Customs clearance refers to the import and export or transit of goods into and out of a customs territory, in accordance with the laws, regulations and provisions should be carried out procedures.

Only customs clearance in the performance of the obligations, customs declaration, inspection, taxation, release and other procedures, the goods can be released and the owner or the declarant can pick up the goods. What's more, the import and export of goods carrying a variety of means of transport in and out of the border or transit, are also required to declare to the Customs and Excise Department for customs procedures, to obtain permission from the Customs and Excise Department. Goods in the customs clearance period, regardless of import, export or transit, are under customs supervision and are not allowed to circulate freely.

Import and export customs clearance is an even simpler process when a custom clearance agent is used during imports and exports.

What is Custom Clearance

Before shipping any kind of cargo, shippers may want to know what customs clearance means and how it relates to their mode of transportation. Each international shipment via sea freight must meet the customs clearance quota for each country.

Import and export customs clearance is a necessary process to allow the shipment to be transported to a country through an authorized customs broker. During this process, there is also information related to the import and export of goods for the parties involved in the process.

Import Export Clearance

Import And Export Customs Clearance

In order to import/export your goods, some necessary documents need to be prepared. Here is the list of import export clearance documents.

Export customs declaration

Bill of lading (shipping documents)

Commercial invoice and packing list

Proof of origin of your goods

Insurance documents containing detailed policy descriptions

Export permits and licenses (depending on the type of goods to be exported)

Other documents depending on the type of goods; such as dangerous goods declarations, inspection certificates, consular invoices from the importing country, exchange control documents proving that the payment received for the shipment complies with the currency regulations of the exporting country

It is very important to complete all export related documents and details correctly, otherwise it may lead to long delays. 

Import And Export Customs Clearance

Custom Clearance In Progress 

Sea Freight Customs Clearance

Basically, there are four steps need to follow when choosing custom clearance of export cargo by sea: declaration, inspection, tax collection and release.

First, declaration. In accordance with relevant laws and regulations and customs supervision, taxation, statistics and other requirements, the applicant shall input the declaration data and transmit the data to the customs through network transmission for declaration.

Second, inspection. The consignor or custom clearance agent of export goods shall go to the on-site customs inspection acceptance department to handle the inspection procedures and determine the inspection requirements and methods with the Customs Inspection Notice and other relevant documents. When the customs examines the goods, the consignee or custom clearance agent shall be present, accompany the inspection with valid certificates, be responsible for moving the goods, opening and resealing the packages of the goods as required by the Customs, and truthfully answer the inquiries of the inspection personnel and provide necessary materials.

Third, tax collection. Handling tax collection procedures:

Collect taxes (customs duties, value-added tax) on taxable goods and print the tax payment certificate;

Late fees shall be levied on overdue taxable goods, and the payment certificate of late fees shall be printed.

Fouth, release. The on-site customs officer shall review the electronic customs declaration data, written documents and annotations. If the situation is normal, there is no inspection and the goods have arrived at the supervision site, the clearance procedures shall be handled; If the inspection has been set and the goods have arrived at the supervision site, the applicant shall be notified to go through the inspection procedures. And then clearance of goods from the port finish.

Air Freight Customs Clearance

1. Mail the full set of customs clearance documents to your air freight customs clearance agents at the custom clearance airport.

2. The customs broker shall go to the warehouse of Airline Co., Ltd. to draw random documents by power of attorney (or arrival notice).

3. Airport custom clearance needs a port inspection application.

4. Air cargo clearance also needs declaration to customs.

5. The customs reviews the documents, and issues the tax documents (customs duties and value-added tax) if the documents are approved.

6. Pay taxes to the customs.

7. Verification of taxes and customs clearance.

Air Freight Clearance

Customs Clearance Costs

Customs clearance cost is the general name of a series of corresponding expenses incurred when goods are declared to the Customs at the import and export. Customs clearance cost includes:

1. For goods that need to be taxed and inspected, the handling fee for customs clearance shall be completed within 1 day from the date of receiving the declaration.

2. Various means of transport carrying import and export goods shall declare to the customs and handle the customs handling charges for entry, exit or transshipment.

3. The import process is the import tariff and import value-added tax generated by the whole batch of goods.

4. After the consignor of export goods has prepared the export goods on time, according to the quality and quantity according to the provisions of the export contract, he shall handle the transportation fee for chartering and booking space with the transportation company, handle the customs declaration formalities with the customs, or entrust a professional (agent) customs declaration company to handle the customs declaration formalities.

How Long Does Customs Clearance Take?

According to different goods, there will be different customs clearance time. Usually, customs clearance does not exceed 24 hours, but sometimes it takes days or weeks to inspect the goods.