Using Importer of Record Service to Import Goods to Southeast Asia

The governments highly regulate import to most countries in Southeast Asia. As a foreign resident or a company, you would first need to set up a company and apply for import licenses before you could start importing. Depending on the product and the market, this could all take up to 3-6 months. Fortunately, there is […]

The governments highly regulate import to most countries in Southeast Asia. As a foreign resident or a company, you would first need to set up a company and apply for import licenses before you could start importing. Depending on the product and the market, this could all take up to 3-6 months.

Fortunately, there is an alternative. In this article, we will explain how you can import faster and without licenses – by using importer of record service.

Table of contents

    What is an importer of record?

    An importer of record (IOR) is an entity whose responsibility is to guarantee:

    • all imported goods comply with local laws
    • correct documentation of the products
    • payment of duties, tariffs, and fees on imported goods
    • customs clearance goes smoothly
    • delivery of the products to the final recipient

    In other words, IOR service allows you to import your products without acquiring import licenses. You also wouldn’t have any tax liabilities as the consignee will pay all the taxes. Instead, you are using the already existing licenses and expertise of a different entity, such as Emerhub.

    Importer of record, also known as undername importer in Indonesia or non-resident importer (NRI) in the US and Canada, plays an essential role in importing since it already has access to the local supply chains.

    Six main benefits of using IOR service

    #1 Fast import to anywhere in Southeast Asia without having a legal entity

    The process of obtaining all the necessary licenses for importing to Southeast Asia can take months. If you do not have this time to wait or you wish to import goods only a few times, using an importer of record is the solution for you.

    As explained above, you will be using the import licenses of an already existing company. This company will act as a consignee instead of acquiring your licenses. Therefore, you can start importing immediately.

    One of the most common mistakes companies make is thinking that they can send large shipments just by using an international shipping agency. Those companies are responsible for delivering the products from point A to B. However; you would still need a consignee with an appropriate license to get the products through the local customs.

    #2 Compliance with local laws

    Import laws vary in different countries and getting to know each country’s regulations would consume a lot of time. However, importer of record service would take the burden of complying with local laws off your shoulders.

    With an importer of record service in Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and other Southeast Asian countries, you will meet the myriad of local regulations and everything will be done legally and without you having to delve into local import regulations.

    #3 Smooth and seamless customs clearance

    The entity responsible for the customs clearance will be from the local market which is a tremendous asset because it is not possible to pass your goods through the customs clearance when the consignee does not have the correct import license. Thus, the risk of your shipment getting stuck in the customs will be lower.

    However, if you are already importing to Indonesia on your own and your goods are stuck in the customs, here’s an article explaining what to do in that case and how to prevent your products from getting stuck in Indonesian customs in the first place.

    cleared goods Indonesia

    Goods successfully imported to Indonesia using Emerhub’s IOR service

    #4 Door to door service

    Using an importer of record means that you don’t need to worry about overcoming logistical, regulatory, or language barriers.

    The only action coming from your side would be sending an inquiry and providing as many details regarding your shipment as possible. The rest – customs clearance, licenses,  transportation, etc.- will be handled for you.

    We also provide door to door service where we, among other things, arrange:

    • pick up
    • carriers (either by sea or air)

    #5 No surprises

    Based on the information you provide, we will calculate the price. We will also calculate the estimated time of arrival of your shipment. All expenses will already be included.

    There will be no unexpected costs, such as:

    • warehousing
    • delivery order (D/O)
    • demurrage

    The taxes on your shipment must be paid on the day of the arrival of your goods in the destination country to ensure fast customs clearance.

    Also, note that taxes which occurred when using importer of record service are non-reclaimable. You should treat this as tax loss or as an expense in your import process.

    #6 Focus on your core business

    Importing your goods is a time-consuming process. In addition to your main activities, such as producing high-quality goods or growing your business, you also have to think of how to deliver your products to other markets.

    However, an importer of record service enables you to focus on your core business — no need to waste your time on getting to know the local regulations, finding distributors, or dealing with the customs.

    Most importantly, the IOR service enables you to import without opening a separate legal entity in the country of your destination.

    Also, see our previous article about nine non-core activities you should outsource when expanding to emerging markets.

    Importer of record service with Emerhub

    importer of record

    Please note that:

    1. All payments related to taxes are non-reclaimable when using importer of record service. You can treat these taxes as total expenses against the importation services.
    2. It is essential that Emerhub receives tax payments when your products arrive in the destination country as the customs clearance process has to be executed in no more than three working days. Late payment will risk the success of on-time customs clearance. It may also bring further costs (such as D/O, demurrage, warehousing).

    Importer of record in Indonesia

    Since 2011, Emerhub has developed an extensive network of import companies in Indonesia. Contact our Jakarta office via [email protected] or fill in the form below to start importing to Indonesia without acquiring any import licenses.

    Importer of record in Bali

    If you would like to import directly to Bali, you can also contact our Bali office by dropping us an email at [email protected].

    Importer of record in Vietnam

    To start importing to one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, Vietnam, reach our consultants by sending us an email at [email protected].

    Importer of record in the Philippines

    Leave details about your planned shipment in the form below to begin importing to the third largest market in ASEAN, the Philippines. Or send an email to [email protected]

    Importer of record in Pakistan

    Since August 2017 Emerhub also provides Importer of Record in Pakistan, one of the largest and fastest growing markets in Asia. Contact us via [email protected] to get a quote for the importer of record service in Pakistan.

    Let's grow your business in Southeast Asia

    Emerhub has years of experience with corporate secretarial services in Southeast Asia.

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