The emergence of the internet and online sales means anyone with an internet connection can make a purchase from anywhere in the world. This opened the doors for every company to deliver its goods to any corner of the world. This means that the market has become global, surpassing the boundaries of cities, counties, states and even countries. And this also applies to liquidation companies.
But expanding into the global market requires careful planning. An exporter needs to comply with certain regulations and follow certain rules.
Besides, any prospective exporter has to look into the demand from the market they are targeting. If you are running a liquidation business and would like to export US liquidation pallets into a country such as the Dominican Republic, you must research the target market, look for the dynamics in that market and look for a partner of good reputation that will make it easier to place your merchandise in that market.
While we urge you to contact the relevant authorities for more information, this article will serve as a guide in the process of exporting US liquidation merchandise to the Dominican Republic.
To export merchandise to another country is not as simple as putting a stamp on a pallet of US liquidation merchandise and mailing it to a foreign country. Rather, it entails a lot more than that. The process starts once you find a buyer. You are then required to complete export and transportation documents. Among the most common export documents, you will find commercial invoices, export packing list and so forth, while the exportation documents include Bill of lading or electronic export information.
To start off, let’s look at the commercial invoice. This is a bill for the merchandise provided by a seller to a buyer. In most cases, governments use these commercial invoices to determine the value of the goods being shipped in order to determine the customs duties. In case a country requires the commercial invoice for such purposes, it will provide specifications regarding what type of information should be included in a commercial invoice.
There is also a pro forma invoice, which is often delivered to the buyer by the seller prior to the shipment of merchandise. It can be used as an offering of sale or a price quotation as these documents include information about the goods that are about to be dispatched, as well as their value and some other key details.
Among the export documents, you will find that countries require you to have an export packing list. If you are running a liquidation company or an online liquidation platform, such as Direct Liquidation, then the export packing list is not much more than a manifest. It also has to contain information about the merchandise you are sending, but it also includes the details of the seller, the buyer, and the shipping company, as well as the invoice number, mode of transportation and relevant dates. In terms of the product description that has to be included, an export packing list states the quantity, type of product and type of packaging the product is in, the number of packages as well as the total net and gross weight of the pallet in kilograms. This document, although it includes similar information to that contained in the commercial invoice, cannot substitute the latter. It can, however, be used by the authorities and customs personnel to verify the cargo.
In terms of transportation documents, you have to provide a bill of lading or an airway bill. A bill of lading is a contract signed between the owner of the merchandise and the carrier company. If you are exporting the merchandise by sea, you have the option of using a straight bill of lading, which cannot be negotiated, meaning once the deal is signed there are no alterations. You can, however, use a negotiable or shipper’s order bill of lading instead, which can be traded with. It can be sold or bought while the merchandise is in transit. If a customer wants to take hold of the goods, they need to provide the original negotiable bill of lading as proof of ownership.
Another type of transportation document is the electronic export information filing, previously known as shipper’s export declaration. This is probably the most common transportation document required for all deliveries over $2,500 as well as for shipments that require specific permits and licenses. Census and Customs have set up an online platform the AES Direct, through which the electronic export information is filed.
Some countries also require you to provide a specific export license, which is a government issued document for goods such as nuclear material. Some countries will also require you to provide a certificate of origin. If you are exporting to any country, make sure you gather all the required information specific to the country of destination and provide documentation accordingly.
When it comes to documentation required by the Dominican Republic, certification is required for commerce and industry as well as agricultural products. According to the U.S. International Trade Administration, U.S. exports can receive preferential tariff treatment under the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) if the importer presents certification that supports the claim of preference to the Dominican General Customs Directorate (Dirección General de Aduanas). The Dominican Republic importer and the U.S. exporter need to collaborate in this case in order to ensure that the goods being imported meet the rules of origin.
The information provided in the certification documents include the certifying person and their contact, tariff classification under the Harmonized System as well as the description of the product, origin information, certification date. If the parties acquired a blanket certification period, the exact blanket certification term should be specified.
The CAFTA is the first free trade deal between the United States and a group of countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The agreement came into force in March 2007.
As a result of the agreement, import licenses are not required, unless you plan on importing pharmaceutical products, some chemical products, and agrochemicals. The free trade agreement provides significant advantages to U.S. exporters. However, it is advisable to consult the authorities regarding specific requirements and potential roadblocks you might encounter.
While the free trade deal gives significant advantages to the U.S. exporters, other countries face customs duties and taxes on imports. These are calculated based on the ‘ad valorem price’, the CIF (Cost, Insurance, Freight) price multiplied by the unified foreign exchange rate. The calculation is made in U.S. dollars while the duties and taxes are collected in Dominican pesos.
The basic import tax (tariff or arancel in Spanish) can be as low as 0 percent and as high as 99 percent. However, since coming into force, the CAFTA-DR cleared most of the U.S. exports to the Dominican Republic of duties. There are still some goods that face customs duties and tax, but under the free trade agreement, these will be phased out by 2025.
The Dominican Republic also charges a luxury or excise tax (Impuesto Selectivo al Consumo, in Spanish), which is basically a consumption tax for luxury imports ranging between 15 and 60 percent based on the CIF price. These goods include vehicles, alcoholic beverages, jewelry and tobacco products.
However, while providing benefits, the free trade deal has not eliminated all obstacles as goods that are viewed as competition to locally produced merchandise are restricted and require importers to obtain special import permits. These permits will not always be easy to obtain, if at all.
Dominican Customs (Dirección General de Aduanas, or DGA) is the relevant authority. It has 24 offices in the country, eleven of which are located in ports, seven in airport zones and six on the border with Haiti. Clearances, according to the Dominican Republic’s customs office, take up to three days after the documentation has been submitted. However, this process can be shortened to a matter of hours if you use the Online Customs Clearance service set up by the customs office.
As you are acquainted with the regulations and requirements for exporting US liquidation pallets to the Dominican Republic, let us take a closer look at the liquidation merchandise itself. If you are already in the business you might want to skip this part, but if you are looking to start your own business and are searching for options, do read on.
In many cases, at the mention of liquidation merchandise, people turn away and go, since the majority of such merchandise is customer returned products and scrap. However, over the recent years, the trend has changed a bit, and you can find quality products at rock-bottom prices.
Liquidated merchandise is usually the merchandise that remained unsold through the regular channels of a business or has been returned by the customers for one reason or another. In order not to take a complete loss on these products, retailers and manufacturers pack them up and sell them at significantly discounted prices, that is, they liquidate them. Now, looking for liquidation merchandise is the same as when you are looking for a new car. You want reliability, safety, class, and quality at a reasonable price. You prefer reputable brands and models that have, through the years, earned a good reputation. The same goes for liquidation companies and platforms. Look for the ones with the best reputation and customer reviews and then buy.
US liquidation merchandise has gained in popularity for several reasons. One is the price, which makes it affordable and anyone with almost any budget can find something to buy and flip making some cash in the process. The second is the fact that US products have in general garnered a reputation of being the best products that offer the most for the investment you make. This is part of their appeal to a wider audience and the reason why exporting such merchandise is a good way to earn money.
When choosing the right liquidation products you might buy and sell through your line of business, there are several aspects to look at: the demand, your customer base, and the budget. When researching a market, exporting/importing products into an already saturated market will make no sense. However, targeting a smaller, niche and an undersupplied market can allow you to establish a foothold in a country.
Now, if you already have established a business, and would like to cater to their demands with US liquidation merchandise, you will look for the products they require, not just any cheap products. And the budget has to be taken into account. Some people can afford truckloads of merchandise; some might buy a lot or a pallet to resell at their local flea market. The good thing is, there is something for everyone. And to give a direct answer to the question in the title: the best-liquidated merchandise you pick up is the one your customers demand.
We mentioned that the majority of liquidated merchandise are actually customer returned products and scrap, but this does not mean you are not able to secure quality merchandise to export/import. The fact is, and the reason we suggest working with reputable companies is that liquidators, liquidation companies, and liquidation platforms build a reputation and want to protect it. Those at the top are looking to enhance their services and are working towards providing the best merchandise to their customers.
This is why top-tier companies partner up with to retailers and manufacturers looking to liquidate their merchandise. One of such partnerships is the Direct Liquidation – Walmart partnership. Walmart uses the Direct Liquidation platform to reach a wider audience online and liquidate its merchandise.
This in itself is a guarantee of quality, but there is a lot more to it. Like the export packing list, each top liquidation company or platform will provide you with a manifest that contains information about the contains of a pallet or a lot being offered. It will include information about the type of the products, the quantity, and the merchandise condition. Sometimes you might come across refurbished products that have been restored to their original condition, but other times you might find pallets of unsorted customer returns or tested but not working products. Even these products can bring in some cash as they are sold at the lowest prices, but with some effort and skill, you could combine functioning parts together to assemble functioning products that could bring in way more than you initially invested.
So, if you are a liquidator looking to start exporting, or a businessperson looking for a new opportunity, you should find a reputable liquidation company and familiarize yourself with the export requirements before jumping into the venture of exporting US liquidated merchandise into the Dominican Republic.
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