Customs Regulations: A Guide to Import Technology into Any Country Worldwide

29 Apr 2024

Technology companies need help moving their products across international borders. Which regions and countries are the most complex for importing technology?

 

The import and export of technology has become a fundamental pillar of the functioning of the global economy. However, behind the smooth transfer of information technology (IT) products and related services lie several customs challenges that can impede this process.

Customs Processes for IT: A Maze of Regulations

Customs procedures for importing and exporting IT products vary widely from country to country and region to region. In general, these types of artifacts are subject to similar customs regulations as other goods, but they also face specific requirements related to device and information security.

Some common customs processes include the submission of detailed documentation such as commercial invoices, packing lists, certificates of origin, and value declarations. In addition, special inspections may be required to ensure compliance with cybersecurity and intellectual property regulations.

Francisco Ricci, Director of international logistics research and development at Aerodoc, explains that certain countries have many barriers to IT imports, especially for equipment that receives or transmits radio frequency signals. “Sometimes these devices are dual-use because they are used for both civilian and military purposes. When they have this characteristic, some countries that tend to be militarized, such as Russia, China, or those in the Middle East, become very restrictive,” argues Ricci.

Because of this dual use, the processes are much more complex, and importing products requires multiple customs certifications, homologations in local chambers of commerce, inspections, procedures, forms, and other bureaucratic processes.

“Each country has its process. Often they are quite different, even among countries in the same region. That’s why it’s important to seek proper advice before moving equipment from one country to another and to have the support of a company that knows how to deal with each requirement,” advises the Aerodoc spokesperson.

Import, Technology, Customs, IoR

Considerations by Region

Asia & Middle East

Russia, China, India, Egypt, and countries in the Middle East are known for their strict security measures, especially for dual-use equipment operating at radio frequencies. In these cases, verification requirements are often exhaustive, requiring details such as operating frequency, civil or military classification, and equipment scope.

Latin America

In this region, emphasis is generally placed on the electrical compatibility of equipment, such as operating voltages or the need for local network adapters.

United States and Europe

In general, the United States and Europe tend to have fewer restrictions on the import of technology products. They are destinations where technology importation is more accessible.

Africa

Pre-inspection at the point of origin is common on this continent. Companies such as Bureau Veritas, SGS, or Cotecna are responsible for checking products before they are shipped. For example, a fan manufactured in Argentina may require a seal from Bureau Veritas indicating that the company has inspected the manufacturing facility, verified electrical compatibility, tested materials, and other aspects.

Import, Technology, Customs, IoR

Keys to Successfully Importing Technology

Estefanía Sisatzky, EVP of OPS & Customer Service at Aerodoc, adds that physical inspection of products, proper preparation of pre-import documents, and preparation of invoices with tariff codes for customs purposes in the destination country are fundamental steps that companies must follow.

“This presents many challenges and complexities. That’s why Aerodoc’s more than 25 years of experience gives our clients peace of mind. We work and focus on the entire process, from contacting the first person to handle the materials when the cargo is received, either at our hub in Miami or at our partners at the destination, to the final movement of the goods from the transportation center to the final delivery destination,” explains Sisatzky.

At Aerodoc, we have trained and experienced personnel who meticulously physically inspect electronic devices and equipment.  Aerodoc’s Physical Inspection is a patented service that ensures that any company importing products overseas meets the regulatory requirements at the destination. Learn more in this explainer.

“Thanks to our years of experience, we know which points can cause problems, and we make all the necessary adjustments to avoid them,” Sisatzky continues.

She offers a specific example. “Sometimes a shipment is shipped and arrives, but when it arrives, there is a problem or disagreement about the part numbers. These codes refer to a specific model and specific equipment capabilities. That’s where we add value because we can prevent and/or resolve these types of complexities,” explains the EVP.

“We have documentation support and a database of many part numbers that allows us to support any question-and-answer process that arises with Customs without having to involve our customers or agents at the destination. In fact, 99% of red channel cases due to technical objections to products are almost always resolved with our technical expertise,” adds the spokesperson.

For IT companies, it is critical to understand and anticipate the customs challenges associated with importing products. This includes staying abreast of local and international regulations, building strong relationships with customs brokers, and being prepared to adapt to changes in the business environment.

In addition, seeking legal advice and consulting with experts can help mitigate risk and ensure a smooth and seamless customs process. In a world where technology is driving global trade, overcoming customs challenges is essential to business success in the international IT market.

If you’re looking for such a service, contact us. Our team of experts is ready to assist you.

Topics on this article: Customs | Import | IoR | Technology

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