According to the annual statistics of international trade, import to Uzbekistan amounted to $20 billion in 2020, decreasing by 8.44%. Compared to 2019, import of goods decreased by $1.84 billion (goods worth $ 21 billion were imported to Uzbekistan). In 2020, China, Russia, Kazakhstan and South Korea became the largest trading partners for imports to Uzbekistan. The largest imports items were machinery and equipment, food and chemical products.
What is Import
Entry of foreign goods and technologies into a country for the purpose of sale and use in the domestic market is called import. The state and individual enterprises import the products, the production of which is unprofitable or impossible in the importing country itself. Also in some countries it is possible to produce a product a lower cost due to relatively low labor costs. For example, thanks to the sunny climate of countries such as Ethiopia, Italy and Brazil, it is profitable for other countries to import their coffee; most countries import engineering products from China due to low cost of production, which is associated with lower wages.
Import-export operations play a significant role in the country's economy, help improve the living standards of the population and strengthen the state's position on the world stage. Also, being an integral part of foreign trade, the export and import of goods are an important source of profit not only for the state, but also for private businesses.
Process of Importing Goods
Choosing the Supplier
One of the initial stages in the import process is the availability of a supplier of goods. Considering that the goods will be imported from a foreign country, many businesses are faced with a number of questions, such as Where to find a reliable supplier? How to meet your finances? Will the product meet your requirements? and so on.
One proven way to find suppliers is by attending trade shows. In Uzbekistan, annual exhibitions are held in the pavilions of UzExpoCentre in the field of textiles, pharmaceuticals, medical, industrial and other areas. Many representatives from different countries come to the exhibition. This provides an excellent opportunity to find potential trade partners and business contacts, negotiate details and build long-term relationships. These kinds of face-to-face meetings help to understand the company's product line and its financial position, which is important for striking a successful deal. Before visiting the exhibition, we recommend you to familiarize yourself with the list of participants and study their occupation in advance. This will help you decide who you should get in touch with, discuss the details, and it also saves your time.
In addition to visiting exhibitions, take advantage of your contacts and online resources. Prepare a list of potential suppliers, compare prices, payment terms and the route of transportation of the goods - this will help you determine the most profitable option.
Having determined the supplier of the imported goods, the negotiation process begins. This stage can be long or short, depending on the tasks set, the type of product and the country of the supplier. When concluding a contract, go through every detail and consult with a lawyer to minimize risks. Before importing a large volume of products, it is important to get samples first. Through samples, you will be able to familiarize yourself with the import process and assess the quality of the product and the delivery process. In case of imports of agricultural products, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods, it is necessary to have certificates and verification of compliance with various standards.
Choosing Transport Mode and Incoterms
After negotiations, the conclusion of a contract and the readiness of the goods, it must be sent to the customer. Since the transportation of cargo is a significant expense, the most optimal type of transportation and Incoterms should be calculated. Depending on the Incoterms, the liability of the parties for carriage, risks and costs associated with the transportation of goods is determined. This clause must be stipulated in the contract.
Transportation mode in particular depends on the volume of the cargo and the urgency of the delivery. For example, air transportation is used to transport oversized shipments, high-value items, live animals, as well as urgent cargo for production lines; sea and rail transportation is optimal for the transportation of large volumes and oversized equipment; road transportation, being one of the flexible transportation options, is most optimal for goods imported from Europe, Central Asia and Russia.
List of Documents
Correct paperwork plays an especially important role in the import of goods. To carry out trade transactions, each country requires the signing of certain papers, which must comply with the requirements of import and export regulations. To import goods, the following documents are required:
Commercial Invoice and Packing List
The vendor issues a commercial invoice that shows the registered name and address of the shipper and the consignee. Also, it includes the description of the product, its value and terms of sale. A packing list is also provided by the supplier. It indicates the exact list of the items being shipped(number of pieces, net and gross weight, dimensions of each piece).
Bill of Lading
A waybill is a document that reflects the information about the cargo being transported. This document is issued by the transport agent at the point of departure and provided to the shipper and the consignee. Depending on the type of cargo and the transport mode involved, there are several types of waybills (for example, MAWB and HAWB for air transportation, CMR for road transportation, etc.). The waybill includes a large number of sections with detailed information about the cargo. The document must be attached to the cargo and is used not only by the shipper, consignee carrier / forwarder, and the customs authorities, but also by other parties involved.
Certificate of Origin
Depending on the type of goods, the consignee may request a certificate of origin from the shipper, which allows them to use customs duty exemptions. Such benefits are directly related to the pricing of goods and their competitiveness. In addition to the listed basic documents, depending on the type of cargo, other certificates may be required. For example, agricultural products require a phytosanitary certificate; goods containing batteries or fuel are classified as dangerous goods and must be shipped together with a DG certificate and MSDS.
Pre-shipment inspection is carried out to check and certify the quality, quantity, price, and customs classification of the goods, as well as to verify compliance with the quality standards of the import country. This procedure is not mandatory in all cases and is carried out voluntarily. However, there is a list of imported goods that require a pre-shipment inspection procedure.
Choosing a Freight Forwarder
The success of the supply chain directly depends on the level of professionalism of the selected freight forwarder / carrier. An experienced freight forwarder / carrier can organize the transportation of a particular cargo, choose the best route and type of transport, and correctly draw up all the necessary documents.