Customs clearance of goods transported by sea often becomes a challenge: incorrect classification or packaging of goods puts the consignment at risk of not reaching the recipient, and the complexity of the documentation to be completed requires accuracy and a fair amount of time. Below are some of the most common customs-related problems and the tips for dealing with them effectively.
- Inaccurate Duties: Taxes on imported and exported goods shipped by sea is among the most misleading issues. These taxes depend on the country, as well as on the weight, category and value of goods. Pay attention to paperwork to avoid tax issues. Adequately prepare commercial documents: contracts and invoices. In the absence of commercial documents, the certificate of transportation costs provided by the declarant will be assessed. The customs often performs checks to ensure that a declaration is not fictitious, so better act honestly.
- Incorrect Cargo Classification: Pay attention to the classification of the cargo. Many problems arise from an inaccurate description. This is especially relevant for shippers of goods, foods, and technical devices. Formalities can cause you considerable losses. Goods are classified according to size, dimensions, state of aggregation, specific features, degree of hazard and cargo handling technique. The more accurate you provide this information, the shorter time your customs procedures will take.
- Consignee-related Problems: Not only the consignor is responsible for the customs clearance of the consignment, as there are cases where the consignor pays all the necessary duties and duly completes all forms but the consignee refuses to accept the customs formalities, duties or licensing procedures. In this case, the receipt of the cargo is not shipper’s responsibility. To avoid any disagreement, inform the customer of any potential charges that may apply to the consignment and send him / her the documents that will be required to collect the consignment.
- Shipping of Dangerous Goods: Such goods receive an increased attention. It happens that the customs authorities determine that a cargo is hazardous to health or poses a danger to safety in general, which results in returning or re-routing the cargo. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the Law on the Transport of Dangerous Goods before shipping this type of cargo. The carriage of all dangerous goods is governed by the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road, the IMO International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Bulk Chemicals, the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships dated 1973 and the protocol of 1978 relating to this Convention. Compliance with these requirements is obligatory for all ports and ships.
- Subtleties of Packaging: Customs of some ports have strict rules regarding packaging of cargoes or consignments. If the packaging material is unsuitable, the cargo may not reach the final consignee. Avoid problems by ensuring proper packaging of your cargoes. The packaging must meet applicable freight shipping standards for the particular cargo and must be robust and withstand the entire transportation process.
Encountering problems with cargo clearance? JPS provides customs clearance services for dispatch and receipt of consignments.