Having a shipment stuck at customs clearance is no less than a nightmare for a business owner. It not only destroys your customer experience but also adds additional cost to your bills in terms of lost revenue and customer drop-offs. So, what’s the best thing to do when outgoing or incoming goods are held at customs? Let’s find out!
Customs services help in releasing the shipment from customs clearance in a fast and hassle-free manner.
Why Do Shipments Get Held At Customs Clearance?
There can be many reasons behind why a shipment might get held at customs. These reasons can range from serious issues like you’re importing/exporting prohibited goods, to minor issues like incomplete or incorrect documentation. When this happens, most people start getting panicked and don’t realise who to call or what to do. But don’t worry any more!
Whatever the reasons are, the 5 simple tips mentioned in this article will help you move out of customs smoothly and avoid any similar issues in the future.
5 Tips To Deal With Move Out of Customs Smoothly
1. Contact Your 3PL Provider
If your goods are stuck at the customs office, the first and the most obvious thing you should do is contact your third party logistics provider. https://redstagfulfillment.com/3pl-definition-process-resources/ has a thorough overview of 3PL components, the process, and business value. If you’re a seller, then you might be already informed about the customs situations happening with your shipment. Ask your 3PL what’s happening with your shipment and what are the possible reasons behind it. Check if they’ve missed important documentation that is required for shipping your goods across the border. Most 3PL providers and trusted logistics marketplaces provide customs services that might help you get through the customs swiftly. With customs services, your shipment process is taken care of by experienced professionals. So, it’s the best way to deal with such situations.
2. Contact A Professional Customs Service
If your 3PL provider doesn’t offer customs service, then look for another one. This is especially important if you’re exporting/importing large volumes of goods. Without a customs service, your goods might get locked for days which will have a negative impact on your revenue, customer experience and internal operations. So, it’s always better to get professional help and get things done on time. The customs services officers are highly experienced and knowledgeable, they know why shipments get locked and to move them out quickly.
3. Make Sure There Are No Outstanding Taxes
As a common practice, most countries impose a certain amount of tax on shipments that exceed their decided limit. So, if your shipments are subjected to these taxes, they will be held until all the dues are cleared. If you are sending shipments via an express shipper or postal service, then they take care of these taxes on your behalf and charge an extra administration fee from you later. However, if you’re sending larger shipments, you should talk to reliable customs services. They will arrange for you a broker who will pay the taxes and get your shipments released from customs. Although you can do this on your own, it takes a lot of time and hiring a customs service professional is much easier and cost-effective too. Also, to prevent such issues in the future, make sure to learn and understand the customs clearance and taxing process in detail news.
4. Make Sure That Paperwork Is Complete and Correct
Improper and incorrect documentation is the most common reason behind the blocking of shipments at customs. Therefore, make sure that all the documentation is intact and is in the right shape. Generally, the documentation required depends largely on the type and size of the shipment. Even a minor mistake like incomplete or ambiguous address, forgetting to attach the invoice or any customs form is enough to get your goods held at the customs office. The problem is, figuring out what might be missing in your paperwork is an extremely challenging part because you don’t have the packages with you. Hence, always take care of paperwork carefully while packing your goods. Make sure each and everything is attached properly. And if by chance your shipment gets stuck due to the same reason, contact your shipper and learn about the missing documents. After doing so, you can email the required documents or take suggestions from the customs services near you.
5. Learn To Wait
The customs clearance process in many countries is slow and time-consuming. Unfortunately, if you’ve chosen a slower shipping method like postal or airmail, then be prepared to handle delays in delivery. Shipments are often held at customs to check the goods and make sure that they are allowed in the country. These random checks waste a lot of time but can’t be skipped. Two things to take care of this issue are, attach a clear declaration of your goods and secondly select a fast and reliable shipping method.
These five tips will help you get your shipments released from customs clearance and will also prevent you from any related issues in the future.