What is Customs Clearance?
Every time goods are transported to a new country by rail, road, air or sea, they must pass through Customs. The process involves a few steps and is called customs clearance.
What do you need for customs clearance?
The customs clearance process usually requires documents such as:
• License or permits (in both export and import countries)
• Other necessary documents that may be required
Why do you need these documents?
The documents help customs authorities determine the nature of the goods, where they are coming from, and how to calculate import duties and taxes.
Who deals with Customs?
Normally, export duties & taxes are paid by the seller, while import duties & taxes are paid by the buyer.
How does the Customs Clearance process unfold?
There is customs clearance in both exporting and importing countries, and the process involves 4 steps:
Step 1 - Preparing and submitting documents required to facilitate the export or import
Import Documentation: Commercial Invoice, Packing List, Bill of Lading or Air Waybill, Certificate of Origin, and any other documentation based on the type of goods (licenses or permits)
Step 2 - Customs examination or assessment of the goods designated for export or import
Step 3 - Payment of duties and taxes (in both export, and import countries)
Step 4 - Collection of goods from Customs after the clearance is granted
How long does the Customs Clearance process take?
Roughly 1-2 days.
If taxes are not applicable, the goods will get cleared through customs and continue with the delivery process within 20-30 minutes.
When payment is finalized, the goods get clearance and are made ready for collection.
Is your shipment stuck in Customs?
Do not worry. Customs officials will notify you if your shipment is not getting cleared and they will tell you what to do.
Usually, Customs will store your shipment in their warehouse for 25-30 days, which is plenty of time for you to solve the issue.
The most common reason for clearance delays is missing or incorrect information on documents. So, make sure to double-check and triple-check your documents before submitting them.
Proud Co-Founder and CEO of Bookairfreight. Shortly after starting to work in the world of logistics, I was astonished at how difficult and time consuming it was for businesses to get their hands on a simple air freight quote. I saw this as an opportunity to really make a difference in people’s lives, and felt like I had to do something. It was the spark that lit the fire of Bookairfreight’s creation.