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Hey folks, I am looking for some help and guidance regarding international shipping. We have received an order from oversees (1st ever) and need some help:

1) Are there any additional permits that we need to ship? My hope is to transfer custody locally, so all transit is on them. 

2) If the shipping has to be on us, what do I need to protect the shipment, ie. licenses, permits, insurance...?

3) Shipping recommendations. Options are to ship on pallets or stuff the container without pallets. What is the best way in terms of protecting the cargo? Do we need anything else such as padding, dividers...etc?

4) How are taxes handled on the TTB and local level (in TX, so TABC is the governing body)

5) What else am I missing?

Thanks for any help. 

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Avanak,

 

1) Are there any additional permits that we need to ship? My hope is to transfer custody locally, so all transit is on them.   

You will need a freight forarder to handle things for you.  I suggest Western Overseas.  I have used them for years and they do a great job.  They will handle every aspect of the shipping on your end.  There is a tun of paperwork and you do not want to get it wrong.  You will have to pay a one time bond.  You must file your ISF within 24hrs before ships from the foreign port or you could be fined up to $50,000.00  If you have a freight forwarder you are still responsible for getting the ISF info from the party that is shipping the equipment to you and getting it to your freight forwarder on time.  Your freight forarder will get things through customs for you.  Be prepared to pay lots of money in duties if you are shipping from China.  It is not as bad if you are shipping from Europe.  If you did order directly from a Chinese company you may very well get a still that does not function properly and since you are a one time customer they most likely will not stand behind anything.  Anyway, get the freight forwarder.  They will hold your hand and walk you through everything. 

2) If the shipping has to be on us, what do I need to protect the shipment, ie. licenses, permits, insurance...? 

You need insurance.  The freightwoarder can handle all of that for you.

3) Shipping recommendations. Options are to ship on pallets or stuff the container without pallets. What is the best way in terms of protecting the cargo? Do we need anything else such as padding, dividers...etc?  It is up to your supplier to protect the cargo.  Impress upon them that they must do everything possible to make sure things do not get damaged.  Get the insurance.

4) How are taxes handled on the TTB and local level (in TX, so TABC is the governing body) 

The TTB has nothing to do with you importing your still.  All the things that the TTB does are to protect the revenue.  They do not concern themselves with anything else that I know of.  There should not be any state or local taxes on your imported equipment.  There is only the customs duty/Tarriff.  Distillery equipment coming from China will be taxed 25%.  

5) What else am I missing?  The freight forwarder is the main thing that you are missing.  Here is a link:  http://www.westernoverseas.com/global/  Also if the DHS decides to search your container you will have to pay for the container to be moved to a search facility and you will have to pay for the long shoremen to unload the container and search through everything and you will have to pay them to load it back up and hual it back to the port.  I have had containers searched 3 times.  I have had 2 tailgate searches that cost $1,150.00 and $1560.00.  Once I had a complete search that cost over $6,000.00  It is not fair but they do not care, some people have paid over $15,000 for searches and if they damage anything it is on you..  However you would be very unlucky to get picked for a complete search.  I have imported and exported hundreds of containers and I have only ever had 3 searches with one being a complete search.  When they xray and see things like a tube and shell condenser they think it may be some kind of bomb and bam the stress begins.  The container of mine that they did the complete search on was held up evan longer becouse they were waiting on the test results for a white powder that was in a large plastic bag.  It was 10 lbs of polishing compound.

If you are getting your equipment from a Chinese company and it does not function properly, contact me paul@distillery.com or call 417-778-6100  I have helped several people get theirs up and running properly, however it may not be cheap.

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Thanks Paul.

I might not have made it clear, but we are a operating distillery, shipping bottles of product to a new customer overseas, so the departing port is USA. 

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In that case the main thing that you need is still a freight forwarder like Western Oversees.  Also you will need to pack very carefully.  I exported walnut Veneer logs to Germany Japan and Italy.  I also exported Eastern Red Cedar logs and lumber to South Korea and China, so I never really had to worry about damage.  In your situation I would definately pallitize and put everything in a container and I would use all of the tools at hand to make sure nothing gets damaged.

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Random note, you need special pallets.  Many countries require treated wood or plastic pallets, not the standard stuff you get things on...

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Yes, your pallets must be ISPM 15 certified for some countires.  https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/SA_Export/SA_Wood_Packaging  I had to deal with APHIS alot in the wood business, however some countries like South Korea did not require it or at least did not require it when i exported there..  You can go here to find out what the requirements are for the country that you are shipping to. to.  https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/sa_export/sa_wood_packaging/sa_by_country

 

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