How a Consultant Saved my Business

Customs Clearance: How to Minimise and Avoid Freight Delays

Freight shipment delays can cause a lot of frustration. In general, if your cargo is held during the customs clearance process, your goods will lose their original value, especially if they were intended for retail. Moreover, if the goods are held in a depot or other storage, the costs will keep increasing. Therefore, it is essential for you to ensure that the customs clearance procedures are carried out as efficiently and fast as possible. If you are moving cargo across borders for the first time, you should consider using these practical tips and a customs clearance service to minimise delays.

Obtain the Required Documentation

You should make sure that the necessary documentation for clearance is completed a couple of days before the estimated time of arrival. Often, shipments are delayed because of the unavailability of the required documents or incorrect completion. The exact needed documents will depend on the specific cargo. However, a typical shipment will require the bill of lading, the packing list or invoice and a packing declaration. The bill of lading is crucial in showing the ownership of goods. The packing list will provide details on the items included in your shipment. Finally, the packing declaration will describe the type of packaging used.

Know the Duty Levels and Regulations

You should learn the details on the duty levels when shipping your goods. In the past, the custom duties were in place to increase the national revenue. However, in today's market, the demanded charges are essential for protecting the local manufacturers and the home economy against the detriments of cheap imports. You should inquire about the duty rates so that you can be prepared. You should note that you can get concessions on some goods. Typically, if your shipment contains goods which are not produced locally, you might be able to get dutiable merchandise without duty. You should also note that there are some discounts offered for trading with third-world or developing countries. You should look into these and lodge an application as early as possible.

Consider Hiring a Licensed Consultant

Finally, you should think about hiring a licensed customs clearance service to help you navigate the intricacies of importation. If you are not an experienced expert in the field, you are bound to overlook some important issues. These seemingly small elements can increase the service fees for custom clearance. Moreover, some oversights in relation to issues such as quarantine and fumigation of organic packaging can cause unexpected delays. If you have a qualified consultant, you will avoid these inconveniences.