Shippers can take several steps to ensure that no hiccups will occur during the customs clearance process. This article discusses some of the ways through which you can avoid issues when your imports are being cleared.
Submit Manifests in Time
The customs clearance authorities often require the manifests of any imports to be submitted several hours before a consignment is due to arrive at an entry point. The expected submission times vary from one mode of transport to the next. For example, the submission time for goods arriving by air may differ from how soon you are expected to hand in the manifests for goods arriving by water transport. Build in some additional time to those deadlines in order to give your customs clearance agent time to submit the manifests to the customs authorities. For example, give the agent the manifests five hours in advance of the submission window set by the customs authorities.
Prepare Invoices Correctly
Make sure that the invoices of your imports were prepared correctly. For example, the contents of packages should be described accurately instead of using general terms. A clear example of a general description for "apples" is "tropical fruit". Confirm that the invoices match what is provided on each of the packing slips. Such consistency in the documents will make it easy for your goods to be cleared without any delay.
Know Customs Values
Importers are required to declare the value of the different products that they wish to bring into a country. Customs clearance can be delayed in case you declare a value that differs from what the customs authorities deem to be the true value of those items. Provide documentary explanations to support that variation. For example, you may have provided a service to the supplier under an arrangement that the cost of that service will be offset from the value of the products that you receive. Let the authorities know about such arrangements so that you aren't regarded as someone who is trying to evade taxes.
Know the Rules
You should also adhere to all the rules that govern the products that you wish to import. For instance, adhere to any packaging and labelling rules that apply to your shipment. Desist from trying to import products from a source that is not allowed by the authorities in your area.
Customs clearance can be a complicated process due to the numerous requirements that one must comply with before a shipment is allowed into the country. Work with an experienced customs clearance service provider so that you can be helped to navigate that complex process quickly.