“Is a Trading Company the Same as an Import Export Company?”

If you ask 10 different people, you will get 10 different answers. But if you are talking about China based companies, then a trading company and an import-export company are the same in that an import-export license is needed from the Chinese government to bring products into and out of China.

However, there are a lot of service companies, who describe themselves with terms like: import-export, trading, broker, consultant, buying agent, sourcing agent and so on, but they may or may not have the actual import-export license. If they don’t have the license, they often engage an import-export firm behind the scenes to clear outbound customs from China. That can add costs and compromise warranty terms if the company you think is your vendor is actually not the same as the company that sells you the product.

For more information, here are some resources:

Blog Post: When to work with a trading company or to go China factory direct

Article: What most sourcing agents and brokers don’t want you to know about middlemen [pdf] [html]

White Paper: Selecting Service Providers to Support China Sourcing Projects

Hope this helps. Let me know how things work out for you.

Question answered by Mike Bellamy, host of “Ask the Experts” at the China Sourcing Information Center.

Mike Bellamy is an Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center (www.ChinaSourcingInfo.org). He is also the author of, “The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing” (chinasourcinginfo.org/book) and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions (www.PSSchina.com )

 

 

5 Comments

  1. Rimsha Rafiq on December 16, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Dear Sir,
    In today’s world where good quality,timely delivery and a competitive price matters a Lot you need to have a supplier who can deliver goods exactly as per your requirements, this is What exactly we can do,
    Having been in a good worker in my company, we use the best quality of local as well as Imported dress, uniforms,Tracksuits T.shirts sports bags sports helmets etc.
    See our web page as othere quality things,you requried The confidence of quality is reflected in Our huge export for world leading,our website will enable you to know More about us,
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  2. Heidi on March 20, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Mufeeth,
    Thanks for your question. You have to be real careful using an Agent as many are hustlers who say they work for you, but really work for the factory. An honest buyer representative will charge between 3 and 10% of PO value depending on order size. QC is an additional fee usually involved for a few 100 USD per day, most inspections only need 1 day per order.

    Here is a link to pdf that explains how to find the right agent: http://chinasourcinginfo.org/2011/09/20/selecting-service-providers-to-support-china-sourcing-projects/

    Thanks for your questions. Hope this helps.

    Question answered by Mike Bellamy, host of “Ask the Experts” at the China Sourcing Information Center.

    Mike Bellamy is an Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center (www.ChinaSourcingInfo.org). He is also the author of, “The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing” (chinasourcinginfo.org/book) and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions (www.PSSchina.com )



  3. Mufeeth on March 16, 2013 at 2:07 am

    I the agent of India doing the import bussiness, I have many Clients with me who are interested to purchase products in china. Already I did many projects like hotels, hospitals, apartments e.t.c.. With a company in china so I would like to know the percentage of payment giving to the agents?..



  4. Terri Lane on December 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I also get confused between the two terms. That is why i am thankful that you share the links above for me to read on them.



  5. Vanessa Mumford on December 20, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Thank you for sharing these links. I am a little confuse about it and would love to know more by reading the links you have shared.



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