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11 Examples of Imports

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An import is a good that is brought in from a foreign country. This is the opposite of an export, a good that is shipped to a foreign country. The following are common examples of an import.

Supply Chain

A firm that imports supplies from a foreign country. For example, a manufacturer may import components from its own facilities abroad and materials and parts from third party suppliers.

Direct Imports

The import of a product for resale by an entity not officially recognized by the producer. For example, an ecommerce seller who imports luxury goods from Europe to sell in Japan. In many cases, the producer discourages this but it is a common practice nonetheless. The end-customer may be informed of this arrangement by the seller because they may not be eligible for support and warranties. Direct imports are a type of grey market.

Consumer Import

A consumer who directly imports a good by themselves. For example, ordering from a foreign ecommerce platform that ships to your country.


Importing from foreign producers to sell in a shop. In some cases, the producer owns the shop and is importing from their own factories. Alternatively, a retailer may be a distribution partner of the producer.


A wholesaler who imports goods from multiple producers to sell to retailers and other merchants.

Value Added Reseller

A firm that imports goods, adds value to them and then resells them. For example, a firm that imports software and sells it with local consulting services and support.

Capital Procurement

The business process of purchasing durable items from suppliers. For example, an airline that buys aircraft from a foreign producer.

Agents & Brokers

Representatives of a foreign producer who sell to local warehouses, retailers, ecommerce sellers and/or customers. Agents are often used to simplify administration and taxes as it allows you to sell into a country without having a presence there.


A Germany consumer who signs up for a streaming media service operated from the United States.


A Japanese consumer who plays an online video game from the United States who purchases virtual items in this game.

Business Services

A Canadian bank that outsources several technology support processes to an Indian firm with these services provided from India.


Imports are the purchase of a product, service, asset or capital equipment from a foreign country to be brought in to a domestic location.
Definitions: Imports
Definition (1)
A good that is purchased from a foreign producer.
Definition (1)
A good that is purchased from a foreign producer and brought to the domestic location.
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