Hart Logistics offer clearing and forwarding service all over the world. Customs clearance can be a painful experience for most international traders. But with Hart Logistics, you don’t have to worry about it anymore.
Every country has its own set of rules for the customs department. You can not compare regulations from one government with another. That’s why clearing and forwarding service providers have to update themselves with the current rules.
Hart Logistics is a leading clearing and forwarding agent in China with its excellent reputation in the clearing and forwarding fields. We parallelly work as a customs broker and freight forwarder anywhere in the world. You can use our freight service or both freight forwarding and clearing service.
As a broker forwarder, we maintain a good relationship with the top broker agencies in every country. And these connections have made us one the best of clearing and forwarding companies.
Our Other Services Besides Clearing and Forwarding
Why Choose Hart for Services
We have a deep understanding of the market. We maintain our focus on systemization and standardization so that we can arrange freight forwarding and clearing service effortlessly.
Cheap Shipping Rate
Customs broker freight forwarder can be expensive, but we are not. We know how important the price is for you and we always try to provide the best price.
We focus on standardization so that we can quickly respond to your message. Clearing forwarding is a long process, and we are never late to react to anything through the process.
As a customs broker freight forwarder, we know systemization is the most crucial thing in this industry. We have a robust system with highly skilled in-house developers to maintain the system.
We constantly monitor every node through the process with a dedicated person. The person always watches your shipment status and takes action if necessary.
Custom Clearance Service
The Customs department is a challenging place for many freight forwarders but not for us. We have dedicated experts to handle your shipment in the customs department.
With more than 20 local offices in various countries, we are one of China’s leading clearing and forwarding agents.
Highly Trained Team
International trading is serious business, and we continually train our employees to handle any challenges on their way so that you can get a smooth delivery.
Our company maintains a strict protocol in the employment process. We never compromise with our professionalism, and that is our main strength.
Qualifications and Honor for Services
NVOCC Business Operation Qualification Registration Certificate
Hart Logistics is a registered member of NVOCC. The registration process is not easy as it demands some special qualifications from the freight forwarder. Few freight forwarders in China have this certification. With this certification, we can issue our own bill of lading with other benefits.
Member Unit for SIFFA
SIFFA is a social organization with a legal personality approved by Shenzhen Civil Affairs Bureau. The mission of SIFFA is to guide, protect and coordinate the members to exchange information, coordinate relations, enhance cooperation to promote the international freight forwarding industry.
Customs Clearing and Forwarding – The Ultimate FAQ Guide
Many importers face problems clearing their products from the customs department.
Hart Logistics offer customs clearing and forwarding service from China to every corner in the world.
Customs clearance is a complicated process.
That’s why we prepared a complete FAQ guide on customs clearance and forwarding service.
Table of Content
- What is Customs Clearing?
- When Do I Need A Customs Clearance Procedure?
- Can I Pay The Customs Bill?
- What Documents Will I Need For Customs Clearance And Forwarding Procedure?
- Who Is Responsible For The Customs Clearing Process?
- How Long Does It Take To Complete Customs Clearance?
- What Is The Cost Of Customs Clearing And Forwarding Service?
- Can I Track The Status Of The Customs Clearance?
- What Are Incoterms And Why Is It Important In Customs Clearance?
- What Is A Bonded Warehouse?
- Will I Need An Original Bill Of Lading To Receive My Order?
- Where Can I Find A Customs Broker?
1. What is Customs Clearing?
Customs clearance is the process of taking products through the customs department to authorize the movement of cargo into a country (Import) or outside of a country (Export).
Every customs authority demands some specific documents from the shipper, and the shipper has to deliver those to the authority.
After providing all the requested documentation and paying customs duties and a VAT and Tax, the customs authority clears the shipment from the port.
Every country has its own set of rules for the customs authority.
These rules can change from country to country.
That’s why it can be challenging for importers/exporters to deal with all the necessary requirements of the customs authority.
Customs brokers and freight forwarders can help transporters to complete all the processes smoothly.
2. When Do I Need A Customs Clearance Procedure?
When you are transporting commercial goods internationally, you have to deal with the customs department authority from both countries.
You can not import or export goods without paying customs duties or submitting the proper documentation to the customs authority.
However, there are some exceptions, such as if you are transporting goods in Schengen countries, Europe you don’t have to pay the customs duties.
Moreover, sometimes in some countries for the smaller amount you don’t have to pay customs duty.
For example, in the USA, you don’t have to pay customs duty if the cost of your products is worth less than USD 800.
To learn more about this, you can contact a clearing and forwarding service provider.
Hart Logistics is a leading clearing and forwarding agent in China and provides clearing and forwarding service at a reasonable cost.
Remember, the clearing and forwarding process is a country-specific process.
That’s why a clearing and forwarding agent is vital when you are shipping from China.
Know how customs work
3. Can I Pay The Customs Bill?
Unfortunately, you can not. Only a customs broker and freight forwarder have the license and knowledge to pass your shipment through the customs department by providing all documents and paying the bills.
As it is a complicated process, one must possess knowledge about the customs rules.
We highly recommend you hire a customs broker freight forwarder when shipping from China.
Hart Logistics is one of the best clearing and forwarding companies in China, and we offer freight forwarding and clearing service at a low cost.
4. What Documents Will I Need For Customs Clearance And Forwarding Procedure?
To pass through customs, you have to submit five documents.
However, the requirements can be different from country to country for the customs department.
A customs broker freight forwarder will be able to inform you of the country-specific documentation.
A) Commercial Invoice
After you pay for the goods, you will get the commercial invoice from the manufacturer or the seller.
It is a critical legal document. When you are importing products, the customs broker determines the real value of your shipment.
According to this actual value, the broker or the custom forwarder calculates the VAT and Tax you have to pay for your shipment.
Here are the details a clearing and forwarding service will look for to in your commercial invoice:
- Invoice number and date
- Descriptions, HS codes, quantities, and prices of the products being sold
- Seller and buyer’s detailed information including their Tax pay numbers.
- Agreed Incoterms by both sides.
Some customs departments allow preliminary invoices, which are also called ‘forma invoices,’ to calculate the taxes and duties. .
But that is only allowed in some specific countries.
Other countries don’t accept forma invoices. Some countries also want a particular invoice for the customs department that contains the same information but comes in a different format.
An experienced clearing and forwarding agent knows these rules, and they can provide precisely what your customs department will ask for.
Hart Logistics is one of China’s best clearing and forwarding companies with dedicated clearing and forwarding experts.
Know more about the customs documentation
B) Packing List
It contains every detailed information about the shipment, making it another crucial document in the shipping process.
The packaging list is not only vital to customs clearance; a freight clearing and forwarding service also determines which vehicle you should use for your shipment.
Moreover, the packaging list is essential to get the bill of lading, a necessary document for customs clearance.
Typically a packaging list comes with the following details:
- Invoice number
- Mode of transport
- Detailed information of the shipper, seller, and buyer
- Date of shipment
- Detailed carrier information
- Full description of the goods
- Packaging type (I.e., dram, cartoon, crate, or box)
- Net Total and gross weights
- Container, seal number, these packaging marks.
C) Certificate of Origin
As the name suggests, the certificate of origin proclaims the original country of the products or materials you are shipping.
This document describes the goods, the country it is from, and the destination port.
Some countries’ customs authorities make this document mandatory whereas some other demand it for specific products.
Why is this important?
Because every country has a list of which products you can import and which you cant.
With this certificate, the customs department can find the eligibility of the goods you are importing from China.
A clearing and forwarding agent must know items that are forbidden to import in the country you want to ship your product.
How to create the certificate of origin?
The certificate of origin does not have a standard format.
The seller or the manufacturer of your goods makes this document using their own format.
Also, this document needs to be authorized by a third party like a chamber of commerce.
If you are unfamiliar with the process, you can take the help of a customs broker freight forwarder. They will be able to assist you.
The buyer can issue a letter of credit to the seller using a bank.
In case the buyer fails to pay for the product, the bank will pay the amount so that the seller does not face any economic loss.
In most cases, the letter of credit is the standard way of securing the seller, but there are also other ways. Such as:
Letter of Credit is popular in international trading but there are some other payment methods too.
- Advance payment – The buyer can pay the seller in advance using a wire bank transfer or credit card.
- Documentary collection – A bank from the importer’s country will collect the payment from the importer for the exporter.
- Open account – In this process, the seller delivers the shipment before getting the payment. This method is convenient for the buyer but risky for the exporter.
E) Bill of Lading
The carrier or the shipper issues this bill of lading document.
This document declares the destination, quantity, and types of the goods that are carried.
The bill of lading works as a contract between the exporter and the carrier.
This is an essential document in every customs department in the world, no matter which mode the importer uses to bring the shipment.
A clearing forwarding service provider knows how important this document is, and they always keep this with them for any sudden situation.
However, the term ‘Bill of lading’ changes according to the freight service you take.
For sea freight, this is called ‘Bil of lading,’ and for the air freight service, this is called “Airway Bill.”
Irrespective of the name they call, your freight clearing and forwarding service should keep this document safe.
F) Other Necessary Documents For Customs Clearance
There are some other documents you might need in the customs department. They are:
- Inspection certificates
- port and export licenses
- Dangerous goods declarations
Remember, the clearing and forwarding process changes according to the rule of the native country.
Clearing and forwarding companies know these rules, and they can provide you the best suggestions so that you can clear your products from the customs at the earliest possible time.
Hart Logistics is a leading broker forwarder in China, and we can assist with the customs clearance so that you can get a smooth delivery of your products.
5. Who Is Responsible For The Customs Clearing Process?
Seller and buyer both share the responsibility of the customs clearance.
Typically in the international import-export scenario, the exporter is responsible for the customs responsibility for export customs clearance.
The buyer, on the other hand, is responsible for the import customs clearance.
However, the responsibility can shift according to the incoterms between the seller and the buyer.
A customs broker or clearing forwarding agent process the customs clearing with the help of a logistics expert who takes the responsibility to export your product according to your desired method.
The custom broker assists the logistics company on which documents are needed to clear the shipment from the customs authority.
You can also find clearing and forwarding companies that take responsibility for clearing and forwarding your shipment.
6. How Long Does It Take To Complete Customs Clearance?
This is a question nobody has the right answer to. Customs clearance is a complicated process, and there are many different rules involved.
Moreover, every country has its own sets of rules for the customs department.
Furthermore, the rules are not consistent; every country changes its customs rules and protocols frequently.
Therefore, it is hard to predict the exact time to complete the customs clearance.
The process starts when the shipment arrives in the transit area if all the necessary documents are appropriately placed.
Some countries provide online customs services and release the cargo in just 24 hours.
Usually, the customs department checks the documents and clears the goods if the Duty and taxes are paid.
However, sometimes authorities ask for further documentation and decide to have an inspection.
If that happens, the clearing procedure can take up to one or two weeks.
To overcome these kinds of situations and avoid storage charges, both the buyer and the freight forwarder should collect all the necessary documents.
We suggest hiring a clearing forwarding agent that can work as both a customs broker and freight forwarder.
Hart Logistics has been working as a customs forwarder for many years, and we assure you a hassle-free, smooth delivery at the earliest possible time.
7. What Are The Costs Of Customs Clearing And Forwarding Service?
A buyer has to pay two bills in customs.
- Customs duty
- VAT and Tax
Customs Duty: Customs duty or the customs clearance fee is the first cost you have to pay to the customs department.
You can not pay this bill by yourself. You have to pay the bill to the customs broker, and they will take care of the rest.
A broker forwarder also can complete the process for you.
VAT and Tax: After submitting the customs clearance fee, you have to pay the VAT and Tax determined by the respective country’s government.
The customs broker or broker forwarder will calculate the VAT and Tax for you.
Typically the VAT and Tax depend on the value of the shipped products and transportation cost.
You have to pay the VAT and Tax to the customs authority directly.
The customs duty and VAT, Tax depends on the type of the products you are importing from China or any other country.
The customs broker or broker forwarder calculates the terrify according to the description of the products.
Remember, the tariff is not universal; instead, the tariff varies from country to country.
You should consult a customs broker or your broker forwarder before you proceed with your shipment.
Another fee called customs inspection fee may apply to your shipment if the customs authority decides to examine the product you are importing/exporting.
Nobody can tell for sure whether your product will be inspected or not by the customs authority, so it is better to prepare for this.
A clearing forwarding agent can tell you more about the inspection process.
8. Can I Track The Status Of The Customs Clearance?
Yes and no. You can not track the status of your customs clearance by yourself without the help of a customs forwarder.
But your customs forwarder/broker or the freight forwarder can see the status of your products.
So, you should keep close contact with your customs broker, freight forwarder so that they can give you a direct message if there are any holdups or delays.
If you hire a customs broker freight forwarder, you don’t have to contact two parties to track your shipment waiting for customs clearance.
In Hart Logistics, we take care of the clearing and forwarding process and continuously update our customers about the prior status of their shipment warning for customs clearance.
9. What Are Incoterms And Why Is It Important In Customs Clearance?
Every importer and exporter should have good knowledge about incoterms.
This is a global term used in the international trade business. Incoterms define the transaction between exporter and importer.
According to the incoterms, both parties understand the tasks, risks, responsibilities, and costs.
Both parties manage the transportation and logistics according to the incoterms.
Incoterms are also crucial in the freight clearing and forwarding process as they also define who is responsible for the customs clearance bill and other costs.
Followings are the prime responsibilities and obligations that both parties set by the incoterms:
Point Of Delivery: This defines from which point the responsibilities will be shifted between buyer and seller.
Transportation Bill: By this incoterms, both parties come to an agreement about which party will be responsible for the transportation cost.
Import And Export Formalities: Every import and export activity has some formalities. According to this incoterm, both parties agree on who will be responsible for that.
Insurance Cost: Insurance is vital in international trade. In this incoterm, both parties agree on who will pay the insurance cost.
Now let’s see the types of incoterms you will see in international trade:
Ex Works (EXW) – The seller only delivers the goods on time from the factory. From there the buyer takes full responsibility.
Free Carrier (FCA) – The seller delivers the goods to the first carrier. From there, the buyer is responsible for all the costs. The risk of loss and damage is also upon the buyer. The buyer has to clear the shipment from both customs departments.
Free Alongside Ship (FAS) – The seller loads the goods in the ship and from their buyer takes the responsibility. If anything happens to the shipment on the ship, the buyer will take care of that. Here the seller pays the export customs duty and tax.
Free on Board (FOB) –Here, the buyer will load the shipment in the vessel. But both parties take responsibility if anything happens to the shipment. The buyer pays the export customs duty.
Cost and Freight (CFR) – Seller pays the bill for the freight to the destination. However, the buyer will be responsible for other risks such as any damage or loosing.
Cost, Insurance, and Freight (CIF) –It is just like CFR, but here the seller has to pay for the insurance.
Carrier and Insurance Paid to (CIP) – Though the seller pays for the insurance and freight, the risk stays on the buyer.
Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) – Here, the seller is fully responsible for delivering the product to the buyer’s desired location including customs clearance.
Contact a freight clearing and forwarding agent or customs forwarder if you don’t understand which incoterms you should follow.
Know more about incoterms
10. What Is A Bonded Warehouse?
A bonded warehouse is a place where the imported products are stored securely.
The bonded warehouse provides secured storage for dutiable goods.
A bonded warehouse aims to help the government supervise every shipment before the importers pay the customs duty.
Customs officials can inspect the bonded warehouse to observe any shipment if they have any concerns.
A shipment can be stored in a Bonded warehouse for as much as 5 years.
11. Will I Need An Original Bill Of Lading To Receive My Order?
Usually, three bills of lading are issued. One for the consignee, one for the broker, banker, or third party, and one for the shipper.
However, there are no restrictions on how many bill ladings the carrier can issue, but every bill of lading MUST contain the number stated on the bill.
Technically, it is possible to complete the customs clearance procedure without the original copy, but you should use the original one in practice.
Because if you issue more bills of lading, that enhances the risk of unauthorized clearance of the goods, fraud, or theft.
A professional customs broker freight forwarder can assist you more on this matter.
12. Where Can I Find A Customs Broker?
Customs brokers are available in every country. But you should not hire a customs broker casually.
You should hire a customs broker by following the following tips:
- Choose a broker who has sufficient experience in your industry.
- Choose a company dedicated to their work
- Choose a customs broker who has positive references
- The customs broker must be approved.
- The broker should be capable of handling your volume.
We have a better suggestion, hire a broker forwarder. Some freight forwarder works as a clearing and forwarding agent.
With proper clearing forwarding experience, a freight forwarder can save your cost during the customs clearance process.
Hart Logistics is a leading customs broker and freight forwarder in China, providing cleaning forwarding services worldwide.
You can take our service to ship from China to anywhere in the world.
Customs clearance can be a painful process for most persons involved in the trading business.
That’s why cleaning and forwarding service is essential.
Hiring a broker agency can help you clear your goods from the customs, but in that case, you have to deal with multiple agents: broker and freight forwarder.
Cleaning and forwarding service, on the other hand, is a convenient process of shipping. An expert clearing forwarding agent can take care of both shipping and customs clearance.
In Hart Logistics, we work as a customs broker and freight forwarder.
We assure a safe and secure shipment of your product and hassle-free customs clearance.
Do you have anything to ship from China or want to know more about the customs clearance? Just send us a message.