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 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 most commonplace errors that spark off pink flags for customs authorities.

Customs Traps

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 for deciding the right customs classification. From the importer’s attitude, clear agreements must be made with the provider. A precise description is enough when statistics for every item are indexed, consisting of the reason to be used, cloth, and characteristics. This can then be attributed to a customs tariff variety. It is smart for the provider to include the importer’s item range in its bill. If the attribution is not definitive, false tariff classifications can lead to excessive responsibility 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 in 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 problematic because the customs workplace rarely inspects the products. The inspection charge is generally about 1.5 percent, so mistakes in customs declarations can stay undiscovered for decades. 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 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 no longer fits a quantity of one hundred notebooks. The number of items must always be specified on the economic invoice to eliminate this easy error, even if this isn’t always required.

Total price: The general rate is proven on the bill if you want to check the completeness of multi-web page documents, and corporations should specify the foreign currency in which the bill was issued.
Customs value for items brought free of charge: Since these gadgets do not require a transaction fee, alternative strategies for calculating the customs fee must be used. Custom value calculation techniques follow 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 to 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 more complex, you could become a companion faster than you’d 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 while uploading or exporting items; sometimes, these problems become apparent after months or maybe years. It’s crucial to test your approaches to their sustainability. A best-of-breed, multi-country customs control software program answer can assist in maintaining compliance with customs and safety policies worldwide and remaining compliant while necessities trade.

Celeste Catano is the 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 since 2001.

Jessica J. Underwood
Subtly charming explorer. Pop culture practitioner. Creator. Web guru. Food advocate. Typical travel maven. Zombie fanatic. Problem solver. Was quite successful at developing wooden tops in the aftermarket. A real dynamo when it comes to exporting glucose in Bethesda, MD. Had moderate success managing action figures in New York, NY. Set new standards for selling crayon art in Salisbury, MD. In 2009 I was getting my feet wet with sock monkeys for the underprivileged. Spoke at an international conference about merchandising toy elephants in Nigeria.