Complete Guide to Custom Clearance Process

Complete Guide to Custom Clearance Process

Date: 01/12/2022

Global trade value hit a record high of $7.7trillion in the first quarter of 2022. This value is an indicator of international trade and economic growth across the globe. With growing economies and access to several modes of transportation, trading across international borders is becoming easier. This ease also brings risks to the economies if not monitored well. It is where the customs authorities play a pivotal role. The customs process was established to look into these risks, so the goods being traded across international borders - via land, air, or ocean - are not allowed to enter/leave a country without getting

What is Customs Clearance?

Customs clearance is a term used to authorise import/export from one country to another. The mandatory customs clearance procedure is the only way to legally trade goods in and out of a country.

Why is it Important to Get Timely Clearances From Customs Authorities?

The process of clearing customs holds a great influence on the flow of the supply chain.

What is The Process of Custom Clearance?

A similar process of

  1. Importer/Exporter will file documents that stand as proof of legal trade between the importer/exporter and the goods being transported from a source to its destination.
  2. Self-assessed duties and taxes and filed documents will be verified by the customs authorities. The goods might be inspected or sampled but it is not mandatory.
  3. The importer/exporter pays the required taxes and duties.
  4. Clearance for arrival/departure of goods is provided by the customs authorities.

Although the process looks simple, the list of documentation for these clearances is rather lengthy and requires utmost care during filing for quicker export or import customs clearance. To help you understand better, here is the list of required documents.

What are the Documents Required for Customs Clearances?

The common documents required for any goods to be transported across international borders are.

  1. Purchase order
  2. Commercial Invoice
  3. Packing list
  4. Bill of Lading
  5. Certificate of Origin
  6. Bill of Entry/ Shipping
  7. Insurance certificates
  8. Licenses of Importers, Exporters & Custom brokers

This list might include a few more country-specific or goods-specific documents required for customs clearance. For instance, an original Halal Slaughter certificate & a Health Certificate will be required for the

  • Nuclear substances
  • Firearms
  • Drugs
  • Fur
  • Iron and steel (from specific countries)
  • Livestock
  • Milk, poultry, meat, and other food items
  • Blood
  • Endangered species

How Long Does Customs Clearance Processing Take?

The general customs process typically takes 3-5 days but it may vary depending on factors like

  • Correctness of documents
  • Payment of taxes and duties

What are the Types of Customs Clearances?

General Customs Clearance-  It is the clearance under normal evaluation of documents

Immediate Release Customs clearance- This is for the release of perishable items like medical goods, food items, etc from the customs.

Pre-Arrival/Anticipated Customs Clearance- A procedure that starts before the package arrives at the customs authorities. All the necessary documentation is filed in advance for such clearances.

Deferred Duty Clearance- This was started in an attempt to promote international trade by separating the customs clearance process from the payment of duties. A compliant trader can get such a clearance and pay the duties later, within the agreed-upon time period.

How to Reduce the Time Taken for Customs Clearances?

The simple answer to this is to be prepared with the correct documentation and pay the liable taxes and duties. But the preparation of correct documents itself requires a deep knowledge of trade policies and HS codes. This might prevent delays and penalties may be imposed for incorrect filing. Custom brokers may further suggest options for special

How Does WLP (World Logistics Passport) Help in Custom Clearances?

The World Logistics Passport is an incentive-based

Which is the Best Solution for Quicker Customs Clearances?

The best solution would come to you when you analyze your needs and

The process of customs clearance is time taking, but with the correct assistance, it becomes smooth and benefits the growth of international businesses.