Customs Clearance

Customs Clearance

WLP Benefits can help Members make customs clearance as frictionless as possible when sending goods around the world. But what is customs clearance?

Understanding Customs Clearance 

WLP benefits can help members make customs clearance as frictionless as possible when sending goods worldwide. The World Logistics Passport membership offers exclusive customs clearance services, allowing businesses to improve customs clearance processes, reduce costs, and increase efficiency.

What is customs clearance?

Customs clearance is a crucial step when shipping goods or products. It is an essential part of the shipping process that permits the entry or exit of goods and services into or out of a country.

The customs clearance process is relatively similar across all countries; however, there could be varying differences in the process of assessing products and paying import taxes from one country to the other. WLP works with a network of global partners to ensure the best possible cost for freight forwarding and international trade.


How long does customs clearance take?

The customs clearance procedure can vary from country to country and depends on the time of year. Still, it would typically take around 3 to 5 days, provided all customs clearance documents and processes have been completed and are in place.


How does customs clearance work?

Before cargo moves out and leaves the port of origin, the customs clearance process ensures that goods and products are taken through a customs authority, which then processes an export clearance. Similarly, an import clearance is required for freight to enter the destination country’s port. The clearance documentation essentially indicates that all duties for the products/goods have been paid, and it has now been cleared for shipping.


How much does customs clearance cost?

Customs clearance fees depend on several factors, including:

  • The type of products and their declared value and a description of the goods
  • HS code used to classify product type

The WLP can support cost-effective import & export clearance to help businesses move goods smoothly and increase revenue.

What documents do I need for customs clearance?

Typical customs clearance documentation includes:

  • Commercial invoice
  • The packing list includes shipment details, such as weight, quantity, and manufacturer.
  • Bill of Lading to confirm that the shipment has been loaded on a mode of transport.


What is the process for customs clearance?

  • Confirm tax information of importer and the exporter
  • Identify the origin of import and destination of export and the means of transport
  • Detect shipment details, including quantity, volume, description of the goods/products, origin, and manufacturing company.
  • Clear inspection requirements for shipments and obtain certifications to confirm that the products in the shipment passed control checks.
  • Clear tax payments


Who is responsible for customs clearance?

A customs clearance agent is the mediator between a client and a customs authority and handles processes and procedures related to customs clearance. A customs agent also:

  • Oversees liaison between both parties
  • Communicates information, updates, and requirements from the customs office to the client
  • Oversees tax payments and duties for the importer/exporter
  • Adheres to shipment requirements, standards, laws, and regulations for both importers and exporters.


What are other important factors to consider for customs clearance?

  • Ensure there are no restrictions on import/export activities for specific countries. For example, if you have a shipment that needs to be imported to Senegal, ensure your freight can be shipped and received at its country of arrival.
  • Understand trade agreements between countries as these can affect international trade in terms of tariffs that set by countries on imports and exports. For example, Kazakhstan is a party to a free trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries, allowing for more trade advantages, such as bigger market access, reduced trade barriers, etc.

Learn more about customs clearance with the World Logistics Passport

The World Logistics Passport (WLP) grants its members access to various trade benefits, creating an exclusive community for freight forwarders and traders to establish connections and strengthen partnerships worldwide. Learn more about their expertise and how your business may benefit. 

Discover more about the World Logistics Passport and the campaign to revolutionise logistics and trade processes to enhance the global movement of goods and services.