What to do when shipments got stuck in Customs ?
Getting a shipment stuck at customs can destroy your customers’ buying experience and incur costs in terms of loss. Customs is an authority in a country responsible for collecting tariffs. For controlling the flow of goods, including animals, transports, personal effects, and hazardous items, in and out of a country. This authority has the power to stop and allow goods from entering a country. Customs processes all the persons, baggage, cargo, and mail crossing the nation’s borders. A custom house agent is a person who takes over the responsibility for keeping a keen eye on overseas transactions allied to the import and exports at the customs station.
Why is shipment stuck in custom ?
Stuck of shipment in customs means they are not allowing your package to enter the country for
some reason. There may be various reasons for the same. Like the goods that interdicted in that
country. Or incorrect paperwork that might cause the holding of the package. Several other
reasons why your package gets stuck in the courier are:
1. Commercial Invoice (CI) is missing information
2. HTS Code or ECCN Numbers are incorrect
3. Valuation of the Consignment
4. The Consignee refuses to be listed as the Importer
5. There are more (or less) physical packages than described on the Commercial Invoice
6. Missing Import Documentation.
These can be the reason that your package gets stuck in customs.
There are certain things which are not allowed in various countries. So some Prohibited items in India are
1. Other meat and edible meat offal, fresh, chilled, or frozen of wild animals.
2. Pig fat, free of lean meat and poultry fat, not rendered or otherwise extracted, fresh, chilled, frozen, salted, in brine, dried or smoked.
3. Edible products of animal origin, not elsewhere specified or included of Wild animals.
4. Guts of other animals for natural food casings of wild animals.
5. Guts other than for natural food castings of wild animals.
6. Bladders & stomachs of Wild animals.
7. Feathers of a kind used for stuffing; down of wild birds.
8. Other feathers (excluding for stuffing purposes): of wild birds.
9. Powder and waste of feathers or parts of feathers: of wild birds.
10. Skins and other parts: of wild birds.
11. Bones, including horn-cores, crushed: of wild animals.
When you understand the reason for the shipment, the process is what you should do next.
Contact your seller-
The first step is to contact your seller, who has shipped your good. There are many reasons for which the customer will only talk to the seller. So you need to communicate with your seller and figure out the problem with the customs. He can check the process as the seller knows whether the document is correct or not. The seller knows much other stuff that you don’t know. Your seller can contact the shipper and get more information about your shipment and the problems faced.
Contact your courier –
The second thing you can do is to contact your carrier. But before, assure that your goods are stuck in the customs. Often express shippers like DHL or FedEx can have customs clear your shipment. You need to grab your phone and call the courier. And tell them could you fasten up the speed but beware as these couriers may charge some premium.
Make sure that your tracking tool is working correctly. Then you can keep an eye on the location of your package that will help you ensure whether your goods are safe or not. This technology will help you contact your courier and the seller and give you the correct update.
Ensure that there is no missing paperwork-
As we all know, customs clearance is a strict process, so missing one paper will not allow you to pass on from the border. Missing paperwork is one of the most common reasons for delays in shipping. Even simple mistakes like the seller forgetting to attach an invoice or CN22 customs form can cause significant delays to your shipment. So check whether the documents are proper or not. In case you missed some documents. They will be able to tell you the best. It may just be a case of emailing the documents. Consulting a custom clearance agent makes the customs clearance process even easy.
Outstanding taxes you owe to pay –
Many countries impose some import duties and export duties on some goods. On those goods, you have to pay tax. Otherwise, customs will hold your goods until you do not settle the outstanding balance. There are several ways by which you may do this process smoothly. First, choose the correct and well-known courier who will help do this work for you. Or either appoint a customs clearance agent who will guide you for the same and make you complete the process fast and smooth. Here, the customs department is responsible for collecting import and export duties on behalf of the government.
Finally, time to wait –
The last thing you can do is to wait and watch. Many times customs process is slow as it involves lots of steps in it as it is a matter of the safety and the security of their country. Just try all the best possible things you can do. And after that last thing you need to do is wait and be patient. Also, it all depends on the way you have sent your parcel. Suppose you have used a slow option like any courier company that is not well known for its speed. Or any other way like postal in that case, the only option for you is to wait.