too if needed and possible;
  • Clear items through customs at the required destination/s;
  • Provide all local support required to ensure successful, predictable clearance and delivery;
Furthermore, we can organise for the following optional services: 
  • Prepare your shipping documents;
  • Assist you in applying for export license (if applicable)
  • Pre-approve all parts to be shipped;
  • Arrange pickup on our global carrier account;
  • Make final delivery at the destination of your goods;

Our Pricing Structure

NWNS provides comprehensive, upfront landed cost quotes into over 120 countries. Our extensive quotation will provide additional details such as transit times, customs clearance lead times and details of any licenses and permits required.

The total cost picture will include the following posts:

  • IOR Fee - Billed as a percentage of the commercial value of the shipment with an agreed minimum;
  • Duty and Tax - Charges that are levied by the government on all imports. Note: even free of charge imports require a declared commercial value upon which duties and taxes are levied;
  • Brokerage, Clearance & Handling Charges - All charges relating to clearing the shipment through customs and effecting local delivery;
  • VAT Refund Fee (If applicable) - NWNS only retains a small percentage of taxes we recover;

Why a NWNS Quotation is always a Cost Estimate:

Many costs and charges are calculated on a percentage of the Customs Value of the imported goods. Customs Value refers to the value of the imported goods as evaluated by Customs. Customs Value is calculated in various ways according to the rules and regulations set out in country; sometimes Customs will use the list price of the product as the value, or they may provide an “acceptable” discounted value.  It is the Customs officer, and not NWNS or the importer, exporter or any other party, who has the final say in assigning this value. Furthermore, items such as storage costs (in Customs or transit warehouse) are difficult to predict upfront.


A little bit of Background

The logistics and supply chain sector is laden with industry-related terms that can be confusing to outsiders. There are thousands of terms and acronyms in addition to its industry-related jargon. Typically it takes years to study up and become fluent in all the industry related terms. 

NWNS understands this and offers its customers a friendly jargon- free communication about the potential requirements. At the same time we are hoping to set the expectations correctly and that we can prevent our customers from unpleasant surprises such as the notorious "higher than expected costs" for services that were not quoted for. 

Some critical and important basic terminology can be found here.

The difference between Exporter, Consignee and the Importer of Record / Declarant

When trying to navigate the complex legislation involved with the customs process, it’s helpful to understand the differences between three very important roles involved in an import transaction:

The Exporter
The exporter is the body (person or company) that is authorised by customs and government authorities to export goods from one country into another. The exporter may or may not be the actual seller of the goods, but an entity acting on their behalf.

The Consignee
Once the goods are cleared through customs, the consignee is the party who takes ownership of them. In a straightforward import/export transaction, the consignee is usually the party paying import duties and taxes. The consignee can be a private individual consumer (ordering goods from an overseas business), or it can be another business. 

If a business has imported its own goods it is both the importer and the consignee.

The Importer of Record (IoR) / declarant

Customs compliance requires a third important role, known as the Importer of Record or declarant. An Importer of Record (IoR) is an individual or legal entity that is responsible for ensuring that goods are imported in accordance with the local customs legislation of a given destination. An IoR is responsible for the completion of all the required documentation to meet import requirements, in addition to paying duties and taxes.

Who can act as the importer of record / declarant?

Typically, to act as an Importer of Record, the company must have a registered entity within the country they want to import into. The requirements for who can act as the importer of record differ between countries. In many cases, the consignee (or owner of the goods at the time of import) may act in this role. Sometimes, particularly in less straightforward transactions, it’s necessary to appoint an agent or broker or some other legal entity in the destination country, to act as the importer of record on their behalf.

Goods Stuck in Customs

The reason Customs have rejected an import is often not clear. One thing, however, is certain: having a shipment held up in a complex Customs situation can cause severe disruption to your customers’ buying experience, damaging your reputation and incurring extra costs and lost revenue.

What possibly can be the reason why a shipment is held or seized by Custom, and what can you do about it?

Over time NWNS has build-up significant experience (learning by doing) and we have identified the following potential reasons for "a problem"

Number One Problem - missing import documentation

If the goods being imported fall under a controlled ECCN number, or the in-country import process requires document submission and pre-approval prior to the goods being shipped, then it’s very important this is done. If any of these documents are missing, Customs will either immediately reject the consignment and ask it to be sent back to source or hold the shipment for a set period of time to allow the Shipper to submit the documents. Storage charges will be charged during this period. It is incredibly important to check the import requirement of the country you are importing to avoid this serious situation.

Number Two Problem - The Consignee refuses to be listed as the Importer
If the consignee refuses to be the importer, the kit will be rejected and held by customs. The consignee may refuse to act as the importer because they do not want to be involved in the process ("taxable record"), or they may not understand the process. Depending on the country, if consignee refuses to act as the importer the kit will either be sent back to the shipper or Customs will seize the shipment and re-sell it to put the funds towards the import costs.
Appointing an importer of record can help to avoid confusion about who actually has ownership of the goods when a transaction involves suppliers, distributors and end-users. The IoR becomes the temporary owner of the goods until the goods have been accepted by a distribution centre.

All other problems are trivial and can be easily resolved:

Commercial Invoice (CI) is missing information
It’s important that the paperwork that ships with the consignment contains everything Customs departments need to know about the goods. A CI should contain the following:
  • Shipper name, full address, telephone number and contact name;
  • Full Consignee name and address, telephone number and contact name;  
  • Part Code(s), Description of Goods, and Quantities;
  • (Correct) value of the goods, ensuring you note the currency;
  • Weights (in kg), dimensions (cm) per package and package quantities for the shipment
  • Shipping IncoTerms - DDP etc;
  • ECCN and HTS codes: Full ECCN including sub ECCN if applicable and full HTS code which should contain 10 digits;
  • Product(s) Country of Origin
  • Any Export and/or Import numbers if required

Without this key information, Customs won’t be clear on what you are trying to Import and will therefore automatically stop the shipment. 

HTS Code or ECCN Numbers are incorrect

The ECCN (Export Control Classification Number) and HS Code (Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System) are key to helping Customs decipher the categories that the goods fall under. The ECCN number exists to help identify dual use items for export control. The HS Code is a classification system which enables participating countries to deem what type of goods are, and how they should be taxed. 

Codes can be found here: https://www.findhs.codes/

Valuation of the Consignment

It is important that goods are not purposefully undervalued. 

There are more (or less) physical packages than described on the Commercial Invoice

Customs officials will always check the number of physical packages compared with the information on the Commercial Invoice – if there is an inconsistency between the two, they will seize the shipment and request clarification from the Shipper as to why there is a differential. At the very least, they will hold the goods until they are satisfied, or they may return the entire shipment. It’s important if this happens that it is explained how this error occurred.


NWNS Case Studies

Pakistan (VSAT Equipment)
Nepal (VSAT Equipment)
Russia (Network Equipment)
Madagascar (Off-grid Power Equipment)
Tanzania (Off-grid Power Equipment)