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This questionnaire is a preliminary draft.

It is being provided as an example of the sorts of inquiries importers and exporters should come to expect from their customs brokers or freight forwarders. Responses to these questions should be prepared on additional sheets of paper, as needed: GENERAL INFORMATION 1. Please state the full legal name of the Company. 2. What is the current business address and telephone number of the principal office. 3. If there are branch offices, please state the address and telephone number of each such office. 4. Please state whether the Company is a corporation, limited liability Company, partnership or sole proprietorship. 5. If the Company is a corporation or limited liability Company, when did it incorporate? In what state? Please list the names of its officers and directors. 6. If the Company is a partnership, please list the names and home addresses, telephone and fax numbers of the general partners. 7. If the Company is a sole proprietorship, what is the name and home address, telephone and fax number of the owner of the Company? 8. When did the Company begin importing into the U.S.? 9. What are the principal products in the product line? Are there plans to import different products in the future? If so, please also list those additional products and when you expect to start importing them. 10. From what country or countries do you import? Are there plans to import from elsewhere in the future? If so, when and from where? 11. Does the Company have binding rulings from U.S. Customs for any of its products? If so, please provide copies of all such rulings. 12. Has the Company applied for/completed a Pre-Importation Review Program with Customs? If so, please provide copies of the results. 13. How many marking notices has the Company received from Customs in the last five years? Please provide copies of each and explain how each was resolved. 14. How many times, if at all, in the last five years has Customs seized the Company's goods? Please provide copies of the notices, petitions and all other documents which reflect the specifics of each case and its final outcome. 15. How many times in the last five years has Customs imposed penalties on the Company? Please provide copies of the notices, petitions and all other documents which reflect the specifics of each case and its final outcome. 16. Has the Company or any of its past or present officers, directors, employees or agents ever been the subject of a criminal prosecution by U.S. Customs or by any other governmental agency? If so, please provide copies of pertinent documents which reflect the specifics of each case and its final outcome. 17. In valuing its goods, does Company incur any of the following costs or services: [Please check only those which apply]

Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit or the U. Is the Company currently paying duty to Customs through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) procedure? If not. . 24. Has anyone from Company recently attended any training sessions or seminars offered by trade organizations or other providers dealing with Customs and/or exporting issues? If so. If so. statements. Export packing costs not otherwise included in the cost of goods as invoiced c. machinery. 20. Does the Company have a separate department that deals with Customs issues? If so. 31. if at all.S. 25.S. please explain in detail the nature of the cost or service incurred and how the Company pays for it.S. title and direct dial telephone number. copyright. please provide examples of the issue(s) pending. How often does Customs inspect Company’s goods? 27.a. Does the Company have any protests pending with Customs? If so. patterns. dies. 28. Is Company currently using the services of a Customs attorney? If so. 22. entry summaries. software. please provide details. Customs at time of entry f. logo. Customs at time of entry. Proceeds that it pays its suppliers but the cost is not included on the commercial invoice which is given to U. If so. firm name. address and telephone and fax numbers. Does the Company have any cases pending regarding the import and/or export of its goods before the Court of International Trade. what is it called? 23. please explain in detail the nature of the assistance and how the Company is paid. correspondence. Does Company import goods bearing its own trade name or logo. please advise why you are not using it. Is Company currently using the services of a Customs consultant? If so. by the supplier for it. 21. 19. Royalties or licensing fees d. Currency adjustments e. are you familiar with ACH? If applicable. firm name. please provide his/her name. 29. If so.S.S. please provide copies of the pertinent approvals. please provide details. Buying or selling agents' commissions b. tooling. molds. Supreme Court? If so. design work. Has anyone from Company recently attended any training sessions or seminars offered by U. 18. please provide examples of the issue(s) pending. Customs? If so. Inspection fees h. product specifications or samples. Quality control charges If any of these costs or services are incurred by the Company and not already included as part of the price shown on the commercial invoice(s) given to U. Do you have written permission from the other Company to import goods bearing its mark(s)? If so. Does the Company provide anything to its suppliers to assist in the making of its goods? For example. Does Company import goods which bear the trade name. This list of examples is not intended to be all inclusive. 26. 30. Quota charges g. address and telephone and fax numbers. What records does the Company maintain (for example. U. invoices. trademark and/or trade dress of a different Company. please describe. Who is the individual within the Company in charge of Customs issues? Please state his/her name. please provide his/her name. please describe the trade name and/or logo or provide examples.

Are you a member of a shippers association? Yes or No. what terms? 43. Are you a signatory to an ocean service contract? Yes or No. Which ocean carriers transport the majority of your goods? 40. please provide details. what sort of coverage does Company require? 47. 32. ocean. with which carrier(s)? Please provide a copy of your service contract(s). accounts payable.purchase orders. BXA. Does Company have any cargo security programs it generally employs for the shipment of its goods? 51. If so. truck or rail transportation purposes? If so.air? ocean? both? 36. with which banks does Company normally negotiate its letter(s) of credit? . Has Company or any of its vendors or buyers been the subject of enforcement action by any federal licensing agency? If so. which association(s)? 37. Do you expect us to provide credit terms? If so. will Company handle the licensing formalities or will it expect us to do so? If you expect us to do so.g.air? ocean? rail? truck? 35. proof of payment to supplier(s). accounts receivable. Who is your current customs broker? 33. What firm(s) do you use to rail your cargo to destination once it arrives at its final port or airport? 45. What firm(s) do you use to truck your cargo to destination once it arrives at its final port or airport? 44. please provide details about the license(s) involved. 48. Does Company have insurance coverage for its cargo? If so. Who is your current freight forwarder? 34. does it cover the cargo while it is en route or only once it arrives at your facility or the destination you direct? 46. which mode and are any of Company’s personnel trained regarding hazardous cargo handling and/or documentation? 50. 38. Do Company’s transactions involve negotiation of letters of cred it? If so. If so. will we be expected to negotiate letters of credit for Company? Yes or No. State)? If so. letters of credit. Will Company require us to provide insurance coverage for its shipments? Yes or No. inventory receiving records. How do you ship your goods . If so. Why are you interested in changing brokers? 41. not an all inclusive list) which support its import entries? Please also describe the Company’s record retention policy and who should be contacted about record keeping. Do you use consolidation services? If so . Do Company's products require any special license(s) in order to be exported (e. Which air carriers transport the majority of your goods? 39. If so. currency adjustment payments. 49. Why are you interested in changing forwarders? 42. Do Company's goods qualify as hazardous for air.

GAP. H&M. This will help to know whether factory is working with Big brands like. official. Still I always look for ethical sourcing.Supplier Product profile: Image courtesy: Will Baxter Yes. fire safety and evacuation plan. Working conditions: Occupational health and safety. The minimum compliance requirement to be met by the suppliers  Compliance with laws: Factory must be compliance with local laws. List of machines types: It is understandable that if a supplier making similar types of products that I am looking for. factory layout. No Forced Labor should be allowed in the factory. This information would help me to understand their expertise in making my orders. Still I would like to know technology level my prospective supplier have. M&S. I would ask for the copy of No Objection Certificates (NOC) provided by labor department. Though this is always not required that a supplier must have record of making same product range. they have all kinds of machines required to make those products. of sewing machines would help me to understand how many days a factory possibly needs for production . first I will ask what type of products factories make.   Labor : No Child labor. The easy the way to know if the factory is fully compliant. Zara etc. I would ask suppliers for exiting customer list (buyers profile). Fire department and other necessary certificate from Govt. Do they have washing machine in-house? Do they have Printing and Embroidery machines? If the supplier own machines for value addition processes. those affect in final product costing and lead time. Code of Conduct: May be I am not doing business for international market. But this would help me for sorting my preferred suppliers at first glance as there is lot of suppliers in a same region who are making my kind of products. First I would ask for what all code of conduct they follow in the business. Factory production capacity: How many sewing machines the supplier factory own? Having the knowledge of no.

Quality certification: Quality of the product is my first priority. Shipment Lead time: How many days they would take to dispatch my orders? Minimum lead time for small size orders (500 pieces). Payment terms: Up to how many days credit payment they would agree? Do they charge in advance at the time booking? If yes what percentage is it? . And suppliers must meet my quality standards. According to their lead time I would to plan my orders. I will look for quality management system. Do they have check points in each processes? Do they measure quality performance? What are the percentage of Right First Time shipment pass in final inspection? Costing method: Though this is less important. I would ask for quality assurance certificate if the factory had awarded by any organization or by well known customers or if they have certified by quality certification organizations like ISO.of my orders. What quality level of the product a factory could maintain and would supply can’t be assessed by verbal questioning? So. I would ask suppliers whether they would provide me open costing for my sample or they would provide me FOB costing. If factory gives me unrealistic delivery time to grab the order I can catch their fault in future. In open costing I would get how they reach final cost of the garment.

What is the usual markup from cost? 6. What types and sizes of stores handle the lines? 14. Which manufacturing processes are contracted out? (for example. What are the sales terms offered and do they vary with the customer? (for example. moderate. or misses blouses) 2.1. What level of garments are made? (for example. cutting and sewing) Is any work done on the premises? (for example. How long does it take to fill an order once it is taken? What is the usual turnaround promised to the customer? 12. marking and grading. What type(s) of goods are manufactured? (for example. Are any of the retailers related to the manufacturer or its shareholders? 16. How many fashion seasons are produced a year? When does production begin and when does delivery commence? 7. when is payment due. sample making or some cutting) 11. Is production begun only after orders are received? If not what basis is used to determine the size of the first cut? 9. Explain the main functions that take place in the design department. junior dresses. What is the wholesale price range for each line? 5. What percentage of sales are factored? . Are piece goods ordered prior to the receipt of orders? If so how are quantities determined? 10. what allowance and/or discounts are offered?) 17. petite suits. What is the geographic area of distribution? 13. Is there a minimum order size? 15. budget. 8. What labels are produced? 4. or better) 3.

18. Are the present officer/shareholders the incorporators? 32. When a new. Is the manufacturer or its shareholders related to any supplier? 23. What specific individual must approve writing off a dispute that is still unresolved after research? 21. How are the following disposed of: Overruns? Seconds and damages? Returns? Excess piece goods? 31. Where are showrooms maintained? Are any other corporate facilities maintained apart from the factory site? 30. What is the location of major suppliers? Are any purchases made from overseas suppliers and if so. Were relatives of the shareholders employed by the corporation? . do you require him or her to provide you with a Form W-9? A registration certificate? Other documents? Where are those items filed? 25. What is the current percentage ownership of each shareholder? 34. Are all disputed charge backs researched. Where are your contractors located? 24. Are the corporation or its shareholders related to any of the contractors? 29. How soon after delivery of finished garments is payment made for the work? 28. What are the duties of the current shareholders? 33. how are payments made? 22. local contractor begins working for you. or is there an amount below which a dispute is automatically written off?3-4 20. Describe the general procedure for researching a disputed charge back. Is there any family relationship between the shareholders? 35. How are the contractors paid? 26. 19. How often are the contractors paid? 27.

vendor. relative. Does any officer. lessor. consultant) 38. have dealings with the corporation other than as an employee? (for example. or group of which an officer is a member. bonus.36. Does the corporation own or lease vehicles assigned for the use of specific officer/shareholders? . How is officer compensation (salary. fringe benefits) determined? 37.

it’s important to ask questions and obtain samples in order to test for qualities such as laundering and resiliency. As an added benefit. What is your policy with regard to defective products and returned products? Find out if and how your manufacturer will reimburse you for defective products. if you’re working with How will you charge for samples? How many are you able to provide to me? Good quality samples are important to getting initial purchase orders. Are you familiar with quality control standards in my industry and the type of quality control testing that will need to be done on my product? In the world of manufacturing. most new relationships begin with payment up front. dishwasher safety. search www. simply comparing cost quotes may not give you all the information you need to determine whether a particular manufacturer is valuable to you. Ask at the outset when the manufacturer can provide them. Are you familiar with quality and safety standards for my product or industry? A manufacturer with this knowledge and experience may be worth more to you than one who quotes you the lowest cost. cost. Do you produce product packaging and at what cost? What type of packaging recommended? Ask about the costs of various options and be sure to figure the cost of packaging into your total manufacturing costs. Moreover. it is possible that your invention may be made from a range of materials (plastic. for example). tools to mechanical devices—to name just a few. For example. applicable standards (such as “UL” standards for electrical products). A manufacturer who is familiar with your industry as well as with working with the materials you plan on using will know the effective shortcuts that don’t compromise quality. many inventors have been able to launch products without up-front cash by finding manufacturers who are willing to extend credit terms to them. and so on). if you get a signed purchase order with a major retailer agreeing to pay you in 30 days.thomasnet. it’s important to find out about all the types or grades of plastics and the qualities of each (resiliency. Similarly. and independently verify. how many. it is ultimately your responsibility to become familiar with. chemical formulations to electronics. In short. However.000 units versus 100. What types of materials and processes do you most commonly use? What materials and processes would you suggest for my product? Manufacturers have varying levels of expertise in working with various materials.What types of products do you generally make? There are many types of manufacturers that specialize in the production of everything from heavy machinery to plastic molded items. . and what your production needs might be if your invention proves to be successful. Ask the manufacturer about quotes for different-size runs (2. and at what cost. try to estimate the quantities you’re expecting to sell as you enter the market.000. and have 90 days to pay the manufacturer. What is your minimum production run? You may not have the funds for large production runs in the early phases and may not have the capacity to warehouse or www. good payment terms may open up a number of possibilities and marketing strategies. What are your payment terms? Generally speaking. and to obtain packaging samples as well. 5 percent) is damaged. However. experience can translate into savings. To find a manufacturer that has expertise in making your type of product. textiles. biodegradability. they’ll probably be familiar with standards and regulations within your industry. you are able to pay the manufacturer directly from the sales proceeds without any other type of loan or financing. rubbers. including shipping costs associated with returns and replacements. Is the manufacturer willing and able to adapt to your changing needs as you begin ramping up your marketing efforts? In seeking sources for manufacturing. Also try to negotiate with the manufacturer to guarantee that if an agreed-upon percentage (say. The savings will be in time and research. If your invention involves textiles. For example. they will do a new production run. and synthetic materials).000 units versus 10.