Tips to Avoid Common Customs Traps

Vague object descriptions. Wrong addresses. Potential customs traps may price corporations money and time when moving international shipments. Even with superior technology that has come to an extended manner in digitizing customs techniques, dangers nonetheless stay in today’s global change surroundings if digital declarations aren’t filled out absolutely, correctly, and plausible. Any of these pitfalls can include growth costs and abate productiveness—and in reality, interrupt the glide of products.

But there may be a way ahead. Best-of-breed, multi-use customs management software, with abilities like automated test algorithms that flag mistakes, can help companies combat those troubles and prevent the maximum commonplace mistakes, which spark off pink flags for customs authorities.


Incorrect customs class

The commercial invoice serves as the premise for the announcement of the custom for each import and export. A thorough description of goods is important with a purpose to decide the right customs classification. From the importer’s attitude, clear agreements have to be made with the provider. A precise’s description is enough when statistics for every item is indexed, consisting of reason to be used, cloth, and characteristics. This can then be attributed to a customs tariff variety. It is smart for the provider to consist of the importer’s item range in its bill. If the attribution is not definitive, false tariff classifications can lead to excessive responsibilities bills. An accurate customs managing solution will support both ends of the delivery chain, streamlining verbal exchange and permitting records to be shared robotically.

TIP: Create a database within your customs software for all not unusual items, with master records and the customs tariff numbers to be used, respectively. This will save time inside the import and export technique.

Subsequent payments and excessive customs responsibilities
A product is classed into the electronic customs tariff within the customs classification and assigned a tariff variety. If the products are declared beneath the false customs tariff number during import, the customs workplace will simplest the obligations associated with the desired code quantity. False tariff classifications are particularly problematic due to the fact the customs workplace rarely inspects the products themselves. The inspection charge is generally about 1.5 percent, so mistakes in customs declarations can stay undiscovered for decades. And, at the same time, as it’s feasible to get a refund for excess obligations paid if the customs office examines the traits of the products, it could just as without problems result in extra payments. Moreover, depending on the united states, a motion can be enforced for up to 3 to 10 years after the object has been shipped, and it is some distance higher to get the type right the first time.

TIP: Regularly replace master records to avoid next bills and immoderate obligation bills.

Missing statistics

Incoterms: Missing invoice information at the agreed terms of transport is one of the most common motives for questions and delays.
The number of objects: Customs declarations with missing or false facts on various items are instantly rejected by the customs authorities. Your customs software program must be able to check the statistics entered and cause an alert if its miles are found to be wrong. In the technique, as an example, the indicated variety of pieces in aggregate with the weight serves as the basis for automated plausibility assessments. Accordingly, a shipment weight of 1.536 kilograms does no longer fits a quantity of one hundred notebooks. The number of items must always be certain on the economic invoice to eliminate this easy error, even if this isn’t always required.

Total price: The general rate is proven at the bill if you want to check the completeness of multi-web page documents, and corporations should specify the foreign money wherein the bill was issued.
Customs value for items brought free of charge: Since no transaction fee is to be had for these gadgets, alternative strategies for the customs fee calculation have to be used. Custom value calculation techniques are the situation to company guidelines and might vary between nations. Specifying fictional items’ values is not accredited.

Incorrect certificates of foundation

It is feasible for the certificate of foundation to be declared invalid after the import because the authorities doubt the correctness of the beginning of the good. Without a legitimate certificate of origin, consequences may result. Depending on the united states of import, extraordinary beginning certificates can be required for the equal product, and specific guidelines for the re-export may apply.

TIP: Harmonize the customs regimes of a couple of international locations into a single output with customs software.


According to the Union Customs Code (UCC) for the EU, all members inside the export of any goods are deemed responsible debtors for so long as the import records have not been submitted, or until the goods go away the EU once more. Consequently, a false preference certificate and oblique participation in tax evasion or minor tax fraud may be considered under crook regulation or policies that could result in administrative fines.

TIP: When delivery chains become greater complex, you could become a companion greater speedy than you’ll assume. Because of this, automatic plausibility checks are critical to help make certain you remain compliant with nearby customs authorities.


Customs snags lurk in many exclusive forms whilst uploading or exporting items, and from time to time, these problems become apparent simplest after months or maybe years. It’s crucial to test your approaches to their sustainability. A first-class-of-breed, multi-country customs control software program answer can assist maintain compliance with customs and safety policies worldwide and remain compliant whilst necessities trade.

Celeste Catano is Global Product Manager of Customs Management at BluJay Solutions. She has forty years of experience in business enterprise. Celeste additionally serves on the Commercial Operations Advisory Committee (COAC), which advises the Department of Homeland Security on the economic operations of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and related Treasury and DHS functions. She has been co-chair of the Trade Support Network’s Trade Transition Committee given that 2001.

Jessica J. Underwood
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