Overseas Manufacturing and Clearing Goods Through Customs

When importing into a country, there are a number of terms, regulations and procedures an importer should be familiar with. The following is a guide of different issues to be aware of when importing.

For first time importers, it is highly advisable to pay a customs broker to enter and clear goods through customs. Customs brokers are licensed by the countries in which they operate, and they act on behalf of the importer to file the necessary documents for products to enter a country at the port-of-entry. Depending on their relationship with their client, they may also pay customs duties and other importing expenses on their client's behalf. Finally, they advise importers about issues of which they may need to be aware such as country or origin marks and other issues importers need to be aware of.

When choosing a customs broker, the importer should first make sure they can enter goods at the arrival port. In the US, customs brokers are licensed by the US Customs and Border Protection Service.

Prior to placing an order with a manufacturer, the relevant nation's customs agency and the importer's customs broker should be consulted to avoid possible problems such as the following:

  • Any legal issues that may exist with the product in the country of import.
  • Finding out after the product arrives at port that the it is subject to import quotas.
  • Possible health, safety or other regulations which apply to the product to be imported.

One easy to avoid, but common problem encountered when importing is the failure to mark the product in compliance with country of origin regulations. To avoid this, contact the relevant customs agency of the nation where the merchandise will be imported to ensure the goods are in compliance. For example, custom laws in the US require each imported good be marked with the English name of the country of origin (eg China) as reasonably, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article permits. Furthermore, this marking must be visible to the ultimate purchaser of the product.

The tariff rate levied by customs must be paid before the importer can take possession of the goods. While tariff rates in countries like the US average around 5% for most products, they can be significantly higher for some goods, particularly those with higher labor content. Therefore, it is important to know the rate before product arrives at port.

Before the goods are shipped, ensure the packing regulations for the destination country have been adhered. For example, every box, bale or case may need to be numbered with the exact quantity in each.

Other regulations include the type of pallets that can be used.

Problems with customs clearance often center around paperwork. Different goods often require different types of documentation, but the three major types of documentation the shipper must prepare include the following:

1. A bill of lading: This document, issued by the carrier or shipper, is basically a receipt of the goods acknowledging that they have been received on the vessel for shipment. This document indicates the particular vessel on which the goods have been placed, the destination of the goods, and the terms for transporting the goods to their final destination.

2. A commercial invoice: This is used as a customs declaration by the entity that is exporting an item across international borders. This document is required by customs to determine the value of the goods to assess duties and taxes, and goods must be invoiced in a systematic manner.

3. Packing list: This document is an itemized detail of the merchandise in a particular shipment. A copy is usually attached to the outside of the shipping container or inside the container itself so the merchandise may be counted by the person opening it.

It is crucial to make sure these documents, and any others that may be needed for a particular shipment, are carefully completed and reviewed before the goods arrive.

To avoid excess storage fees, arrange for a freight forwarder or some other type of transporter to ship the goods to their final destination as soon as they have cleared customs.

Being aware of these points, as well working closely with customs and a customs broker, will make the importing process smoother and will reduce the possibility of unnecessary difficulty or expense.

Driver Education Games

Driver education games are fun and informative and a good practice ground for students. While playing games, students are able to test their driving skill and knowledge and also find out where their weak points are. The games are useful because the students learn proper driving methods and techniques without actually putting themselves in arms way.

There are two types of games that can be played – one is the simple quiz game that test driving knowledge. Students can choose from a series of quizzes on various topics. This is a challenging way to test what students have learned in the driver education program, and it also prepare them for their driver tests.

Each question comes with multiple choices, and students will be given their score along with the correct answers at the end of the game. There are plenty of website where students can register for these quizzes and get results instantly.

Video games and simulation is another driver's education activity. These games put students behind the wheel. By using certain controls, they can drive the car and progress to different levels. Scoring a certain amount of points allows the student to move on to the next level until the highest level is reached. At the same time, students can easily lose the game if they make mistakes. The graphics are very realistic and the games can be quite challenging. Video games are so much fun that parents play with their kids and see how well their children have grasped the concepts of driving. These games include stopping at signals, changing lanes, making turns, recognizing road signs, parallel parking, merging with traffic, parking and backing out of a parking space and so on.

In virtual driving simulation games students can practice driving in a virtual environment. Sitting behind the wheel, players must make their way through busy streets, highways and intersections and make real decisions. This is an excellent way for students to practice and prepare for their driver's test.

Powerful Domain Names – Announcing 6 Marvelous Ways to Impact Your Domain Names

Your domain name is an integral part of your ebusiness and plays crucial role in your marketing campaigns. It is through this name that your potential customers will remember you and the product you promote. That is why; it is very important that you give your website a name that is easy to remember so you can easily generate traffic and increase your sales potential.

1. Short vs. long. Typically, short website names promote easy recall. However, if your products and business are well-known in your industry, you can use them on your domain name regardless of how many characters they may require.

2. Insert relevant keywords. If you are selling iPods, you better include iPod on your domain name to make it search-engine friendly. Then, you can add adjectives which can best describe your products or your services.

3. Pick the best language. If you are targeting people who do not use English as their primary language, you can create a domain name using their local dialect. This will make your website name more appealing and targeted to your potential clients.

4. Never use trademarked names. This can result to online disputes or worst, legal actions. Check the words that you would like to use first and verify if they are already taken to avoid such dilemma.

5. Special characters: to use or not to use. I'd say, stay away from them as much as possible. Online users do engage using special characters when they search for website online and generally prefer typing alphanumeric symbols.

6. Solicit feedback. Ask for the opinions of domain name experts and possibly people from your target market before registering your desired website name. What may sound profitable for you may not even be appealing to your potential clients.

Personal Brand Marketing – Brand Buzz 101

I understand the importance of visibility. As a small business owner, being "known" can be the difference between a steady flow of revenue or closing your doors. Yet, being visible is not enough. Being remembered is most important and means you occupy some prime real estate in the mind of someone. Garnering "share of mind" means that you somewhere along the way that they sampled your character and competency and you became memorable.

Marketing, by definition, is creating an exchange environment. For an individual, that could mean breaking a referral, speaking positively on your behalf, a promotion or an introduction. Branding, by definition, is an emotion or image tied to a product. YOU are the product. Even in businesses, people are the brand and define the company, more than any mission mission statement hanging in the lobby. So, how does an individual create "buzz" for their brand for visibility and more importantly to be remembered so that they can develop credibility?

1. Know what makes you unique.

Whether you're job hunting or wanting a position on board of director's, you need to confidently know what value you bring to the table.

2. Get really good at communicating what makes you valuable.

Ninety-three percent of communication is tone and body language. Spend time on the words so that what you say and how you communicate are congruent with your value. Yet, know that communication includes your image, the way you present yourself, your workspace, your phone skills and even your lunch meeting etiquette. They must all be congruent with what makes you valuable. Any discrepancies will jeopardize your credibility and could produce negative word of mouth which is a problem that I will address in future articles.

3. Manage that communication.

If you're creating "buzz" around your brand, it will require you to proactively manage the communication. For example, if you're new to a company or a position you will need to build a credibility wall. Yes, a physical wall if possible. It showcases every plaque, certificate, service honor, licensing, certification and degree you've received. This wall is your visual third party testimonial on the character and competency of your brand. Since that wall can not travel with you, make sure that anytime you're honored for volunteer service or recognized for a contribution that a copy of the "thank you" letter, note or card be placed into you personnel file.

Even if you're on your own, these "proof of credibility" tools will take you far. As the vice president of a business concern in college, I invited speakers to speak to our fraternity for professional development. I asked each of them to write a letter for me about their experience working with me so that I could include that in my personal portfolio. Many of these speakers went on to become regional directors, chief operation officers, chief financial officers, company presidents and further that my portfolio has become quite valuable. Actively "buzz" your brand! Doing that will develop credibility; credibility will lead to influence; and influence with lead to leadership.