An import is a good brought into a jurisdiction, especially across a national border, from an external source. The party bringing in the good is called an importer. An import in the receiving country is an export from the sending country. Importation and exportation are the defining financial transactions of international trade.
In international trade, the importation and exportation of goods are limited by import quotas and mandates from the customs authority. The importing and exporting jurisdictions may impose a tariff on the goods. In addition, the importation and exportation of goods are subject to trade agreements between the importing and exporting jurisdictions.
"Imports" consist of transactions in goods and services to a resident of a jurisdiction from non-residents.The exact definition of imports in national accounts includes and excludes specific "borderline" cases.
There are two basic types of import:
1. Industrial and consumer goods
2. Intermediate goods and services
Companies import goods and services to supply to the domestic market at a cheaper price and better quality than competing goods manufactured in the domestic market. Companies import products that are not available in the local market.
There are three broad types of importers:
1. Looking for any product around the world to import and sell.
2. Looking for foreign sourcing to get their products at the cheapest price.
3. Using foreign sourcing as part of their global supply chain.