In the complex international logistics sector,“Temporary Imports” emerge as a strategic and economical solution for companies seeking to maximize efficiency and flexibility in their operations.

Temporary importation allows companies to move goods across international borders for a specific period of time, with significant exemptions or reductions in duties and taxes.

Temporary Importation is not just a logistical option; it is a key business tactic that can significantly influence the profitability and efficiency of international projects. With globalization and increased cross-border trade, understanding this concept is more crucial than ever.

This article is intended for logistics professionals, international trade companies and anyone interested in the dynamics of global trade. We will delve into the different Temporary Import regimes, the processes and documentation required, the associated deadlines and the relationship with container transport, and finally, a comparison with other import regimes.


What is Temporary Importation?

Temporary Importation is a key concept in international logistics, but what exactly does it mean? In its essence, the Temporary importation allows companies to import goods into a country for a limited period without having to pay the full duties, taxes or fees that would normally apply. This regime is ideal for situations where the goods will not remain permanently in the country of destination.

The purpose of the Temporary Import can vary: from the display of products at fairs and exhibitions to the use of specialized machinery for specific projects. This regime is a valuable tool for companies seeking to test markets, participate in international events or carry out temporary projects without incurring the costs and commitments of a full import.

This modality offers flexibility and economic efficiency, allowing companies to adapt quickly to changing market needs and business opportunities without the constraints of a permanent import.


Temporary Import Regimes and Types of Imports

Temporary importation is presented under various regimes, each designed to meet different commercial and logistical needs. Understanding these regimens is vital to selecting the most appropriate option for each specific situation.


Active Improvement Regime

This regime allows companies to import raw materials or components, process or transform them into finished products, and then re-export them.

It is especially useful in internationally distributed manufacturing and assembly operations, where advantages such as skilled labor or lower production costs in different countries are sought.


Passive Improvement Regime

Unlike inward processing, this regime is used when goods are temporarily exported for processing or repair abroad and then reimported.

It is ideal for situations where specialized skills, materials or technologies are required that are not available locally.


Temporary Import Regime for Re-exportation in the Same State

Under this regime, goods are imported for temporary use and then re-exported unchanged.

It is commonly used for equipment in temporary projects, goods for trade shows or sporting events, offering a flexible solution for short-term operations in different countries.


Each of these temporary import regimes has its own characteristics and applications, and the appropriate choice will depend on the nature of the commercial operation and the specific import objectives.


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Process and Documentation

The temporary import process involves a series of steps and specific documentation that must be meticulously followed to ensure compliance with international trade laws and regulations.

Understanding this process is key to a smooth and successful temporary import operation.


Process Steps

Evaluation of requirements: Determine the appropriate type of temporary import regime, based on the type of goods and the purpose of the import.

Preparation of documentation: Includes the preparation and compilation of all documents required for temporary importation, which may vary according to the regime and country.

Application and approval: Submit the application for temporary importation to the customs authorities, accompanied by the necessary documentation.

Customs inspection and clearance: Goods may be inspected by customs prior to receiving permission to enter the country under the temporary import regime.

Compliance with conditions: During the temporary import period, it is crucial to comply with all conditions stipulated in the permit, including use and term restrictions.

Re-export or nationalization: At the end of the authorized period, the goods must be re-exported or, if allowed, nationalized (definitively imported), which implies the payment of the corresponding duties and taxes.


Necessary Documentation

Documentation for temporary importation varies, but generally includes:

Commercial Invoice: Details the goods being imported.

Packing List: Provides information on how the goods are packaged.

Insurance policy: Covers the goods during their transportation and stay in the country of importation.

Temporary Import Permit: Issued by the customs authorities.

Certificates of origin and compliance: If necessary, to demonstrate the origin of the goods and that they comply with local regulations.


It is essential that all documents are accurate and up to date to avoid delays or penalties. Accuracy and timeliness in the submission of documentation are essential for a smooth process.


Deadlines for Temporary Importation

One of the most crucial aspects of temporary importation is the management and understanding of deadlines. These deadlines vary depending on the type of temporary import regime and the country of destination, but their proper management is essential to avoid legal and financial complications.


Establishment of Deadlines

The deadlines for temporary importation are established by the customs authorities of the importing country. Generally, these deadlines are aligned with the purpose of the import:

For specific projects: The term usually coincides with the duration of the project.

For events: A time frame is established that covers the duration of the event, including time for set-up and dismantling.

For repairs or upgrading: The time frame is based on the estimated time to complete the work.

It is important to note that these deadlines can be extended under certain circumstances, but this requires a formal request and the approval of the customs authorities.


Importance of Deadline Management

Effective time management in temporary importation is essential for several reasons:

Avoid penalties: Exceeding deadlines can result in fines or full payment of duties and taxes.

Planning and logistics: Proper time management helps ensure that goods are available when needed and are re-exported or nationalized in a timely manner.

Regulatory compliance: Respecting deadlines is part of complying with the customs and trade regulations of the importing country.


Deadline Management Tips

Advance planning: Evaluate and plan the time required for each stage of the temporary import process.

Continuous monitoring: Closely follow deadlines throughout the process to anticipate and resolve any problems.

Communication with authorities: Maintain fluid and transparent communication with customs authorities for any clarification or deadline extension.

Effective time management is a fundamental pillar in the success of temporary import operations, ensuring that the process is smooth and free of unnecessary complications.


Containers and their Relation to Temporary Importation

Container shipping plays a crucial role in temporary importation, especially in a world where logistical efficiency and security of goods are paramount.

Containers not only facilitate the physical movement of goods across borders, but also play a key role in operational efficiency and compliance with temporary import regulations.


Container Measurement Chart


Use of Containers in Temporary Imports

Protection and security: Containers offer a safe way to transport goods, protecting them from damage during transit and storage.

Logistics efficiency: Container standardization allows for more efficient handling, storage and transportation, reducing costs and time.

Facilitating customs compliance: Sealed containers help ensure that temporarily imported goods are the same as those to be re-exported, facilitating the customs inspection and compliance process.


Specific Considerations

Selection of container type: Depending on the nature of the goods imported temporarily, it may be necessary to choose between different types of containers, such as refrigerated, dry cargo, or special cargo.

Deadline and space management: Coordination of container transport must be aligned with temporary import deadlines to ensure availability when needed, and their return or re-export within the established timeframe.

Associated costs: The use of containers involves rental, transportation and, in some cases, storage costs. These costs should be considered in the feasibility analysis of the temporary import operation.

Effective integration of containers into the temporary import strategy is a key factor in maximizing efficiency and minimizing associated risks and costs.


Comparison: Temporary Imports vs. Other Regimes

To conclude our comprehensive analysis of temporary importation, it is essential to understand how it differs from other import regimes. This comparative provides a clear view of the advantages and unique considerations of temporary importation versus other import methods.


Temporary Imports vs. Definitive Importation

Purpose and duration: While temporary importation is done for a limited period of time with the intention of re-exporting the goods, definitive importation involves bringing goods into the country for permanent use or sale.

Duties and taxes: Temporary importation usually benefits from reductions or exemptions in tariffs and taxes, unlike definitive importation, where all applicable fees must be paid.

Process and documentation: Although both require a detailed documentation process, temporary importation may require additional guarantees or documentation to ensure the re-exportation of the goods.


Temporary Imports vs. Free Trade Zones

Location and storage: Free trade zones are designated areas where goods can be stored, handled or manufactured without being subject to tariffs. Temporary importation, on the other hand, allows goods to enter the general customs market for a limited time.

Flexibility and use: Temporary importation offers greater flexibility to use goods throughout the country, while in free trade zones, goods are more restricted in terms of mobility and use.


General Considerations

When choosing between temporary import and other regimes, companies should consider factors such as the duration of the project, the nature of the goods, the associated costs, and the specific requirements of the importing country.

Temporary importation provides a flexible and economical solution for temporary projects, events, and situations where the mobility of goods is required without the intention of a permanent stay in the destination country.


Across Logistics: Your Strategic Partner in Logistics Management

At Across Logistics we have a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities presented by international logistics. Our experience and customized approach make us the ideal partner for companies looking to successfully navigate the complex world of temporary import and other logistics needs.

With years of experience in the sector, we offer tailor-made solutions that adapt to the specific needs of each client. From managing temporary imports to handling larger logistics operations, we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver services that not only meet, but exceed expectations.


Why Choose Across Logistics?

Experience and Expertise: Our team is composed of international logistics experts, trained to handle all aspects of temporary importation and beyond. We understand the particularities of each regime and work tirelessly to ensure that your operation is smooth and efficient.

Customized Solutions: We understand that each company has its own unique needs. That’s why we offer customized solutions that are specifically tailored to your requirements, ensuring maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Commitment to Excellence: At Across Logistics, we are committed to excellence in all aspects of our service. From initial planning to execution, every step is handled with the highest precision and attention to detail.

Global Network: Our extensive global network allows us to offer logistics services anywhere in the world, giving our customers the flexibility and reach they need to expand and thrive in the global marketplace.

Continuous Support: We provide continuous support and transparent communication throughout the entire process, ensuring that you are always informed and in control of your logistics operations.

At Across Logistics, we are not just a logistics service provider; we are a strategic partner committed to the success of your business. We pride ourselves on being a key part of facilitating your business operations, helping you navigate challenges and seize opportunities in the global arena. Together, we can take your business to the next level.