To import into the European Union (EU) or Great Britain (GB) for a company without a presence in Europe or GB there are three key roles that must be considered as part of this process namely the roles of
  • Customs representative means any person appointed by another person to carry out the acts and formalities required under the customs legislation in his or her dealings with customs authorities.
    • Direct representation, in which case the customs representative acts in the name of and on behalf of another person,
    • Indirect representation, in which case the customs representative acts in his or her own name but on behalf of another person.
  • Declarant means the person lodging a customs declaration in his or her own name (indirect representation) or the person in whose name such a declaration is lodged (direct representation).
  • Importer means the party who makes, or on whose behalf an import declaration is made. Importer is basically the declarant. Only in the case of indirect representation, the declarant (the indirect representative) and the importer (the represented party) are different persons.

Each of these roles have specific responsibilities with respect to the movement of the product into the EU and typically, are filled by at least 2 different parties. One must also consider that while the EU is a common trading block, there are nuanced requirements within each country that must be understood and adhered to.

During the shipping process, one must also consider the appropriate International Commercial Terms or Incoterms that describes the assignment of costs and responsibilities between buyer and seller of the material. These are internationally recognised and agreed terms and comprise 11 different terms. Table 1 below illustrates the different terms and the associated responsibilities between the buyer and seller of the goods.

Table 1. List of Incoterms and Buyer/Seller Responsibilities

It is important for the Incoterms to be mutually agreed between the buyer and seller in advance of any shipments taking place.

In the context of MIAS, MIAS has established offices in both EU (Dublin, Ireland) and GB (Cambridge, England) and so can function as Importer and  Declarant on your companies’ behalf in both territories. In addition, we have partnerships with customs experts that can function as Representative and ensure cost effective, time efficient and compliant clearance through customs.

For any questions get in touch with us or fill in the form below.

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