TradeLane

Trade Compliance of Visual Merchandise Slips under the Radar

Posted by Queena Lau

11/7/18 4:04 PM

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For most retailers, the focus on trade compliance is usually on store merchandise. Most overlook the fact that the compliance of visual merchandise (furniture, lighting, store décor, etc.) is just as important if they are imported from overseas and the company/brand acts as the importer-of-record to those goods.

Assigning the proper HS code, making use of tariff preferences, identifying risks of non-compliance or opportunities for duty savings… all that applies to the regular merchandise are just as applicable to the visuals.

To some extent, the compliance risk of visual merchandise could be more significant due to the higher value, potentially shorter lead time and scarcer quantities of those items (if you are rushing for a store opening!).

Lighting fixtures, wooden furniture, and the like could also be subject to licensing requirements or anti-dumping cases that are not applicable to general merchandise.

Ensuring the company’s brokers and logistics team understands the customs implications of the visual items is essential to managing overall trade compliance. 

Contact us if you would like to see how Tradewin could help.

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Topics: United States, China

Written by Queena Lau

Queena manages both our Tradewin Hong Kong team and leads our Retail sector in Asia. Queena has over 10 years of regional and China trade compliance experience. Prior to joining Tradewin in 2017, Queena worked in the customs and trade practice of a Big 4 firm in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Queena has a wealth of experience and expertise in customs and trade consulting and has managed well over 200 customs and trade projects in Asia. She has experience in customs defense and planning projects in the areas of customs valuation (including transfer pricing adjustments and trademark royalty reviews), origin, duty savings optimization, and supply chain trade compliance reviews. Queena is a speaker at external events, and has held multiple client workshops on retail and consumer trade compliance. She was a co-author for one of the sections in the book Governance, Risk and Compliance Management in China for German companies. Queena graduated from the University of New South Wales with double majors in Business Economics and Finance. She is also a certified member of CPA Australia.