Having your consignment stuck at customs can be very detrimental to your business. It can spoil your client’s buying experience as well as result in massive losses.
There are numerous causes why a consignment can be held at the customs. The reasons can vary in austerity from high – having your goods confiscated, to low – containing inappropriate paperwork. Regardless of what the reasons are, the following easy clues will enable you to have your shipment moving and avoid problems with the customs later on.
It may not be easy to know what to do or who to contact for you to get your goods as soon as possible. Read through to get informative tips to make you understand what is happening to your shipment and how to access it during post office hours.
Talk to Your 3rd Party Logistics Agent
When your shipment is held at the customs, the first thing to do is to contact the one who handled the transportation. The hauler will normally contact the seller concerning the shipment. Reach out to the vendor, enquire what is going on and whether they skipped one of the vital documents needed for the smooth movement of your goods.
Your vendor is better placed to engage the hauler and have more details on your goods and the possible challenges. Also, you should ensure that the seller gives you a tracking code that will help you to track your shipment accurately. The cargo consigner should be your first contact person if your goods are held at customs.
Establish Any Outstanding Taxes
A majority of countries levy taxes on cargo exceeding a particular value. In case your shipment incurs such taxes, then it will not be released until the payment is made. If you enlist a standard express carrier or the post office, they will make the payment for you, clear your shipment through customs then charge you a facilitation fee.
In other countries, larger shipments need you to have a customs agent who makes arrangements for the payment and for customs to release the shipment. You can handle this alone but then it is more economical to hire a professional.
Familiarize yourself with customs clearance, tax plans, and payment so you do not have your goods returned to the warehouse or destroyed.
Ensure Documentation Is there and None is Missing
Among the most popular reasons for delayed shipping is missing paperwork. The documentation depends on the value and size of your cargo. You cannot afford to have even the simplest mistakes such as not attaching an invoice since it can result in a significant delay to your goods.
It may be hard to identify what is absent, more so when the package is not with you or you used a post office near me. Express shipping companies make sure they find any missing documents thus is wise to contact your shipper first. They will advise you on what to do if you do not have all of the necessary papers. Make sure your paperwork is sorted and it is done in the appropriate language.
Communicate With Your Shipper
Make sure that your consignment is in the real sense held at customs. You can contact your shipper by phone but note that most companies have premium-rate numbers that tend to be expensive. Communicating with your shipper helps you to know whether there is any way you can accelerate your shipment duration at the customs.
Be cautious, sometimes fraudulent vendors may extremely lower the cost of delivery duty paid consignments so that they can reduce their tax expenditure. Lowering the value of cargo can sometimes result in cargo being seized at the customs office thereby causing significant inconvenience.
Undervaluing consignments is tax evasion and it may lead to issues with the state. To avoid this, maintain active communication with your carrier and take note of such situations to accelerate the release of your goods.
Regrettably, if you decided to apply a slower method of shipping like airmail, custom clearance can be a slow and tedious process in certain countries. Be ready to patiently wait for your consignment. Mostly, cargo is held at the customs to examine whether the contents and the value of items therein were declared correctly.
Nothing you can do to halt or hasten these unforeseen checks and you may only waste time trying to do so. If you are a hauler, what you can do is accurately declare the contents you shipped by properly filling in the necessary paperwork.
If you used the post office, all you have to do is wait since tracking can be very unreliable. Patience is key. It may take some time for your shipment to arrive but it will eventually do so. Sometimes, you may get inaccurate tracking or packages disappearing somewhere and reappearing elsewhere but in the end, it will reach you.