EU Import Process Checklist

This checklist focuses exclusively on the typical import-relevant factors (regardless of any specified product) which form part of the procurement process.


Your guide to efficient importing

Purchasing products from a non-EU country and importing those goods requires several competencies, including legal compliance, financial management and supply chain sustainability. Having a sound procurement and planning strategy in place to manage these factors is highly advisable. In collaboration with our portfolio company, Traide, we have developed this helpful checklist to support you in optimising the procurement and customs classification processes involved with importation into the EU.

4 steps checklist for procurement teams regarding import process into the EU

(i) Procurement and Customs

substantial already in the procurement process.
Purchasing products in a non-EU country and planning to import them into the EU means legal, compliance as well financial aspects and results. There is also a new factor nowadays which shall be considered more frequently: sustainability. According to these facts it is highly recommended to create an applicable procurement strategy or plan concerning all these conditions.

In our checklist we are focusing exclusively on the typical import-relevant factors (regardless of any specified product) which are generally considerable in the procurement process.

If your company is planning to purchase physical products in a third country (outside of the EU) regardless of the type of the product – like raw material, semi-finished or finished goods – after supplier and source identification there is also a need for landed cost calculation (e.g. Customs duties) and compliance consideration (e.g. import restrictions).

(ii) How can AI technology help?

According to the World Customs Organisation (WCO) vision, the digitalization of Customs aims to replace paper-based Customs procedures with electronic operations, thus creating a more efficient and modern Customs environment in tune with global developments. This vision confirms the necessary support of AI technology in the supply chain.

Determining and regularly applying the correct Customs tariff number of a product is the most basic and one of the most difficult tasks in global trade. Most of the companies use the Customs tariff numbers of different suppliers in their export/import processes, which often leads to inconsistencies. Applying incorrect Customs tariff numbers can cause financial and administrative results. Moreover (too) many types of open-source databases exist which are designed to support the classification processes, nevertheless they are not sufficient enough to support batch classification, mainly designed to single classification query i.e. they are supporting only manual classification.

Counter to the original purpose of the Customs tariff nomenclatures, which were intended to use only for a few product groups in the past, the reality and practice shows, that according to the huge amount of product movements, fast product development and accelerated product flow nowadays in global trade does not allow to spend more days with customs classification of a product. In order to enable rapid Customs classification processes effectively, the AI technology support is a “must”.

(iii) Improve your procurement management and Customs classification process and have developed this helpful checklist to support you to optimise your procurement- and customs classification process regarding importation into the EU.

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