Sourcing goods from China can prove quite advantageous. Manufacturing costs in China are lower, and a supplier in Suzhou, China, will sell to you at a better price, allowing you more significant profit margins. The Port of Suzhou is a collective name for three separate ports. If you are buying goods from any location in and around Suzhou, your supplier will probably choose to send your items to this port. We created this guide to assist you in importing from Suzhou to the UK. Specifically:
Working with a freight forwarder
Before Brexit, UK importers could use an EORI number from any EU member state. With the Brexit transition period done as of January 2021, you require a GB EORI number to import to England, Scotland, and Wales and an XI EORI number if your goods are crossing to Northern Ireland. To get a GB EORI number, fill out this online form and submit it to HMRC along with the following documents:
If your company is not established in the UK, you don’t require a Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code, a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), or a National Insurance number.
HMRC will not charge you for your application, and you should receive your number via email within three days of applying. This duration may extend to five days if HMRC needs to review your application.
To get an XI EORI number, you first need a GB EORI number. If you have a GB number or expect to receive one following your application, fill in the registration form for an XI EORI number and send it to HMRC with the following documents:
Getting your XI EORI number will take a maximum of five days.
Incoterms are a set of globally-recognised terms for the delivery of goods; they spell out your responsibilities as a buyer and those of your supplier/seller, for example:
There are several incoterms, grouped into classes C, D, E and F but FOB, EXW, and CIF/CFR are the most common.
Under FOB shipping terms, you and the seller share the costs, risks, and responsibilities fairly evenly. You cover all costs from the loading point in Suzhou port until the goods arrive at your destination. Once the products are on the sea, you carry all the risk of damage or loss.
In turn, your supplier deals with:
Your responsibilities when importing goods from Suzhou to the UK on EXW shipping terms are quite straightforward. All costs, arrangements, and liabilities are your responsibility. From collecting the cargo from your supplier’s factory to having the goods delivered to your location in the UK
CIF and CFR are two different terms, but they are pretty similar. The only difference between the two is that in CIF, your supplier handles maritime insurance. When importing goods under CIF/CFR conditions, your responsibilities begin when the shipment arrives in the UK. Your supplier will handle everything, including documentation, customs, and even transportation of your goods to the UK. You are responsible for all arrangements and fees once your goods arrive at your chosen port in the UK.
If you’re new to importing to the UK or simply want to simplify the process, you may want to consider working with a freight forwarder. Here are a few reasons why: