Guide on Solving Major Customs Clearance Problems

When you import or export goods from or to different countries with different customs regulations than your own country, you have to pay the taxes, duties and sometimes the excise duties on all the goods or shipments that are involved in the transaction. This requires a lot of work and awareness in terms of documentation, data handling, paying the right amounts according to the customs regulations of the country you’re dealing with. This is what we call customs clearance. And because you need to handle a lot of information, data, rules and regulations, customs problems arise. These issues can keep your goods blocked at the port hindering them to reach their destinations – which can be a very frustrating issue that results in delays in shipment!

So, how to deal with customs clearance problems? Should you get help from expert customs services or handle everything on your own? Let’s find out!

What Are The Common Customs Clearance Problems?

As mentioned above, a majority of customs clearance issues arise due to improper handling of the transactions. This usually happens due to the lack of knowledge and awareness about the customs regulations of the countries involved. Based on that, here are some major customs clearance issues that happens the most :

  • Shipments get locked on ports for days and even months
  • Customs duties cost more than expected
  • Incorrect or insufficient paperwork and documentation
  • Misclassification of goods
  • Shipment rejection issues
  • Identification problems regarding the origin of shipment, contents, weight, duties and so on

How To Avoid Customs Clearance Issues?

The best way to deal with customs clearance issues is to identify and solve the problems even before your transaction proceeds. So, what are things to watch for?

Below are the 3 major clearance issues along with their solution :

#1. Shipment Rejections Issues

The main reason behind the rejection of a shipment is that the customer’s country has banned the item in that shipment. For example: Singapore has banned chewing gum, therefore you can’t ship any kind of chewing gum to Singapore. Similarly, other countries may have put a ban on certain types of items.

Another reason behind the rejection can be improper or incomplete paperwork. A shipment with no clear details regarding its origin, contents and recipient’s information can get rejected.

●      Solution: The best way to avoid this problem is by taking enough preventive measures ahead of time. Research well in advance to make sure that your goods are not banned or prohibited in the destination country. Also, cross-check your paperwork several times before dispatching the shipment.

#2. Higher Customs Duties Than Expected

This issue arises when you don’t pay attention to the duties and taxes that are linked with particular goods and shipments. Some importers /exporters make a rough guess by linking the rates of duties of the destination country with their own country.

●      Solution: Avoid guessing the rates of customs duty. Instead, confirm the same by contacting the customs office of the country involved in the transaction. Alternatively, you can also consider customs services that will handle everything on your behalf. Read for more information on customs services.

#3. Identification Problems

Sometimes customs problems also arise when the shipments fail to prove their identity and authenticity. This usually happens due to a lack of crucial information such as the exact origin of the shipment, no details regarding the goods, incomplete destination address etc.

●      Solution: Before processing the shipment, make sure to verify and confirm the recipient’s address, product details, shipment origin etc. Avoid shipping the goods without proper details if you don’t want them to get rejected.

So, these were a few steps that will prevent the customs clearance problems and ensure a smooth and hassle-free transaction. Also, managing the customs clearance is a task that should be done carefully. So, if you can’t handle it yourself well, it’s always good to take help from reputed custom services.

The customs services are well aware of the customs regulations in different countries and hence, they can prevent these issues from occurring and help in an easy, secure and smooth transaction.