Importer of record service

Fiscal IOR offers services to companies that are importing or exporting goods into or out of a country where they have no presence.

Importer of record responsibilities

An Importer of Record has the responsibility for meeting all customs obligations and being able to fulfil all customs paperwork (whether by themselves or via a customs broker) when the goods are cleared into the country of import.  

Our service includes:

  • Performing the role of importer / exporter of record enabling businesses to clear goods globally
  • Dealing with application processes for related licenses and permits relevant to the items being shipped
  • Liaising with your chosen logistics company in relation to customs clearance touch points
  • Keeping digital archives of all documentation and maintaining an accurate record of each transaction
  • Carrying out all of the necessary filing requirements which are relevant to the local region
  • Keeping you updated with the step by step process while we act as your Importer or Exporter of Record

Can the shipper be the importer of record?

Shippers have the option to assume the role of an importer of record, but doing so comes with additional responsibilities. This includes handling pre-shipment paperwork and preparations, paying duties and taxes, and potentially managing the delivery and accounting processes for the goods after clearance.

Due to the comprehensive nature of these tasks and the associated risks, shippers typically need more resources to offer such services. Consequently, they are often reluctant to take on the role of an importer of record.

What is the difference between importer of record and consignee?

It’s easy to assume that a consignee and Importer of Record (IOR) are the same entity as both deal with the importation of goods. However, there is a significant difference between the two.

The main differences are their separate responsibilities when it comes to importing goods, the respective levels of legal liability they both have and their differing roles in specific shipping transactions.  

An IOR is an entity that ensures the fulfilment of all customs obligations and paperwork when the goods are cleared into the country of import. An IOR has expert knowledge of customs laws and will be the entity that is seen to take care of submitting all relevant documentation at clearance of the goods either by themselves or via a customs broker.

A consignee is an entity that assumes the ownership of the goods once they arrive in the country of import, it’s their responsibility to examine the goods to make sure they match the shipping documentation and they will then usually be the entity that either uses or sells the goods in country. 

It’s possible for the same entity to be both the consignee and importer of record; however this can only happen where the consignee has an in-country presence or is provided with specific representation to allow them to clear the goods as the importer of record.

Who is the importer of record on a DDP shipment?

When selling using the incoterm ‘Delivered Duty Paid’ (DDP), the responsibility for clearing the goods usually lies with the seller. As such, they would be considered as the importer of record.

When delivering shipments using DDP, the sellers’ responsibilities usually include:

  • Drawing up sales contracts and related documents
  • Meeting all import and export requirements, including obtaining permits and licenses if required
  • Paying for all import and export duties and taxes
  • All transportation costs, including delivery to a final agreed-upon destination.
  • The cost of all government inspections
  • Proof of delivery
  • In case of damage or loss in transit, the supplier is responsible.

They may also have a requirement to register for VAT or another indirect tax for the onward sale of the goods in the country of import. 

Should you not be able to act in this capacity, Fiscal IOR can perform the role of importer of record enabling your business to clear its goods globally. Our sister company Fiscal Solutions can assist with VAT and EORI registration as well as import vat reclaims.

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Where we can represent you

Take a look at the core regions in which Fiscal IOR can act as an importer of record and where we are able to apply our process.

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