4 Issues You Should Consider Before Handling Your Own Customs Clearance

Posted on: 19 July 2017

Some business owners may consider handling all their customs clearance in-house in order to avoid the cost of paying a customs broker. However, you should be careful when making that switch so that you don't get into situations that you are unable to deal with. This article discusses some of those potential pitfalls that you should plan for before handling your own customs clearance matters.

Regulatory Guidance

Customs clearance goes beyond filling forms. One must ensure that he or she complies with all applicable regulations. Those regulations may change frequently in addition to new ones being introduced. You should be certain that you have the in-house competence to understand the implications of all regulations that affect your imports. Providers of customs clearance services have experts that can quickly identify what changes need to be implemented in order to comply with all the appropriate regulations as they handle their clients' imports.

Cost Implications

You may have to hire a person to handle the customs clearance affairs of your company. How much will it cost you to keep that employee? How does that cost compare with what you spend on a brokerage firm? You should only hire an employee to handle your customs clearance needs if the cost of maintaining that worker is less than what it has been costing you to pay external experts to do that work.

Communication Issues

Filing customs documents is usually done on proprietary communication platforms that customs clearance brokers can easily afford. How will you ensure that you are connected to the communication systems of the customs authorities in your area? You also need to think about how you will communicate seamlessly with other parties, such as shipping companies and warehouses, in order to expedite the delivery of your imports.

Cargo Visibility

You need to track your goods throughout the journey so that you can step in quickly as soon as a problem develops. An efficient tracking system saves you from incurring additional charges, such as demurrage costs, when a preventable delay isn't detected in time. Customs brokers usually maintain shipment tracking systems that keep them informed about every step of the shipment process.

The decision to start handling your own customs clearance matters needs to be thought through carefully in order to avoid making mistakes. Use the pointers above as a starting point in your assessment of your capacity to take on customs clearance tasks. Hire professionals in case you fall short on any of the requirements needed for performing those tasks.


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