To export shipments successfully, it is important to ensure that you have the right documents in place. This will ensure that the shipment process is not delayed, and you do not face any additional costs or penalties. It is also important to ensure that your customers receive their packages on time.
On the other hand, if you are an importer receiving goods from abroad, it is your responsibility to organize the shipping process. You need to make sure that you receive all the correct information and documents from the sender.
To avoid any delays or issues, it is advisable to create a checklist. This should include a list of all the necessary documents, the required information for each document, a detailed declaration document, and ensuring the accuracy of the shipment’s information. It is also important to label the cargo with all necessary information and deliver the documents to the carrier and/or customs broker.
How Does the Customs Clearance Process Work?
If you plan to ship goods internationally, it is important to know the customs process for the product and country you are shipping to, regardless of whether it is an export or a sample shipment. The first step is to gather relevant information, such as any restrictions on the product or the need for additional documentation.
The stringency of customs policies varies from one country to another. For instance, some countries may accept a pro forma for customs clearance, while others require an original stamped commercial invoice. To avoid any difficulties during customs clearance, we provide a comprehensive guide that covers even the strictest customs processes.
Normally, companies that offer custom clearance services require a declaration from the shipper which usually comes in the form of a pre-made document with blank fields for the necessary information. However, it is often observed that shippers only provide basic information such as product name, number, and weight, even though the same product may have different names in different countries.
If customs officials have any doubts about the contents of a shipment, they may conduct further screening which can lead to delays and additional fees. In the worst-case scenario, unidentified shipments cannot be returned to the shipper.
It is therefore essential to provide accurate and complete information in the declaration form. All other documents, such as the invoice, bill of lading, and certificate of origin, must also contain consistent information with the declaration form. Any inconsistencies in the details provided can cause problems during the customs clearance process.
What Documents are Necessary for Import-Export Customs Clearance?
Imagine this scenario: you have an international shipment and you have already filled out a declaration form with all the necessary shipping information. Now, all you have to do is identify the required export documents and complete them based on the information in the declaration form. The basic documents required are:
- a commercial invoice,
- a packing list,
- and a bill of lading (or airway bill or CMR).
In some cases, these three documents may be sufficient for exporting goods. Some companies include packing list information, such as package and weight details, in their invoices. However, it is recommended that you always prepare a separate packing list to avoid any issues during customs clearance. It is not advisable to rely on customs officials to make judgment calls in case of missing information. By following these steps, you can ensure that your shipments are delivered on time and without any issues.