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How do you know if you are ready to import?

As global consumers, we have the world’s products at our fingertips. With the rise of the Internet, it’s never been easier to research and compare prices, and to trade with overseas businesses.

However, before you make that purchase, it is important to make sure that you are ready to import. This is especially critical if you are importing in a business capacity because the success of your business depends on it.

We’ve put together an “import readiness” checklist for you so that you can make sure you are ready to import when you find an import opportunity that is too good to pass up.

Register as an importer and exporter. Register here.

Obtain the tariff code/HS number from your supplier, or obtain a professional tariff code determination.

Are you importing from a SADC or European region? If yes, you may be able to obtain a certificate of origin from your supplier to save on import duties.

Calculate the duty tax and VAT you will need to pay. You can look up your duty tax and calculate your total VAT and duties using this calculator.

Identify if any of your goods are regulated and require a special permit. For assistance, contact 087 550 1038 or enquire online.

Decide on the Incoterms.

Decide on the insurance cover. Your logistics company can advise you on this.

Decide on the payment method.

If you are arranging shipping, select a reputable logistics company and obtain a freight quote.  You will need the following information to obtain a quote:

  • Size and weight of the shipment
  • Tariff code
  • Whether the goods need to be air-freighted or sea-freighted
  • Shipping terms
  • The supplier’s contact details and collection address
  • Your contact and delivery address

You are now ready to import!

For more resources to assist you in your journey towards import readiness, visit our Calculators page. For advice and assistance with getting your business import ready, contact us at 087 550 1038, or fill out this form and we’ll contact you.

Tracy Venter

Tracy transitioned from industry to founding Import Export License in 2011, aiding importers and exporters with customs compliance. In 2014, she launched Trade Logistics, focusing on supporting startups and SMMEs in international trade. Since then, Tracy's team has assisted 35,000+ businesses, reaching 32,000 traders monthly through newsletters. She's contributed to publications like Entrepreneurs Magazine and SME Toolkit, spoken at trade events, and participated in customs forums. Import Export License helped with the pilot trial to launch customs' new online registration platform (RLA). Through Trade Logistics she has launched 3 online import-export training courses. She holds an Honours degree from Stellenbosch University and a Cum Laude Masters from Middlesex University. In her spare time, Tracy enjoys running, mountain biking, playing piano, and cherishing moments with her husband and four children.