Well… quite a lot really!
Getting your addresses organised early is an excellent step towards minimising hassle with Customs when your freight arrives at the port. There are three addresses that EquipMySchool considers important. The delivery address and contact details, the billing address and the address and contact details of your clearing agent.
Obviously, this is the address where you would like the goods delivered. This may also be referred to as a ship-to or consignee address. In some circumstances this may also be your “Street Address”.
EquipMySchool will print this address on the label on the outside of every carton and also on every packing list. The address will be printed on every page of the Commercial Invoice and also on the Bill of Lading or Air Waybill.
Custom’s officers will see this address on the paperwork and the packaging and they will expect it to be the end user of the goods in the consignment. If your school holds the necessary import licences then the address should be the school address. If your school’s parent company hold the licences then that is the address you should use.
If your country does not need import permits or licences then perhaps you should consider how organisations are taxed and what exemptions may exist! Perhaps a school is taxed more or less heavily than a company in your country. Perhaps a registered company can claim refunds or exemptions to tax on goods or certain categories of goods. These are all considerations that may effect which address you use for your delivery address.
The most important thing is to make these enquiries and decisions early in the process so that EquipMySchool can ensure all your labels and packings slips match your commercial invoice and Bill of Lading!
Someone will have to clear your goods through Customs once they have arrived. It is unlikely that a member of school staff will have sufficient knowledge and experience to clear the goods themselves. Even if you do not appoint one, an agent will almost certainly become involved in the process. I would strongly recommend you build a relationship with an agent local to you as this company’s actions can have a significant effect on how much it might cost to clear the goods and also how long it might take. If you can persuade the agent to act promptly you reduce the chance of being charged for storage at the air port or docks.
If you do not already have a relationship with an agent, EquipMySchool can put you in touch with our recommended agent local to you.
It is important that we know who you will be using to clear your goods before the goods are exported. The address and contact details of the agent will be annotated on the shipping documents to ensure there is no confusion (or competition) from other agents upon arrival.
This address will appear on your initial Pro Forma Invoice and your final Sales Invoices. This is the easiest address to change at any time while your orders are being processed.
If sending currency out of your country or importing goods in to your country is particularly difficult or if your government are particularly protective over outgoing currency then it may become more important for you to use the correct billing address.
EquipMySchool staff have a great deal of experience regarding how consignments should be addressed and organised to make the potentially complex task of Customs clearance as straight-forward as possible. The rules differ depending upon the destination country. Please feel free to discuss the issue with us. The most important thing is deciding on the correct addresses early in the process.