How to ensure smooth customs clearance of goods?

A customs declaration is being filled out

Are your business ambitions high enough to conquer global markets? The time is ripe to get familiar with customs clearance procedures. The vast majority of sellers tie themselves up in knots trying to figure out what documents need to be filed for their goods and how to get through customs formalities. Of course, it’s not the easiest thing to handle even if you use professional brokerage services; but you should not make a mountain out of a molehill, either. Keep reading to become well-versed in customs clearance processing and make sure it will be a breeze in your case.

Documents needed for customs clearance

Customs is a country’s primary authority that has regulatory control over all goods crossing national borders. And if you want your ones to appear on a foreign market, the first step is to get a line on the documentation to be submitted. Whether it’s a member of the EU or not, every country has its own requirements for imports, and you – as a consignor – must comply with them. It’s in your best interest to ensure that everything is fine on your side as this will help clear customs faster.

Generally, a range of documents required by customs includes:

  • Commercial invoice. It serves as a declaration showing the details of the shipping transaction, the parties involved, description of goods, their value, etc. If you ship to Amazon fulfilment centres, you should specify that in your commercial invoice.
  • Bill of lading. This one is a must-have transportation document. Essentially, it is an acknowledgement of the receipt of the goods by a shipping company.
  • Packing list. After your commercial invoice and bill of lading are approved, the customs officer will require a packing list for the shipment clearance procedure. It is supposed to provide information on the quantity, dimensions, weight and handling techniques applicable to your goods.

Other documents. Depending on the type of imported products, additional supporting documents may be required. They may include a certificate of origin, a certificate of analysis, a health certificate, etc.

3 Things to look out for when clearing customs

A rubber stamp used in the customs office

Clearance delays can cost businesses a lot. To prevent your goods from being held up at the border, you should not only submit the right transportation documents but also:

  1. Pay all duties and taxes. Find out how much you should pay in taxes in advance not to be caught off guard at the border. The tariffs usually depend on the type of imported goods and the country’s regulations. Keep in mind that customs clearance costs or fees may be added up to your duties.
  2. Meet transportation safety requirements. If you need to ship specific goods (perishables, medical supplies, etc.), make sure they comply with all sanitary and health regulations. These regulations vary from country to country.
  3. Use the right packaging. Shipments are often held up due to improper packaging or misclassification of goods. Before you wrap up your products, learn more about specific packaging requirements of the importing country.

Bookmark this post to know what you must do to end up with smooth and cheap customs clearance of your goods. If you need further assistance with shipping imports to Amazon, Minatus will be happy to help.