Customs Clearance

When importing or exporting goods, “customs clearance” is the process of formally passing through a country’s customs. Goods arriving in a foreign country must be “cleared” to comply with that country’s regulations and requirements. This is a critical step in the international transport process, allowing goods to legally enter or leave a country and ensuring that all customs regulations and obligations are met. Failure to properly clear cargo may result in delays, penalties or seizure.


Blue Dolphin provides integrated logistics services, customs clearance processing:

  • Consulting on issues related to customs clearance;
  • Selection of customs procedure;
  • Preliminary calculation of customs duties and clearance of goods payment;
  • Preparation of necessary documents for customs clearance;
  • Implementation of all customs procedures and assistance at all stages of customs clearance;
  • Filling of customs declarations;
  • Support in determining HS code ;
  • Assistance in obtaining the necessary certificates and licenses;
  • Support for commercialinspection and customs inspection 


Customs clearance process:

1.Documentation – The importer or exporter has to provide necessary documents such as invoice, packing list, bill of lading, import/export licence etc. to the customs authorities.

2.Customs Declaration – The importer or exporter must submit a customs declaration form, which provides detailed information about the goods, such as the nature of the goods, value, quantity, country of origin and intended use.

3.Inspection and examination – Customs authorities may physically inspect, X-ray screen or conduct laboratory tests on the goods to verify the information provided in the declaration and to ensure compliance with all regulations.

4.Duty and Tax Assessment – Customs authorities assess applicable duties, taxes and fees based on the classification and value of the goods.
5.Payment and clearance – The importer is responsible for payment of duties, taxes and fees. Upon payment, the customs authority issues a clearance certificate or release order and the goods are ready for shipment to their final destination.


Customs Clearance Duration:

The duration of a particular customs clearance process can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the country/region, the specific customs procedures, the volume of goods being processed, and any potential problems or inspections that may arise. Generally speaking, customs clearance can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, and sometimes even weeks. Provide your specific situation and the shipping agent helps to get a more accurate time estimate.



Customs Clearance

Refers to imported goods, exported goods and transit goods into a country’s customs border or national border must be declared to the Customs, for the Customs requirements of the formalities, to perform the obligations under the regulations; only in the fulfilment of the obligations of the Customs declaration, inspection, taxation, release and other formalities, the goods can be released, the owner of the goods or the declarant to be able to pick up the goods. Similarly, all kinds of means of transport carrying imported and exported goods in and out of the country or transshipment, also need to declare to the Customs, customs formalities, and get the permission of the Customs. Goods in the customs clearance period, whether import, export or transit, are in the customs supervision, are not allowed to circulate freely.

Customs clearance is a commonly used verbal term in the freight forwarding industry, here mainly refers to a series of specific operations related to import declaration, inspection, customs documents, transport, delivery, etc. collectively.

Customs Declaration

Customs declaration is one of the necessary links for the fulfilment of customs entry and exit procedures. Refers to the person in charge of inbound and outbound means of transport, consignee or consignor of goods and articles or their agents, through the customs control port, in accordance with the law to declare and go through the process of the relevant procedures.

Customs declaration is a specific action, generally import and export consignee or consignor or agent to the customs declaration of specific goods information, not only pointed out that the export customs including import.

Customs InterceptionAs mentioned above, each shipping company will have a time limit for declaring the cargo loaded, usually about 4 days before the ship departure, and stop receiving customs release information one or two days before the ship departure, which is called customs clearance.
Customs Clearance

Customs clearance that is, customs clearance, customs clearance of a series of actions collectively, refers to the import and export of goods and transshipment of goods, into and out of a country’s customs border or the national border must be handled by the customs regulations. Only after the customs declaration, inspection, taxation, release and other procedures, the goods can be released, processing trade mode of late cancellation is completed, the completion of this series of action is called customs clearance.



Documentary release/Released/Customs cleared/What’s the difference?

Documentary release means release of customs declaration;

Released means the goods are released;

Cleared means that Customs has handled customs clearance for the goods.

Customs clearance in the release after the customs clearance, customs will be sent to the electronic port of electronic data, if only in the released single, that has not yet been cleared, the general goods exported within five working days after the customs will be for the goods for customs clearance procedures.


Tips to avoid customs delays:

declares the exact value of your item, even if it was provided to the recipient free of charge (i.e., sample or not for resale). This value will be used to assess duties and taxes.

 Keep multiple shipments together and label each shipment separately.

Fill out all necessary paperwork correctly. Make sure your answers are specific, accurate and free of spelling errors.

Make sure the information in all required customs documents is consistent.

When completing customs documents, list each commodity separately and provide a detailed, accurate description of each commodity, including its ingredients and uses.

 Clearly print the country of origin/manufacture of the merchandise to indicate where your merchandise was made, grown or produced.

 Provide the sender’s and recipient’s phone numbers or fax information.


6 Tips for Simplifying Customs Clearance:

While the process of clearing goods through customs may seem simple, it can be overwhelming, especially if you are unfamiliar with importing and exporting. However, the following tips will help make the process smoother and more manageable:

  •  Hire an experienced freight forwarder or carrier

    A carrier or freight forwarder is the most important gift you can give yourself when you start your export business. The ease you will enjoy by having your export handled by an experienced and reliable freight forwarder is priceless. With their experience, professional freight forwarders know everything there is to know about shipping and customs clearance procedures. This knowledge is priceless and can save you from a lot of trouble.

  •  Make sure your paperwork is complete and 100% accurate.

    Incomplete paperwork or paperwork with even the slightest error can cost you dearly. If your paperwork is incorrect or incomplete, the customs department will not clear your merchandise.

    Instead, it will stay in customs impoundment and you will be required to pay impoundment fees. On top of that, your shipment will be delayed, which can lead to missed delivery dates and more trouble for your business. One way to do this is to instruct your freight forwarder or carrier to make sure nothing is missing from your paperwork.

  •  Please note that your shipment will be cleared in every country it travels through.

    This understanding is invaluable when you are deciding which freight company to ship your goods through. For example, if you choose to ship by air, your goods will only pass through customs in the destination country, saving you a great deal of time.

  •  understands that international trade laws and regulations change frequently

    The import/export market is a fluid market with ever-changing laws, so it can be difficult to keep track of things and the processes you have followed in the past may no longer apply the next time you use them. Therefore, you should keep up to date with what is happening in the import/export industry so that you are not caught off guard.

  • ensures that you pack your goods correctly.

    The need for you to package your goods correctly cannot be emphasised enough. Simply put, correctly packed goods equate to a faster customs clearance process. In addition to faster customs clearance, properly packaged goods have less chance of getting messed up during transit. Additionally, when the shipment arrives at the port of receipt, it is easier to handle the shipment if everything is in its proper place and not upside down.

  •  ensures that your documents are attached to your shipment in a way that is easy to get to.

    If the documents pertaining to your shipment are easily accessible, customs officers won’t have to dig through the shipment to get to them, and they’ll be able to clear your shipment more quickly.

Every time you ship internationally, you need to take a few extra steps to prepare your shipment for the customs clearance process. Customs, the government department responsible for administering international trade laws, inspects and regulates each shipment to ensure that its contents comply with the regulations of the importing country or region, and BDS offers professional shipping services to help you prepare for each step of the process.

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Blue Dolphin International Freight Forwarding

Specializing in providing efficient ocean and air freight services that Ensure safe and fast arrival of cargo.

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Integrated logistics services and transportation solutions

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Frequently Asked Questions

The exact price can be offered when the details of your goods finalized,like weight,volume,loaded city and destination city.

You can pay us by bank transfer(T/T),Western Union paypal,payoneer,trade Assurance and so on.

Usually, you need to pay before shipment.

Yes,we can.We can buy the export license,do the customs declaration and ship the goods out to you.

Yes, we have network system all over the world, we can provide DDU/DDP shipping service from China to anywhere.

We can arrange to dock your factory in any city around the world.

Our company has relevant international freight forwarding certifications and qualifications, such as ISO certification, membership of the International Freight Forwarders Association (IFFA), and so on. These certifications and qualifications prove our professionalism and compliance.

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