If you are running an export/ import business, you would have already come across these major players down the road. While all of them will fall under the broad side of Exporter or the Importer, each player has a varied role to play.
1. Export Management Company
An independent private entity, that acts like your very own export department. It can be a local or foreign-owned company. They work for a number of non-competing manufacturers and sellers. They are specialized in a certain product or foreign market or both.
Right from employing representatives, dealers, distributors; Advertising; Marketing; Promotional activities; packaging; logistics and arranging finance these companies handle everything under the sun.
How does it Work
- They work on a commission basis as an agent, or on a fee basis as a consultant.
- In some cases, they might take full possession of the goods.
2. Export trading company (ETC)
Again a private enterprise, but unlike an EMC that attracts buyers in Foreign markets, ETCs usually do the market research and find what the customers in foreign lands are willing to spend their bucks on.
Intensive market scanning to know customer demands and hunting down customers who are willing to spend are their prime functions. Mostly they buy full title to the products. The manufacturer/ seller might not even know the buyer or anything regarding the export process. Their primary motive is to supply the best products to their customers; hence they are not loyal to the manufacturer/seller company.
How does it Work
- Most often they buy products in bulk and pay manufacturers in cash.
- On rare occasions, they work on commissions.
3. Import/export merchant
A free agent not bound by any contract, who assumes all the risks involved and enjoys all the profit. He does not specialize in a particular product or market.
Buys products that are in demand at the best price from an overseas manufacturer and resells them for a profitable price. He takes care of packaging, shipping, and warehousing.
4. Other Types of Importers
Apart from free agents, there are other types of pseudo importers in the Export/Import business. Let’s get to know them better
- Commission agents-As the name suggests they work on commissions as intermediaries for foreign firms looking to purchase local products.
- Country-controlled buying agents-These include the foreign Government or Quasi-Government agencies who are commissioned to purchase the required products on behalf of the Government.
- State-controlled trading companies– These are the government approved trading institutions that deal with raw materials, manufacturing, and technical equipment.
Finally the most important of the major players whom you are sure to more than just encounter in your Export/Import venture: The Government entities of the country you are operating in.
5. The Norwegian Customs service (TOLL CUSTOMS) is the official body that manages the regulatory framework laid down to regulate the customs duty and Export/ Import businesses in Norway. The agency protects the company against the illegal import and export of goods and to secure government revenues through the correct and timely payment of duties and taxes. Norway with an Open economic policy allows the import of all products except for the agricultural sector that requires appropriate certifications and high tariff rates.
Apart from the above mentioned major players in the Export/Import scenario, there are innumerable customs brokerage firms in Norway that provide consultation and logistics service. These firms take care of all documentation, logistics, provide answers to all your queries, and make the whole process easier for a beginner.