How to avoid problems with customs clearance? Tips and solutions for dealing with customs

Whether you have a company specializing in import or export operations, or you transport your shipments across the country personally, it is essential that you have complete knowledge of the customs clearance process, and this is regardless of the country you belong to.

Each country or its port has laws and procedures for customs clearance stages for all types of incoming or departing shipments, including customs clearance stages, preparation of all documents necessary for export or import operations, assessment of customs duties, payment of tax and customs duties, receipt of goods from customs after approval with the documents submitted.

In this article, we will focus on providing tips and solutions that make it easier for you to deal with customs, so follow us.

The most important tips and solutions for dealing with customs:

Seek the help of a customs broker who is experienced and honest

The use of an experienced and honest customs broker in dealing is like the captain responsible for the ship’s arrival to safety, and some may think that choosing a professional customs broker is a waste of money and time, but this opinion is not correct, as there are many advantages of using a professional and honest customs broker.

Advantages of dealing with an honest and professional customs broker:

- Customs broker experience will spare you from failed experiences

- Customs brokers help you save fees and taxes

- Customs broker identifies products eligible for exemptions by reviewing purchase orders, commercial invoices, and other documents prior to shipment, to determine if there are any fee-saving strategies in place.

- In addition, the customs broker may assist you in other services such as shipping, warehousing, etc.

Calculating all costs and customs fees

It is certain that before carrying out the process of importing or exporting goods, you must make an account of all costs and customs fees.

A customs duty is an import tax imposed by the customs authorities of a country on imported goods and merchandise.

Types of customs duties:

Customs fees vary according to the place or country in which the import or export process will take place. Customs fees are divided into:
  • Basic customs duties: They are imposed on imported goods based on value.
  • Additional customs duties: are fees imposed with the aim of increasing government revenues.
  • Protection fees: imposed to protect the domestic industry from foreign competition.
  • Compensatory fees: They are anti-subsidy fees, and these fees are imposed on imported goods to compensate for the support granted by the state to suppliers to support its exports, thus giving a fair chance to local goods.

Preparing all documents related to the customs clearance process

These include documents that are submitted electronically or on paper with the shipment. This helps the concerned authorities in calculating the taxes and fees that will be imposed on the goods, and the following is a set of those documents:
  • proforma invoice
  • Customs packing list
  • Certificate of Origin
  • commercial invoice
  • Bill of Lading or Air Waybill
  • Import License
  • Health certificates

Ensure proper packaging of your goods

All countries have laws that govern the process of packing imported goods in a certain way for a successful import. The first objective of these laws is to protect imported goods from damage, resistance to weather conditions, and the factors encountered by goods during import and transit across countries.

There is another goal related to knowing the country of origin of the goods, such as the law requiring that the name of the country of origin be printed on the packaging in a manner that cannot be removed, so when planning to import, you must keep a record of the packaging requirements and policies in the importing country, to avoid that the goods are refused entry to the importing country due to a packaging violation.

Identify the types of prohibited goods

When you are importing a group of goods from another country, you should ask what goods are prohibited in either country. For example, Christmas trees may be imported to most Arab countries, but not to Saudi Arabia.

Sometimes, however, it is allowed to obtain an export license or license that allows the import of a prohibited commodity into a country. While some countries allow the import of goods, they may impose many restrictions on these goods. Restrictions can be based on factors such as quantity, packaging, and licensing.

So, it is important that you research the import and export laws and restrictions of the countries with which you engage in trade.

Load the goods properly

Before entering the customs clearance stage, make sure that the goods are loaded correctly. As an exporter, you are responsible for loading the goods into the containers correctly. If not loaded properly, it may cause the attention and caution of the Customs Department. Besides, improper loading can lead to extensive checks and even inspections of your shipment, resulting in delays and costly costs. So, if you are not an expert in such matters, you can always seek the help of a professional shipping company.

You must be familiar with the trade agreements between the exporting and importing country

There are several types of trade agreements between different countries, so you should seek to understand the trade agreements between your country and the supplier country, which can help you to ensure that your goods are in accordance with the terms of the agreement, benefit from exemptions and reduced fees, and beware of choosing prohibited goods.

Know the delay policies

Sometimes people leave their containers in the port for longer than the allowed time, and if you exceed this time, the ports may charge a fee for those containers.

This demurrage is imposed so that ports can operate efficiently, to compensate shipping lines for extra work, and also to encourage importers to clear their goods within a reasonable time.

Delay fees are imposed according to the additional period of time that the containers remain in the port, per day, and delay fees may reach very high amounts that increase the cost of your goods and reduce your profit or may even cause a loss of your trade, so know these fees and be sure to receive your containers in As soon as possible.

Fill in all documents and papers accurately and with the correct information

In international import operations, many paperwork, documents, and documents required for customs clearance will be required from you. You must fill out these documents accurately to avoid any delays or problems with shipments. All information contained in these documents must be accurate and correct. One of the most important of these documents is the symbol of Customs coordination and country of origin.

Finally, and the most important advice in customs clearance, yes, a person gains experience from his failures and failed experiences that he goes through, but there are easier and more economical ways, and you only need a few hours, which is learning from the experiences of others to reach safe and successful import at the lowest possible cost, so do not skimp on yourself to invest and seek expert advice.

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