Customs clearance process – a thorough guide

Before items are imported or exported across borders, they must clear customs. However, managing the customs clearance procedure involves additional documentation preparation and familiarity with Canadian and American rules and regulations. While the additional paperwork and official inspections may appear onerous, the customs procedure for exporting freight is simpler than you may believe. Especially if you collaborate with a reliable shipping company and customs broker to prevent unexpected delays or costs. We at Easy Move Kuwait have prepared a thorough guide on the customs clearance process. It may assist you in comprehending the procedure and completing your next overseas cargo with confidence.

a cargo ship getting ready to export items for custom clearance process
Understanding customs clearance will help a lot with your overseas cargo shipments.

What is a customs clearance process?

Before going into what this process entails, let us clear up what it means first. Customs clearance is a procedure that entails submitting documents to the appropriate government customs agency and then monitoring and clearing the items in transit. If you are in need of custom clearance service, we at Easy Move Kuwait have your back.

  • Customs clearance documentation is compiled by the shipper’s designated customs broker. It will serve as proof that you paid for all applicable taxes and levies. The items are then available for import or export.
  • Customs clearance is the process of a shipment of goods passing through customs, the government agency responsible for ensuring that shipments adhere to international trade regulations. Customs personnel inspect each arriving or leaving shipment to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Only then the goods are cleared for import or export. But they can examine your cargo at any moment.

What does a custom clearance process entail?

While the term “customs clearance” is self-explanatory, the procedure itself entails multiple phases and might appear intimidating at first look. Let’s dissect what occurs when a cargo clears customs.

1. Document examination.

A customs officer will check your shipment’s papers to commence the customs clearance procedure. This may comprise a commercial invoice (CI) (which details the shipper and receiver’s contact information, the export date, the cargo’s description, and its value), a purchase order from a buyer, a packing list, a shipping bill, a bill of lading (BOL), or an air waybill, and a certificate of origin (NAFTA or USMCA Certificates of Origin, for example). The buyer, financial institution, or terms of the letter of credit, as well as the importing nation, may request additional documents.

2. Calculation of taxes and duties.

The customs broker will guarantee that the relevant taxes and duties are pre-paid or collected based on the kind of items in your shipment, their reported value, and the importing country’s customs legislation. Customs officials are responsible for verifying and tracking the payment of these charges. If you require transport and logistic services as well, Easy Move has some advanced options for you.

paying taxes
You can’t get through the customs clearance process without paying taxes.

3. Paying taxes and tariffs

The customs officer will demand payment if you have not paid your taxes and duties. DP (Delivered Duty Paid). Taxes and duties are pre-paid when a package is labeled DDP, usually through your customs broker in return for a clearance fee. For inspection, storage, handling, insurance, and payment, DDU cargo routes to an independent customs broker. Customs releases the cargo after you cover any outstanding taxes and fees. Some trucking companies offer you warehouses that allow shipments to cross the border while they are “in bond” until authorized. In general, not possessing the proper paperwork to lawfully clear shipment results in a fine. And while “in bond” services are useful, you shouldn’t depend on them every time a cargo crosses the border.