'Import' is explained in detail and with examples in the Trading edition of the Herold Financial Dictionary, which you can get from Amazon in Ebook or Paperback edition.
In simple terms, imports are goods that are utilized in one country that were produced in another country. The term import refers to the idea of bringing goods and services into a nation. It originally came from the concept of bringing these things into a port via ships. A person who is engaged in the practice of bringing these goods and services into the other country is called an importer. Importers live and are based in the country into which they bring these goods and services.
Export is the opposite of import. It refers to sending the goods made in one country abroad to the importing country. Exporters are based overseas from the importer and importing country.
Imports are then any items, such as commodities or goods, or alternatively services that are brought to a country from a different country in legitimate means. They are commonly used for trade purposes. Such goods are then put on sale to people in the importing country. Foreign manufacturers make such goods and services that are then offered to the domestic consumers of the importing country. Imports for the country receiving them are the exports of a country that sends them.
International trade is actually based on such imports and exports. Importing any goods commonly means dealing with customs agencies in both exporting and importing nations. Imports can be subjected to trade agreements, tariffs, or quotas much of the time.
Imports can refer to more than simply services or goods that have been brought into the country. They can also be the resulting measured economic worth of any goods and services that are being imported. Such imports’ values are measured over periods of time, such as monthly, quarterly, or yearly. The abbreviation of I represents the value of such imports in macroeconomics.
From an economic strength point of view, imports are considered to be somewhat negative. Exports are nearly always regarded as positive, since they represent produced items that are being sold to others for currency consideration. When a nation’s imports are greater than their exports, this leads to a trade imbalance, or trade deficit. Such trade imbalances must be paid for with something eventually. Much of the time it ends up being debt instruments that are exported back to the countries from which the imports come. Countries like the United States and Great Britain are guilty of having significantly greater values of imports than exports. They commonly run large trade deficits.