How to avoid delays in the customs clearance of your goods?

6 minutos

Today’s customers increasingly require that companies make the products and services they have ordered available in the shortest possible time. This reality is extremely important in the international trade sector, making delivery time an important factor in the customer’s final perception of service quality.

However, customs issues can cause delays if you are unfamiliar with them. It is important, therefore, to know beforehand the export and import requirements of the customs authorities at the point of origin and destination and thus avoid unnecessary delays or, in the worst case, that the export or import is not authorized by the competent authorities.

Recommendations for avoiding delays in dispatch

1.- Learn about any restrictions, limitations and prohibited items

The first thing we need to know is whether the merchandise is prohibited or whether it has any type of restriction on its export from the country of origin or for its import into the country of destination. There are goods which, depending on the means of transport or customs procedure, may be prohibited or for which specific documentation will be required, e.g. goods which fall within the IATA classification of dangerous goods (explosives, flammable products, aerosols, batteries, articles containing batteries, weapons, etc.).

When sending goods by post or Express, in addition to being informed about the restrictions on different types of goods, you must be aware of the limitations applicable depending on the value of the goods and their weight and dimensions.

2.- Know which documentation is required

Secondly, it is essential to prepare beforehand all the documentation required by the authorities. The documentation can vary depending on the type of goods (food, live animals, medicines, dangerous goods, etc.), the country or if we want to take advantage of some international agreement to benefit from a reduction in tariffs or taxes.

It is also highly advisable to prepare a commercial invoice that is as complete and exhaustive as possible, including the EORI number of the exporter and importer (or the tax registration/identification number for companies not established in the EU, or the identification number for individuals); as well as information on the goods, with their detailed description, so that the customs authorities can classify your shipment without complications and minimize problems in customs formalities.

The documentation that is generally required for all types of goods is the transport document and the invoice or declaration of value, from here the rest of the documentation will depend on the nature of the goods or other criteria, as indicated above.

3.- Obtain information on applicable taxes and tariffs

Find out which customs duties and other taxes will be applicable to the import or export of your goods. In general, the taxes to which each good will be subject will vary according to its nature or tariff classification, its customs value and, of course, the regulations of the corresponding country.

In the case of Spain, the export of goods is free of taxes and duties. On imported items, goods considered as low value (up to 22eur) are exempt from the payment of import duties and taxes.

You will find specific information about the main Latin American countries in the guide prepared by our experts, Import Requirements in Latin America for postal shipments.

Minimize the risk of delay in the clearance of your goods by following these tips. If you need more information, we offer over 30 years experience in the international transport of goods to help you improve the results of your activity.

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