For a company into fast-moving good business, quick and efficient customs clearance is something that is very important. Sometimes, this is the difference between making massive gains or little or no profits. Failure to get things right could lead to your goods being delayed than is necessary and possibly requiring you to part with more money. Interested in learning how to clear customs very quickly? Here are some tips you will find useful in achieving this aim regularly.
Set In-House Procedures
Clearing customs quickly could become less cumbersome to achieve by having your own in-house procedures, as regard customs compliance. You could even appoint someone to ensure that the procedures are abided with and updated as they become due. It may be said that this have the potential to eat into time that could be used for other productive tasks. But it is one to consider if you must ensure that your fast-moving goods clear customs very fast. It is equally helpful to cross-train your staff on customs procedures to have another person to call on in the event of the designated officer being unavoidably absent.
Anything can happen during shipping of your freight that may require your attention. Inaccessibility in such instances could lead to delays. As you know, there may be differences in time zones between the exporting and importing countries. It therefore pays to have dedicated people that could be reached round the clock to address help issues as they arise.
Choose a Reliable and Efficient Transport Company
Your choice of transport companies plays a role in the ability of your goods to clear customs in timely fashion. The ideal company should be one that stays in tune with constantly-changing customs procedures and policies. You may be able to tell this through how knowledgeably, or otherwise, they address your concerns and their track record. An incompetent transport company could get your goods delayed for several days, while also putting your compliance record on the line.
There is more choice now than ever before. Incumbents such as Parcelforce, DHL, FedEx and UPS offer an excellent service, but they aren’t cheap. If you are starting out and/or just want to cut costs, a consolidation shipper (who combines packages from multiple sources into one shipment and charges less for it) could be an option worth exploring. They are typically not as flexible or fast as a courier, but they do tend to be significantly cheaper.
Package Your Goods Appropriately
Customs adds an additional step of screening and potentially examination. Make sure you use sturdy packaging if you are sending fragile or high-value goods, or lightweight plastic packaging for less valuable and more resilient goods. You don’t need to wrap the entire packet in tape, but you do need to protect joins and corners. You can source good quality taping from Kerboo.
Remember, invest in good packaging and train your staff to package properly. The last thing you want is for your packaging to be opened for an inspection and then getting delayed as someone from customs has to repackage and label it again, which can add a further delay.
PO Management Systems Help
It is a good idea to work with a freight forwarder using electronic purchase orders management system, if your company is importing and you are opportune to find one. Such a company will be able to pre-clear your fast-moving goods before they even arrive, helping to ensure no time is wasted clearing customs.
One of the reasons freight often ends up not clearing as fast as desired is failure to pay customs brokers their necessary dues. You should ensure that customs brokers are paid promptly. These people will not think twice before putting your fast-moving goods on hold, if you fail to pay on time. Of course, if you are working with a smaller consolidation shipper, you might want to check their finances (using something like DueDil) so that you don’t build your business on a struggling service provider.
Declare All Goods
All goods passing through customs have to be declared entirely. Any attempt to beat the system, if found out, will certainly lead to your merchandise being delayed. And not only that, you may also be fined quite heavily and the name of your business included in the dreaded black book of the customs service.
Image: Steve Gibson