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Customs Practices Impacting Product Design

Customs Practices Impacting Product Design

Customs Practices Impacting Product Design

(OP)
I was recently told of an electronics shipment which had excessive failures in the filed which were later attributed to pesticide contamination when passing through customs inspections. Similarly, I've had some recent discussions about the possible impacts on x-ray's impacting electronics.

1. What issues/practices have you seen when shipping products/prototypes internationally? Does this impact your product designs?

2. Is there a good source of information for what inspections a system might be subjected to when passing through customs to produce a robust design?

RE: Customs Practices Impacting Product Design

JaPaBo,

Forklifts!

--
JHG

RE: Customs Practices Impacting Product Design

1. I have designed (large) products with strict size and weight limitations due to simple logistical shipping requirements (must fit on railcar, truck, etc), but if suggested that I needed to change a design to resolve simple, arbitrary shipping issues I would likely find a new employer with competent logistics staff.

2. There are entire texts dedicated to logistics management and import/export compliance as there are college degrees in these specialties. If your company doesn't have an expert on staff then I would recommend contracting one, hiring one, or finding a new employer. I would also encourage all engineers to take an introductory course in each, these are very common continuing education topics and the knowledge learned will prove useful dealing with international suppliers.

RE: Customs Practices Impacting Product Design

(OP)
Forklifts and more general handling issues are definitely frequent - plenty of incidents along those lines. I'v used shock, tilt/tip, and maximum temperature indicating stickers in the past to monitor some shipping stresses. Those are generally pretty cost effective for more expensive items.

@CWB1 - I've had reasonable requests to accommodate crating for ISO shipping containers previously (e.g., fit 2 across the width of the container). Shipping can be several percent of sales price for some of the energy conversion equipment I'm used to working with. The question is more regarding environmental stresses. X-rays shouldn't degrade most electronics, but it's an example of stresses which are easily overlooked.

Any recommendations on the logistics and import/export compliance matters? I'm at a small business, and we outsource this mostly. An internal perspective is still needed for sanity checks.

RE: Customs Practices Impacting Product Design

At a border checkpoint in a third world country, carts carrying hay and similar were routinely inspected by firing several pistol rounds through the pile.

RE: Customs Practices Impacting Product Design

I think ethics definitely always impacts.

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