What Is Customs Clearance? Customs Clearance In the Simplest Term

Customs Clearance

Customs clearance is a necessary procedure before goods can be imported or exported internationally.

Customs clearance is necessary before goods can be imported or exported internationally. Customs clearance is passing items through the customs authorities to permit cargo movement into and out of a country (import and export).

A document provided by the customs authorities to a shipper stating that all tariffs have been paid and the shipper’s goods have been approved for export is also known as customs clearance.

When a customs broker is employed to refer to during imports and exports, customs clearing becomes even more accessible and faster.

Who Is a Customs Broker? 

A customs broker or a customs clearance agent is an intermediary for importers who helps them with their customs business transactions.

Tariff laws permit the use of these agents. A customs broker is a private individual who coordinates customs entry, duty payment, import clearance, and export clearance.

A customs broker can help with HS codes based on 8-10 digit product classification numbers. The first six numbers are HS codes, while countries of import provide extra digits for categorization purposes.

Furthermore, establishing the country of origin for customs might be challenging. When it comes to marking, the country of origin is crucial. The HS Code defines the country in which items were assembled.

Advantages of Hiring a Customs Clearance Broker

  • A customs broker will be able to assist with goods delivery. A customs brokerage service will check whether you follow the rules. There will be a time delay if customs laws are not followed.
  • Businesses can keep more profits with a customs broker’s help. A customs broker will advise a corporation on minimizing cargo problems while taking advantage of trade agreement chances. ASEAN, JPEPA, and the EFTA free trade agreement are just a few trade agreements to lower tariffs and taxes.
  • If a customs broker cannot handle the things you intend to transport, they will inform you. If this happens, they’ll be able to postpone your shipment as carefully as possible.
  • Having a third party evaluate your objectives and motivations for purchasing products is usually beneficial. As a consequence, you’ll develop a better bond with your customs broker, who will be able to advise you on your company strategy.
  • Providing the necessary documents to a customs broker. You’re still in charge of filing and paying taxes and costs, but a qualified customs broker can identify mistakes and inform you if you’re missing important information.

While clearing a shipment at customs may appear simple, it may be overwhelming, especially if you are new to import/export customs clearance.

However, the following tips will make the procedure go more smoothly and efficiently:

  • Hire an experienced freight forwarder

The most crucial thing when starting your exporting business is a freight forwarding agent. The benefits of having your exports handled by a professional and dependable freight forwarder are priceless. A qualified freight forwarder understands everything there is to know about shipping and customs clearance procedures because of his expertise. This knowledge is invaluable and will save you time and frustration.

  • Ensure that all of your paperwork is full and exact

With even the tiniest error, incomplete documentation or paperwork may cost you a lot of money. The customs agency will not clear your product if there is a mistake in your documentation or if your documents are incomplete.

Instead, it will be held at customs, and you will be charged a holding fee for port clearance. This is because there will be delays in releasing your goods, resulting in missed delivery dates and causing additional troubles and charges for your company. One way to avoid this is to give your freight forwarders or carrier the responsibility of ensuring nothing is missing from your documentation.

  • Remember that your package will be subjected to customs clearance in each country.

This information will come in handy when determining which freight company to use to ship your stuff and receive customs clearance services. If you pick air freight, for example, your goods will only pass through the customs of your destination country, saving you time.

  • Know that international trade laws and regulations are constantly changing.

Because the import-export market is fluid and its regulations continuously change, it can be challenging to keep track of everything. The previously used technique may not work the next time you use it. As a result, you should keep up with the latest developments in the import-export business to avoid being shocked.

  • Make sure your package is appropriately packed.

We overemphasize how important it is to pack your shipment correctly. Simply said, a well-packed consignment means quicker customs clearance. Aside from faster customs clearance, correctly packed cargo will be less prone to damage in shipment. It will also be easier to process the load when it arrives at the receiving port if everything is in its proper location and not turned upside down.

  • Ensure your documents are attached to your package so they can be easily found.

Customs clearance company agents will not have to search the cargo to find your documents if the paperwork is easily accessible, and they will be able to clear your shipments faster.

Customs Clearance Process & Custom Brokerage Services

Let’s break down the customs clearance process that a customs broker goes through to learn more about the clearing process of goods. 

  1. Verifying the Paperwork 

A customs officer checks to see if the documentation for shipments is proper. Commercial invoices are required for international shipping. The document will include a shipper and the receiver’s contact information once the documentation has been verified. The shipment will also include the export date and airway bill number.

  1. Checking by the Customs Officer

Depending on the commodities, their value, and the rules enforced by the importing country, a customs officer will check to see whether any fees will be imposed on a cargo. The officer will check to verify if taxes and duties have been paid or if the value of the products exceeds a tax bracket.

  1. Paying Taxes & Duties

If there are any unpaid taxes or duties, customs will demand payment. DDU (Delivery Duty Unpaid) and DDP (Delivery Duty Paid) are the two payment methods. Consequently, if a shipment is labeled as DDP, taxes, and duties have already been paid. These services may be available for a set charge when you purchase a label. Because brokers are separate and demand different fees, this procedure can be costly. Brokerage, storage, late payment, and other fees may be charged, affecting the overall cargo cost.

  1. Releasing the Shipment 

Shipments are released once taxes and tariffs have been paid. If all documentation, duties, and surcharges are handled correctly, the products can be sent to their final destination.


Please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your concerns, whether you’re looking for a long-term partner to handle all your logistics and customs clearance or need help with a one-time cargo. As an expert custom clearance agent in Dubai, DFreight helps you with all your customs clearance needs. We provide a comprehensive range of services, including documentation, verification & validation, tariff classification, duty & tax calculation, etc. to help our clients all through the customs clearance process.

What is required for customs clearance?

To obtain customs clearance, importers and exporters must first provide customs officials with a detailed description of the goods they wish to import or export. This description must include information such as the type of goods, the value of the goods, the country of origin, and the intended destination of the goods.

What are the benefits of customs clearance?

Customs clearance can speed up importing or exporting goods, providing customs officials with all necessary information upfront. Also, customs clearance can help avoid delays or other problems when importing or exporting goods without one.

What are the risks of not having a customs clearance?

Not having a customs clearance can result in delays in importing or exporting goods and additional fees or penalties. In some cases, goods may even be seized by customs officials.

What are the consequences of not having a customs clearance?

The consequences of not having a customs clearance can vary depending on the country where the goods are imported or exported. In general, however, not having a customs clearance can result in delays, additional fees, and even the seizure of goods.

Who is responsible for customs clearance?

The customs agent is the entity in the international transportation chain in charge of customs clearance. The importer or exporter is represented by the customs agent, who talks with the customs administration.

Who is the customs clearance agent?

The Customs Clearance Agent is a foreign trade specialist in charge of clearing duties and paperwork on importing and exporting all sorts of products and commodities by customs and government rules.

What does customs clearance mean?

It means clearing cargo from customs of the origin and destination countries. Before items can be imported or exported internationally, customs clearance is required.

How long does customs clearance take?

Customs clearance usually takes less than 24 hours. However, it might take several days if you don’t have all of your papers.

How much does customs clearance cost?

Depending on the goods and country, the customs clearance fee varies.

What qualifications are required to become a licensed customs clearing agent in Dubai?

To become a licensed customs clearing agents in Dubai, applicants must have a valid business license, a minimum of 3 years of experience in the field, and knowledge of Dubai’s customs laws and regulations.

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