While thinking of exporting goods outside India or importing something from abroad, Customs clearance process raises many eyebrows of concerns— due to its dense rules, regulations and formalities. This apprehension is inborn, especially among the first time patrons, as this area of the trade needs sheer expertise, for the reason that the realm itself is intensely diverse.
In simple words, Customs clearance process is a mandatory practice carried by the Customs—a government agency or authority nominated by the Legislature of the country. Its primary task is not only the accumulation, but also the conversation of customs duties. As this operation is carried out at the entry and exit points of a nation, the organization of customs duties is crucial for monitoring the flow of goods in and out of a country.
Parcel Chief helps you overcome all inquiries on your behalf with the customs authority. And, make arrangements for a smooth transition of your goods every time.
Since the volume of our exports is enormous across the globe, we might not cover particular customs policies, but some common and useful advice below to assist you.
Be it a gift or commercial shipment, it has to go by an import procedure as per the guidelines laid out by custom’s regulation in the destination country. On the grounds of origin country the consignment is cleared through customs: the cost and quantity, but not its end objective. Shipments carrying dutiable goods are likely subject to customs duty; an excise or tax enforced on goods when moved across international boundaries.
Duties calculation relies on the assessable price of a dutiable parcel. To make the calculation easy, dutiable goods are allocated a categorization code generally identified as the Harmonized System code (HS) code.
The World Customs Organization has assigned this system which continues to advance.
Responsibility for Duty Payments
The payments of all destination duties and taxes are commonly the responsibility of the recipient, though Parcel Chief does propose the channel for our clients to pay for them at the origin.
In such case, Parcel Chief invoices its customers for the liable duties and taxes and make arrangements to be paid on their behalf at destination with additional administration fee. However, this process might cause delays of the deliveries.
Taxation Across Boundaries
While goods cross over political borders, taxes and duties are imposed on them (however, there are some free business zones exists around the globe). Taxes are normally connected with protectionism, the economic policy of limiting business in between countries.
By and large taxes are imposed on the imported goods, however, sometimes may also be imposed on goods exported out of the country.
Goods Restricted by Customs
There may be restrictions on certain types of goods which are imported or exported outside the country.
These constraints are fixed by the local legislation and regulations. And, it is the customs authority obligation to implement these rules stringently.
Also, all local customs authority holds the power to set its own charges for imports and exports depending on the nature of the shipment it administers.
While different destinations, calls for different policies for importing and exporting to and from the country, we recommend that you to seek guidance with relevant customs in the destination that you’re looking courier to send.
Also, to clear your doubts further on customs you can connect us with at +91 969 969 9048.
Understanding Roles in the Customs Clearance Process
Attaching document with package
It is best to affix the documents securely on the outside of the package to ensure that the customs personals can easily scan the boxes.
Export and import custom clearance
A very crucial point of your parcel’s transit, irrespective of movement, every shipment has to pass through this process as per the regulation.
Delivering the shipment to its destination
When the shipment gets a release from customs at the destination, the carrier will connect the parcel to the final delivery.
Tips to Avoid Customs Delays
Wrong details cause customs delays. So describe every item you are packing. And you can make things easy for customs by summarising every individual item with precision; it could be the colour, quantity, etc.
You must share the accurate value of goods. The custom officers assess the shipment value as per the current market price. If they find value given unsatisfactory, then there’ll be delays in parcel. Also, you may end up paying extra handling fees for undervaluing the goods and face custom penalty as well.
To deliver on time you should always print and attach the documents to the outside of the box, or even you can put all the documents in a plastic pouch and affix to packet for a swift clearance.
Gather the information about the destination country’s customs rules and regulations to avoid delays in clearance.
One more reason that leads to delays in clearance is incorrect contact details. Ensure all is in order; to enable the customs officers to get in touch with the receivers, if they need to - regarding paperwork and duty taxes.
Customs duties are unavoidable. It is levied, even if you’re sending a parcel as gifts. The destination custom checks the value of the item, the contents of the package and considers many other things which could make ways for customs duties. It is advisable to be accurate in every aspect for a smooth clearance.
Parcels contain banned or prohibited goods; are held by customs for an inspection. Customs can even seize these parcels. So avoid sending these goods.
For commercial parcels, the destination customs may require certificates or commodity codes (HS Commodity Codes) pertaining to the goods you’ve sent.
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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
A parcel’s customs clearance can take a very little time; it range from minutes to hours. However, sometimes it could go up to days or weeks depending on the issue. To resolve the situation customs will call the receiver, so one must give accurate contact details of receiver.
In simple words, you cannot avoid import duty and taxes. All international parcels are subject to duties and taxes based on the value of items. These charges will vary from destination to destination. Check with the destination when you arrange a parcel delivery.
When you see tracking and find ‘Customs status not updates’ or ‘Held by Customs’, it means the parcel is being stopped in its journey. To settle the issue, the customs will speak with the consignee to get the required details or documents, and sometimes, it’s the customs fees to be paid for release.
When customs hold your parcel, you can check with the receiver if he’s received a notification. In case the answer is negative, you can co-ordinate with your service provider to resolve the issue.
It is very tricky to tame the customs charges. The customs impose duties on factors like country of export, reason for export, country of import, product material origin, product classification, value of shipment and tariff code. You can share these details with precision and pay a legit customs charge.
The other option is showing low value and if customs are unsatisfied with the same; then this will attract penalties, and shipment may face a delay and increase in cost. We advise not to choose this method and stick to the mentioned advice above.
Every country has a list of items that they don’t allow in (prohibited items). This includes all the usual things you’d expect - aerosols, flammable liquids, livestock or anything considered dangerous or illegal.
There are many items that fall into the prohibited category. Every country has their own set of list allowed and restricted items. However, the general list contains deodorants, perfumes, aerosols, corrosives, —any liquid that contains flammable substance.
Other than these tobacco products, currency, passports, bank instruments, postal stamps, precious and semi-precious stones, radioactive material, liquids, toxic and infectious substances, chemicals, batteries, mobiles, tablets and the list goes on. We always recommend checking with us if you are in doubt about the commodity you want to send.
The carrier will not deliver the shipment unless duties and taxes payment are complete. Carrier can invoice the pending amount to the sender of the shipment or they will return the parcel to the origin after the release by customs at a cost to be paid by the sender.
Customs are accurate in their functioning, however, if they charge the wrong amount for duties and taxes, it’s because of unavailability of tariff codes on the commercial invoice. In these circumstances, the customs officers will take a decision themselves about the category your items come under.
Now, sender or receiver can dispute these charges with customs before delivery. You can do it by providing them with tariff codes for every product you’ve shipped; then you should inform customs that the goods cleared under an incorrect tariff code.
Customs brokers are not required for several destinations for the clearance of imports. You can arrange clearance by yourself provided you have all the require knowledge and experience. However, to avoid delays and extra cost on your delivery we recommend opting for a professional and licensed customs broker as they hold expertise to complete the clearance.
A private person or a company which handles the clearance of goods via customs for a fee is a customs broker. Their job is to work with importers and make sure that all licenses and documents are in order; they also ensure that right duty and taxes are imposed on shipment, and the goods move swiftly through the customs. Business and merchants who import and export consistently use the customs brokers.
After the shipment arrives, customs impose duties and taxes on it and inform the carriers, and then the carrier conveys this to the recipient to collect payment and finds him unreachable. This makes for a perfect delays scenario. So the receiver should be aware about the delivery and contact the carrier to avoid delays.
There is always a chance that customs can raise a query on the shipment’s customs invoice. Then they require an explanation on the form. The time taken to resolve the query can cause delays.
Inspection by customs leads to the discovery of items undervalued or undeclared will hinder the clearance process significantly. The customs officer could ask to provide a proof of value, and may even ask for more clarification on the items. So always declare information accurately.
Customs hold shipments containing restricted or prohibited. In most cases, the customs will give options to destroy or remove the prohibited items. For some destination, there are chances that the shipment can return to origin at shippers cost.