The Importance of a Good Customs Broker

A customs broker is an important piece of the importing process. 24 hours before a shipment leaves port in China, your customs broker has to file the ISF entry in your behalf with U.S. Customs. If the broker doesn’t file the ISF entry within 24 hours, by law U.S. Customs can inflict a $5,000.00 penalty on the importer. (Is the U.S. Government dying for new ways to fund its 16 trillion dollar deficit, or what?)

Today making the ISF entry on time is probably one of the most critical functions a broker performs. If they don’t move quick enough then the repercussions would be costly.

You would think this is a simple thing and most brokers would be on the ball, but this isn’t always the case. Recently I had a customer who was a new importer who chose a large broker with nationwide offices. The process he had to endure just to get set up for what should be a simple process took too long; more than a week. Most alarmingly, when I emailed the ISF data to this broker for them to file, no one was responding. I had to call them and then was told they couldn’t find this customer’s account information in their system.

A good customs broker will be responsive, quick, and accurate. I had one broker a couple of weeks ago who had filed the ISF entry within one hour after I emailed the ISF data.

On the negative side, we had another broker who not long ago misfiled the ISF entry, had it rejected, and was almost late in filing it. It could have been an expensive mess for the importer.

Be careful who you choose. We’ve worked with customs brokers all over the U.S. and can refer you to one if needed.


Why We Don’t Source Food Items from China

A Chinese supplier of meat named Husi Group was recently reported as repackaging old beef and chicken and placing new expiration labels on it. Husi Group sold these products to McDonalds, KFC, and Pizza Hut in China, and exported them to these same chains in Japan. When you’re talking about the massive volumes that would be involved for restaurant chains this big, the potential for many people getting sick or even seriously ill goes off the charts.

Over the past decade, infants, hospital patients and others in China have been killed by phony or adulterated milk powder, drugs and other goods. The risk is real. When a food scare alarm like this gets sounded, it can smash the company’s sales. KFC had a food supplier scare in 2013; the month after the issue was announced their sales dropped 37%.

All this to say that sourcing food products from China isn’t a good idea.


Windows 8 is Outlawed in China’s Government

The Chinese government recently announced that it will not allow Windows 8 to be installed on any of its computers. The reasons given were poor performance, and price; others believe that security and the fact that Microsoft requires authorization for third party software to be installed plays a factor.

To be honest, I didn’t feel sorry for Microsoft when I read this. I have Windows 7 installed on our PCs at work and it works great. My wife has Windows 8 installed on her new laptop and I’ve found myself asking why in the heck Microsoft thought this was a good upgrade. These days no one has time to waste learning a new operating system, at least, not one that slows you down. To me an upgrade increases my productivity and saves time, not drains it.

The Exchange Rate

After nearing 6 to 1 the beginning of this year, the Yuan continues to float around the 6.2 mark.
Yuan to the dollar, as of today: 6.20 to 1

Rate when the Yuan was depegged from the dollar on June 19, 2010:  6.82 to 1

Change: .62 (9%)

Want a Quote?

There’s no charge for us to quote your project. We need the following to get started:

* Engineer’s drawings with all dimensions, tolerances, and material requirements, and/or a sample to send to China. Sometimes pictures with all major specifications will work, if it’s a simple product. We can refer you to a company that can do engineering and prototyping if you need these services.

* Purchase quantities. Our suggested minimum purchase value is $10,000.00. The actual minimum will depend on the factory.

* The major city you are nearest to, so we can include the freight with the prices.

* Details on how you want your product packaged, i.e. individually or in bulk, plain cardboard box or with color labels, blister pack, etc.

Quick Links:
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Email us for a free quote. 

Previous Newsletters:

June 2014: The Chinese Disappearing Act
May 2014: The Chinese People
April 2014: Video and Images from Last Month’s China Trip
March 2014: China’s Debt
February 2014: Reference Points
January 2014: If You Don’t Know Who You’re Dealing With…
December 2013: Images from Last Month’s Trip to China
November: Time to Plan Ahead for the Chinese New Year
October: China and the U.S. are Shut Down

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