Expanding your business across international boundaries is an alluring prospect for any entrepreneur. You have the opportunity to tap broader markets, earn bigger profits, and boost overall growth. On the flip side, you may find yourself struggling with international trade rules and regulations that vary from country to country. Customs clearance is perhaps the most daunting aspect of running a global business.
You have to deal with the Customs Department of your country as well as the other country, which doubles the complexity. It takes immense effort to familiarize yourself with policies and keep up with the updates. Missing out on them elevates the risk of delays and penalties, and even stops your shipments. While everything about customs clearance sounds daunting, you can follow a few tips to make it a breeze. Let us share them with you.
Understand that customs clearance is a necessity
Most entrepreneurs joining the foreign trade bandwagon start with only a little understanding and experience. Customs clearances may seem like only a waste of time, but it is a necessity in the domain. Your shipment will have to go through it in every country it traverses. The good thing is that you have options in freight to ship your cargo, so you can choose wisely to save time and minimize the complexities of the process. For example, air freight may be a good option as it saves time because your merchandise goes through only the destination country’s customs. But it may be expensive for companies dealing in bulky goods. Consider these factors and pick the right option because you cannot run your business without clearances.
Collaborate with an experienced shipping carrier
As you begin an international business, you will have to collaborate with a shipping carrier or freight forwarding company. You will need their services to send your exports to their destination. Look for a reliable and experienced provider to ensure that your consignments are safe in transit. The benefit of partnering with a seasoned shipping carrier is that they have experience with customs clearance procedures. You can rely on their expertise to get your shipments through without headaches. It is worth spending a bit more on the services of an expert rather than picking a random provider.
Go the extra mile with paperwork
Paperwork is the mainstay of clearing customs easily and successfully. Make sure you have all documents and accurate information to breeze through the process. Any errors and omissions mean that the authorities will not clear your merchandise. Even worse, you have to incur holding charges when the goods remain in holding with them. The best option is to find an expert customs brokerage manager to check and validate your documents. Avoid leaving it to the carrier because a specialist ensures thorough checks to make the process a breeze.
Pack your shipment correctly
Packing your shipment properly is crucial when it comes to facilitating customs clearance. It can actually speed up the process, so make sure you know and follow the specific rules for your products. Besides speeding up clearances, proper packaging keeps your shipment safe during international transit. Moreover, it gets much easier to process the shipment on reaching the receiving port because the goods are in place. Add a packing list to the consignment to ensure your shipping partner knows what is inside and handles the products appropriately. Attach the documents to your shipment so that the officers can get them and clear your cargo right away. It is much easier than digging through the boxes and hunting for documents.
Be ready for changing laws and regulations
Customs clearances become much easier if you are ready for the changing laws and regulations. The international trade market is a fluid one, with laws and regulations changing frequently. It may be challenging to keep track of things and realign your paperwork and process every time you ship a consignment. Experts recommend checking the updates before going ahead so that you do not fall short of clearance requirements. It is even better if you have a customs broker helping you manage your shipments. There is hardly a chance of being caught unawares and getting your shipment stuck in transit. These experts are abreast with the latest guidelines, so you can rely on them to get your cargo cleared.
Customs clearance need not be as daunting as it sounds. You only need to know the rules and follow them to get the right start. Leave the rest to experts to make the process fast, clean, and hassle-free.