Import - Term Overview

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A definition of import is the set of goods and services acquired by a country in another territory for use in the national territory. This term, along with exports, plays an essential role in state accounting.

It's a commercial operation that focuses on the purchase of items that are abroad and that aren't accessible in the own territory due to their absence or because there are too high prices compared to those that exist in other countries.

The import concept facilitates the incorporation into a market of those elements that can't be produced in that place or that are inaccessible due to price.

Imports and exports

The opposite term to imports is exports, where the opposite operation is carried out. In other words, a country sells goods or services to another international territory in order to satisfy needs that they don't have in their own state. These two concepts are used to evaluate the economic situation of a country.

Both imports and exports are reflected in the trade balance, which is concerned with measuring the difference in economic value between both terms. A country will always present a better state when imports are lower than exports. This implies that others have left more money in our country than we have. With the opposite effect (more exports than imports) there will be a deficit in the trade balance.

Imports, in general, are subject to a series of economic and regulated restrictions by the countries. To facilitate this process, the territories are usually reached by a series of commercial agreements such as those maintained by the European Union, for example, where there is greater agility and fewer controls in the absence of customs. In fact, between these states it's not possible to measure imports, except through surveys.

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