Since you want to enter into the business of importing, you NEED to know, you HAVE to know, you WANT to know how the whole process works..
1. Don’t just be content knowing only what happens with your shipment or business, know the whole process.. This way, if something untoward happens, you know how to handle it, who to speak to and not to panic..
2. Speak to your Agent, the shipping line, and if possible Customs, Port, Chamber of Commerce to understand the various roles and how each entity fits in the whole chain..
3. Visit your local customs office to find out
a. The requirements to become an importer.. Every importer will need to register with customs in their country and get an importer’s code (it might be called different names in different countries)..
b. Information whether the cargo that you want to import is allowed to be imported
c. Are there are any restrictions, permits, licenses etc that maybe required
d. Any duty or tax benefits you might be eligible for depending on your company, product, country of purchase etc
e. If you plan on importing agricultural, wildlife, food products and any other exotic items, it would be wise to also check with the relevant departments (Agriculture, CITES, Health) for the procedures for such imports.