DEFINITION of 'Import'

A good or service brought into one country from another. Along with exports, imports form the backbone of international trade. The higher the value of imports entering a country, compared to the value of exports, the more negative that country's balance of trade becomes.


The word "import" is derived from the word "port," since goods are often shipped via boat to foreign countries. Countries are most likely to import goods that domestic industries cannot produce as efficiently or cheaply, but may also import raw materials or commodities that are not available within its borders. For example, many countries have to import oil because they either cannot produce it domestically or cannot produce enough of it to meet demand.

  1. Tariff

    A tax imposed on imported goods and services. Tariffs are used ...
  2. Countervailing Duties

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  3. Price Scissors

    When the value of one set or sector of a group falls below the ...
  4. Terms of Trade - TOT

    The value of a country's exports relative to that of its imports. ...
  5. Drawback

    Any form of tax or tariff that is rebated to the payor. This ...
  6. Export

    A function of international trade whereby goods produced in one ...
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