How to import?

It is always important to understand the import process, especially if this is your first time doing so.

We have prepared a step by step guide to help you receive your goods in the UK without any problems.

Step 1:

After finding a supplier and taking measures to ensure they are legitimate, you must then make sure the supplier will agree to shipping under FOB terms from their nearest port. This will help keep the costs down and also allow you to have full control over your shipment. Free On Board (FOB) terms essentially means your goods will pass from the suppliers control to your control once they reach the port of export.

E.g. If you are importing from South Korea and the nearest port to your supplier is Seoul, you would request FOB Seoul terms.

Step 2:

The next task is to find a reputable Freight Forwarder to move your goods and ask them to quote for your shipment. To get an instant, online quote visit Cargocost! Our fully inclusive quotation service provides customers with a full breakdown of all costs.

Step 3:

After receiving a quote, you will then need to send us your suppliers contact details and we will work with them to quickly and efficiently ship your cargo to the UK.

Step 4:

Your cargo will leave the country of origin by sea or air freight (dependent on what you have agreed with us) and you will be supplied a Bill of Lading containing the relevant details pertaining to the shipment. This is an important document which gives you legal title to the goods. There are two ways in which a Bill of Lading could be issued to you.

Originals are posted to the supplier and, after receiving payment, forwarded on to you. This document will need to be shown to us before we release the shipment to you.
The other option is if a Telex Release Bill, an electronic release which tells us the supplier has received the correct payment, is issued. This allows us to release your shipment on an email or fax copy.

Step 5:

Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) is required for all commercial goods imported into the UK and allows us to clear them through customs. However, if the goods are personal an EORI is not needed.

The application is simple and straight forward, requiring only a few details and will usually clear within 2-3 days. Once you receive your number you will need to inform us. This will allow us to move your goods through customs and get the correct duty and VAT charges due for your shipment.

Step 6:

After all the documentation is in order, your goods will go in to customs for clearance. This includes your EORI number, copy of the Bill of Lading, a commercial invoice and packing list. We will then send you an invoice detailing the duty/VAT due. After the payment has been made, customs will then release your cargo to you.

Step 7:

Once the vessel has arrived at the UK port, the container will be unpacked at a local depot and your goods will be ready for delivery, providing they are customs cleared. Warehouses usually allow up to 7 days for the cargo to be collected.

Step 8:

The final stage is the delivery of your cargo! Research for any road restrictions on the delivery route as your cargo will usually be transported in large articulated vehicles. Alternatively, you could arrange for a smaller vehicle at an extra cost. An important detail to note is that drivers are not insured to unload your goods, so you will have to plan accordingly for this. If your goods are large or heavy, a tail lift is usually available once again at a small cost. Once delivered, you will be required to sign the paperwork. Congratulations – you have successfully imported to the UK!

To request a quote or arrange a booking simply enter your details on our instant, all-inclusive quotation tool, Cargocost. Alternatively you can visit our website or contact us for more information on our import process.