When the goods move from one country to another, there is one step your international shipment cannot avoid – going through customs clearance. Customs activities are generally performed by dedicated experts, but good preparation can help you avoid unnecessary delays and frustration: the Freight Forwarding Experts share a few best practices you can adopt today to make the process flow smoothly.
Customs clearance and the payment of duties (also referred to as “tariffs”) can be complex to manage. But whether you are the shipper or the consignee, it is likely that you will be responsible for the import or the export customs brokerage of your shipment.
The smooth handling of your customs activities starts with a precise description of the goods you are shipping. This is achieved through an internationally standardized commodity code, the Harmonized System (HS) Code, which will ensure that the correct duties and taxes are applied by Customs. Note that HS Codes differ from country to country so it is important to make sure you classify products correctly for both the export and import country.
The items in your shipment have been correctly identified – but can they leave the country or enter their destination location? Especially for import, some goods may be subject to certain government department regulations and require licenses or other permits depending on their nature–for instance health related products may require licenses from a Health Authority. It is key that you find out the specific requirements for your shipment before importing or exporting.