What is Import? How to Become an Importer?

What is Import?

In short, import, which can be defined as the purchase of products from another country and bringing them to the country; is the process of bringing products to the country temporarily or definitively, with or without paying the taxes.

Definitive imports can be made within the framework of the rules of the “Release for Free Circulation” in the customs legislation. In order for a good to be released for free circulation, it is not sufficient to pay only the taxes that must be collected on import; it is also necessary to implement trade policy measures and complete other necessary procedures for the import of the goods.

It is possible for products not in free circulation to be brought into the country completely or partially exempt from import duties and without being subject to trade policy measures and re-exported without any changes other than ordinary wear. This practice is called the "Temporary Export". In cases where identification of the imported goods is not possible, the use of the temporary importation regime is not allowed. If these goods will undergo any process or workmanship during its stay in the country, the transactions related to the entry and exit of the goods can be made within the framework of the "Inward Processing" rules in the European Union countries.

Inward Processing is a customs regime that allows the import of raw materials, auxiliary materials, and packaging materials, which are necessary for the production of the product to be exported and cannot be obtained from the domestic markets in terms of price and/or quality, in order to increase the product diversity and competitiveness of the exported products in the world markets.

Shipments made from free zones to other parts of the country are also considered as imports. You can reach our detailed blog post about free zones by clicking here.


How to Become an Importer?

1. Checking Customs Policies & Procedures

Before importing, it should be checked whether any license or permit is required for the product to be imported or to become an importer. While a license is not generally required to become an importer, there are certain goods in each country that may be subject to special requirements in terms of testing, marketing, certification, labeling, packaging and documentation.

2.Formal Contract

Make sure you provide a formal written document to the buyer and seller before purchasing and importing foreign goods. This document should cover all of the important concerns, such as product acceptance, warranties, and dispute resolution procedures. Otherwise, your company may be exposed to severe risks that may be difficult to manage.


It is the responsibility of the importer firm to fully understand the costs, rights, and obligations outlined in the Incoterms. This will also help them to estimate their costs more accurately. For detailed information about Incoterms, you can read our blog post by clicking here.

4.Classifying the Products Properly

The rate of duty imposed to a product is determined by its harmonized tariff schedule classification (HTS). As a result, it's critical that you assign your products the right classification. This will not only reduce your duties, but it will also ensure that your goods do not meet any further obstacles while entering the country.

5.Reliable Supplier

You must ensure that the supplier with whom you are dealing is trustworthy before proceeding with any final transactions. This is the time to do extensive research on their reputation, financial situation, and entire history. Doing business with unknown suppliers may be risky, so the importers have to always be prepared.


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