5 things businesses need to know about customs clearance

If you are running an import/export business or you are just starting out, one of the most important parts is to learn how to handle customs. Unfortunately, there are no tricks in doing this as every customs in the world has its own rules and regulations. It depends on what you are transporting, where and whether you are using sea or maybe air freight Kuwait. Naturally, you do not need to learn every country’s import/export laws and regulations. You need to be informed about the laws of the country you are trading with. But even that can be skipped if you have a skilled and experienced freight forwarder to help you. Here are, on the other hand, 5 really important things businesses need to know about customs clearance.

One of the first and most important things businesses need to know about customs clearance is that paperwork is immense and complicated

One of the most important parts of import/export and the thing that makes most people scared and confused is paperwork. And yes, there will be many documents required when shipping internationally. Of course, some items will require less paperwork than others. But for an ordinary food shipment, for example, you can expect that you will need up to 15 different documents. Sometimes even more. Here are some of the examples of required documents:

Pile of papers
Paperwork will be immense
  • Air Waybill
  • Bill of Lading
  • Pro Forma Invoice
  • Commercial Invoice
  • The Certificate of Conformity
  • Certificate of Origin
  • The Certificate of Analysis
  • Certificate of Free Sale
  • Inspection Certificate
  • Ingredients Certificate
  • Insurance Certificate
  • Health Certificate
  • Weight Certificate
  • Pre-Shipment Inspections
  • Dock/Warehouse Receipt
  • Electronic Export Information (EEI)
  • Export License
  • Export Packing List
  • Destination Control Statement

Still, the main problem here is not the sheer number of documents. There are other factors that make this a very tricky question.

Import/export laws and regulations change frequently

Firstly, customs laws and regulations change frequently. And sometimes it is really hard to keep up with all the changes. Especially if you are trading with multiple countries.

Secondly, documentation has to be 100% precise. Sometimes even a wrong letter could be a reason for the trouble. That is why hiring experienced freight forwarder and moving services Kuwait that knows all about customs regulations and how to fill out the immense paperwork is important.

Learning about customs
Learn about the customs, it is one of the best ways to control your business

Stay with the flow if you want to lower your shipping costs successfully

When you are in the import/export game, you should always look for ways to save costs. As the logistics game constantly evolves, new ways to lower your costs constantly appear. Yet you have to be agile. Follow the logistic news to stay with the flow. Exploit free trade agreements between countries. Or you are shipping from a company that is covered by NAFTA or some other free trade agreement. Your goal is to ship your items duty-free.

Other ways to reduce your international shipping costs

On the other hand, sometimes you will only have to change your shipper. Other times, you could change the volume of your cargo. Or you could exploit other shipping routes. Those are all good ways to save money in international shipping. Still, one of the most effective ways to lower your shipping costs is to learn about the business. That way you can do this without paying for customs brokerage. But this takes years of experience.

Make sure that you have done your homework before your cargo get to customs

The best way to deal with international customs officers is when you prove that you have done your due diligence. It is always better to ask questions in advance. And to be transparent about your business and shipping. That way you can avoid unnecessary issues, and customs audits. So make sure that your business is transparent, and that you learn upfront what is expected of you. If you fail in this task the fines could be significant. If you are found in violation, you can expect to pay penalties up to three times the value of your goods, plus all unpaid duties. Think in advance to avoid such issues.

One of the things that businesses need to know about customs clearance is that working with an experienced and professional supplier could significantly ease their task

When you are in the trading business you should find and work with providers that could give answers to questions about customs procedures. If you work with the cheapest supplier, they might not be able to prepare proper documentation, meat certain packaging standards, provide appropriate warehouse Kuwait or be responsive and agile when it comes to last-minute changes.  And those are some of the most important things in today’s international market. That is why you should always be in the search for the perfect provider that could satisfy the quality that you need, and always-changing customs laws and regulations. This will significantly ease your job, and help you to avoid paying for unnecessary fees.

Warehouse as one of the things businesses need to know about customs clearance
Find an appropriate provider that is agile, has enough labor, and appropriate warehouse facility

One of the most important things businesses need to know about customs clearance is that they need to hire an experienced freight forwarder

As mentioned above, customs laws and regulations change frequently. Sometimes even a few times in a matter of days. And it can be really hard to keep up with it. Especially because it can be really hard to find reliable information about currents regulations. There are usually government websites, but in most cases, they do not update them regularly. So you can never be sure. Therefore, hiring professional help is the only way to go. At least in the beginning. Find a skillful freight forwarder that is specialized in the country you are working with. The most experienced veterans will have their own connections in the customs. And that could sometimes be crucial. So last of the things businesses need to know about customs clearance is that an experienced freight forwarder will make all the difference.