Overseas Manufacturing and Clearing Goods Through Customs

When importing into a country, there are a number of terms, regulations and procedures an importer should be familiar with. The following is a guide of different issues to be aware of when importing.

For first time importers, it is highly advisable to pay a customs broker to enter and clear goods through customs. Customs brokers are licensed by the countries in which they operate, and they act on behalf of the importer to file the necessary documents for products to enter a country at the port-of-entry. Depending on their relationship with their client, they may also pay customs duties and other importing expenses on their client's behalf. Finally, they advise importers about issues of which they may need to be aware such as country or origin marks and other issues importers need to be aware of.

When choosing a customs broker, the importer should first make sure they can enter goods at the arrival port. In the US, customs brokers are licensed by the US Customs and Border Protection Service.

Prior to placing an order with a manufacturer, the relevant nation's customs agency and the importer's customs broker should be consulted to avoid possible problems such as the following:

  • Any legal issues that may exist with the product in the country of import.
  • Finding out after the product arrives at port that the it is subject to import quotas.
  • Possible health, safety or other regulations which apply to the product to be imported.

One easy to avoid, but common problem encountered when importing is the failure to mark the product in compliance with country of origin regulations. To avoid this, contact the relevant customs agency of the nation where the merchandise will be imported to ensure the goods are in compliance. For example, custom laws in the US require each imported good be marked with the English name of the country of origin (eg China) as reasonably, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article permits. Furthermore, this marking must be visible to the ultimate purchaser of the product.

The tariff rate levied by customs must be paid before the importer can take possession of the goods. While tariff rates in countries like the US average around 5% for most products, they can be significantly higher for some goods, particularly those with higher labor content. Therefore, it is important to know the rate before product arrives at port.

Before the goods are shipped, ensure the packing regulations for the destination country have been adhered. For example, every box, bale or case may need to be numbered with the exact quantity in each.

Other regulations include the type of pallets that can be used.

Problems with customs clearance often center around paperwork. Different goods often require different types of documentation, but the three major types of documentation the shipper must prepare include the following:

1. A bill of lading: This document, issued by the carrier or shipper, is basically a receipt of the goods acknowledging that they have been received on the vessel for shipment. This document indicates the particular vessel on which the goods have been placed, the destination of the goods, and the terms for transporting the goods to their final destination.

2. A commercial invoice: This is used as a customs declaration by the entity that is exporting an item across international borders. This document is required by customs to determine the value of the goods to assess duties and taxes, and goods must be invoiced in a systematic manner.

3. Packing list: This document is an itemized detail of the merchandise in a particular shipment. A copy is usually attached to the outside of the shipping container or inside the container itself so the merchandise may be counted by the person opening it.

It is crucial to make sure these documents, and any others that may be needed for a particular shipment, are carefully completed and reviewed before the goods arrive.

To avoid excess storage fees, arrange for a freight forwarder or some other type of transporter to ship the goods to their final destination as soon as they have cleared customs.

Being aware of these points, as well working closely with customs and a customs broker, will make the importing process smoother and will reduce the possibility of unnecessary difficulty or expense.

Diamond Earrings and Other Fine Jewelry

Diamond rings are the most common form of diamond jewelry, but diamond earrings, bracelets and necklaces are also quite popular. In fact, diamond jewelry has been around since the days of the Roman Empire, although it took almost 1500 years before diamond jewelers had figured out how to cut diamonds into attractive shapes that displayed their "fire," or shine and brilliance. Diamond earrings are but one way that people adorn themselves with this mystical, precious gem.

A Fascinating History

Chances are that the first diamond jewelry was from India. The tremendous geologic forces required to form diamonds exists mainly in regions of the world where one tectonic plate slams into another; the Himalayas, where the Indian subcontinent plows into Central Asia, is one such place. Loose diamonds from deep underneath these mountains have been known to appear in the rivers that flow south and westward from the Himalayas: the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Irriwaddy have all been sources of these rough, octagonal crystals.

Before diamond jewelers had learned the art of precision cutting, diamond earrings were not particularly beautiful; rough and dull-looking, they were nonetheless prized for their hardness.

One early example of diamond jewelry in the West was actually a crown made for a Hungarian princess well over 1000 years ago. One of the first diamond wedding ring was the one given to Marie of Burgundy on the occasion of her wedding to Archduke Maximilian I of Austria in 1477. It was not until over fifty years later however during the reign of Henry VIII of England that diamond cutting had reached a level that was suitable for jewelry such as diamond earrings.

Dull and Lifeless

If you had been buying diamonds back then, you'd have been disappointed; those early cuts did not show the kind of brilliance that we see in fine diamond jewelry today. It was not until the 1800s that art of diamond cutting had reached a level of refinement that allowed the gem's real beauty to shine through the way it does in contemporary diamond jewelry.

Fiery and Brilliant

Today, there are many different cuts to choose from when buying diamonds . Round cuts and square cuts both have characteristics in their favor, but a reliably new cut, called the "princess," has been gaining in popularity over the past thirty years or so. This particular cut combines the best features of round and square cuts, and causes the least wastage of all cutting methods – so the gem retains much more of its original weight. All three cuts however will make for highly attractive and valuable diamond earrings .

Three Benefits of Private High Schools

Are you a parent who children are getting ready for a new school year? Are you troubled by the prospect of sending them to a public institution? If so, then it might be beneficial for you to consider sending them to one of the private high schools in your area. There are several benefits to this type of education. First, these institutions are generally better funded than their public counterparts, they employ high quality teachers, and they are free from any outside political influence. For all of these reasons, they make an excellent option for your children's education.

When it comes to funding, private high schools generally do much better than public institutions. While they may be more expensive, this is more than made up for the quality of their facilities and the resources that they make available for students. The educational opportunities that they offer are greatly enhanced due to the availability of quality textbooks, scientific equipment, and classroom technology. So, if you are looking to equip your children with as many resources as possible, these institutions hold a definite advantage.

You will also be very pleased with the quality teachers that private high schools employ. In general, these institutions offer higher wages for their teachers, and, as a result, they are able to attract more candidates for their positions. This results in the acquisition of extremely well qualified instructors who are able to offer some of the very best educational opportunities to your children.

Finally, private high schools are also free of some of the outside political influences that public institutions have. Since public institutions operate on government money, they are accountable to the local politicians. In recent years, the political environment has changed dramatically, and this has been resolved in a decrease in funding to educational programs. As a result, the expectations for public institutions have changed dramatically, and much of the public curriculum is focused on answering the political demands that are being made. This leads to educational institutions that are focused on meeting certain quantifiable outcomes rather than offering a quality education. This problem can be avoided by choosing a non-public institution.

Overall, private high schools offer several advantages over their public counterparts. So, it is important that you take these into consideration when deciding where to send your children as they may offer a much better option for your student's education. You will surely be grateful for the opportunities that they afford.

Frequently Asked Questions About Trade Show Fabric Graphics

If you have attended a trade show, convention, or event in the past four years, you have seen large, colorful fabric graphics. Fabric graphics have become the standard for most large format images. They are lightweight, vibrant, and durable, and are the perfect medium for trade shows, where every exhibitor wants minimal weight but still wants to make a big splash.

The options can be a bit overwhelming and getting more varied all the time. But for most of us, fabric graphics can be lumped into two categories: tension fabric or pillowcase graphics. The following is a convenient FAQ to get you quickly up to speed.

What is a tension fabric graphic?

Tension fabric graphics attach to a frame so the fabric is taut edge-to-edge, creating "tension." Typically, the graphic has Velcro hook sewn along the border, usually top and bottom, and attaches to Velcro loop on the frame.

What is a pillowcase fabric graphic?

Think of a printed pillowcase with zippers. A pillowcase graphic wraps around a frame structure and the inner and outer sections zip together along the least obvious edge. This creates a tailor fit. Almost all hanging sign structures are wrapped in pillowcase fabric graphics.

How does a tension fabric graphic differ from a pillowcase fabric graphic?

Tension fabric graphics attach to the frame, leaving the frame exposed. The fabric is held taut by attaching it to the frame using Velcro. Pillowcase graphics slip over the frame and hide the frame structure. The fabric is secured by a zipper (s).

What are the benefits of fabric graphics vs. traditional first surface graphics?

  • Flexibility . An array of fabric options and finishing exists. Fabric graphics can be adapted to just about any hardware
  • Storage and Shipping . Fabric is lighter than many other graphics. Fold your graphics neatly when in storage and take up much less space.
  • Care . Fabric graphics can be washed and steamed and are just as durable and long lasting as traditional graphics.
  • Lightweight. Larger graphics weigh less, perfect for draping or creating space definition.
  • Cost . More image bang for the buck!
  • Green . There are the obvious transportation and storage benefits. Even more exciting is the growing list of fabric options created from recycled materials.
  • No Glare . Fabric is the perfect choice for media walls or any background that is photographed or filmed.
  • Versatility . Fabric can be applied to most display and hardware options and is perfect for skinning or covering displays or objects. Custom covers can be created to drape over objects, wrap, or completely pillowcase them!

Do fabric graphics offer the same color saturation, vibrancy, definition, and overall image quality as other graphics?

Fabric not only matches other graphic options, it often excludes it. Dye sublimation equipment is more advanced than ever offering near continuous tone (limited by the texture of the material you choose) and exceptional detail created from high dpi outputs and sophisticated image patterns. Color is permanently dyed into the fabric creating a deep saturated image.

How do tension fabric graphics attach or hang on the frame?

Tension graphics will typically have Velcro sewn into the perimeter, although there are other options such as a pole pocket connection with a spline or a silicon edge. The finish used is dependent on the frame system requirements and or customer preference.

How do pillowcase fabric graphics attach or hang on the frame?

Pillowcase graphics are sewn a seam along the bottom edge of the frame to attach the inner and outer sides of the pillowcase. The top has zippers to secure the two sides with slots made to accommodate eye-bolt or hanging hardware. Depending on the size and shape of the frame, vertical zippers may also be necessary. The seams are sewn to the inside of the pillowcase to create a smooth, fitted finish.

What is the maximum size of a seamless tension graphic? Are there limitations to the maximum print width?

The maximum size depends on the fabric and printing process. In general, the maximum width varies from 118 "to 58" depending on the process.

What is the maximum size of a seamless pillowcase graphic? Are there limitations to the maximum print width?

All pillowcase graphics have seams, usually just at the top and bottom of the structure. However, some frames are too large to cover without a seam. Frames such as a tapered circle need to be pieced because the shape of the print is an arc, making it too large to print in one piece.

How should tension fabric graphics and pillowcase graphics be cared for?

It is recommended that graphics be zipped up, folded, and stored in a bag. You may spot clean by wiping with a damp cloth. If it is necessary to wash the graphic and it is small enough, use a commercial size front-loading washing machine. Wash on the gentle cycle, with cool water. It is VERY important that the graphic be ZIPPED during washing. Dry cleaning is not recommended.

To limit getting the graphic dirty during installation, keep the set-up area clean by using a drop cloth and wash your hands prior to set up. You may want to consider purchasing inexpensive white cotton gloves. Weaving the gloves while handling the graphic will minimize the transfer of dirt and oils to your graphic.

What is the preferred file set up for tension graphics and pillowcase graphics?

Files should be set up with at least 1 inch of bleed on all sides and marked with guides or crop marks to indicate art area versus bleed. The best file formats are Photoshop layered files, InDesign, Illustrator, or Quark documents. Files need to be set up as close to 100 percent as possible with a minimum resolution of 100 dots per inch.

Other things to consider are the live area, the diameter of the frames poles, and borders. If your critical art is too close to the edge of the frame, it may disappear as the graphic bends around the frame. Try to keep critical information 3 to 5 inches from the edge and either make borders wider or do not use borders.