As a buyer or a small business owner, you have decided to do business with China and import your specialised products back to South Africa, but how do you ensure the shipping process runs effortlessly? We have some tips as to how you can get your products from China to South Africa timeously and in a cost-effective manner.
Step 1: Acquire a quote from your shipping agent
Before you even conduct business with your Chinese supplier or manufacturer, ensure that you acquire at least three quotes, before agreeing to import the products. As shipping prices may fluctuate, rather secure the cost and account for it in a budget prior to agreeing to the purchase of products from China.
Step 2: Confirm the quote
Once you have found a reliable shipping company who can import your products at the right prices, sign the deal. This helps you fix your costs beforehand, as the price will not change when you do decide to ship the products and have finalised the details and contract with your supplier.
Step 3: Packing and Shipping – What you need
Once the Chinese supplier has packed your products, account for at least two to three days for the products to be packed in the container and on the ship. You can account for delays as shipment is weather dependent. Your shipping agent will help you with all the details but you can get ready for delivery by acquiring all the documentation you will need in order to collect your products when they arrive in South Africa.
Step 4: Administration and documentation
While your products are sailing across the high seas, make sure to give the following documentation to your South African shipping agent at least seven days before your products land in the country:
- Original shipping bill
- Commercial invoice
- Packing list
- Packing declaration
The supplier will release the original shipping bill once the payment is made.
Step 5: Clearing customs
Your shipping agent will assist you with the import duties and customs tax when your shipment arrives in the country. It is your duty to ensure that all invoices are paid immediately so as to avoid delay when receiving the goods, and paying additional taxes.