Customs clearance


Customs clearance, or customs clearance, is the administrative process that allows the entry, transit and exit of merchandise from a customs territory.

This process includes the set of documents and formalities to allow the import or export of merchandise. In this sense, these documents declare the solvency of the owner of the shipment. This documentation is complementary to the customs declaration.

Some documents that are part of this process are the following:

  • Purchase order.
  • Commercial invoice.
  • Bill of lading.
  • Certificate of origin.
  • Packing list.

However, given the heterogeneity of the information, it is up to each authority to determine the requirements for the procedure.

Custom agent

Customs procedures are carried out by customs agents. These are people specialized in the process of importing and exporting goods. In this sense, it acts before the port authority on behalf of the importer or exporter. Therefore, they allow processes to be more fluid.

In addition, the documents that are presented in customs require technical knowledge to avoid delays. In this case, it is important that the information available to the agent is transparent and accurate. Presenting incorrect information could result in significant storage and administrative costs for the cargo owner.

Example, how is the dispatch process carried out?

Any process of nationalization or shipment of merchandise abroad requires verification of the documentation. However, when trade volumes are high, customs becomes congested. Therefore, to streamline the process, there is also a color code for customs clearance.

  • Green Channel: This channel is a direct lift instruction. That is, the documentation and information provided is correct.
  • Yellow channel: This channel is assigned for minor problems, such as the absence of a document that needs to be attached.
  • Orange channel: In this case, the verification of all the documentation of the declaration is required. You can also request new information. However, after verifying the data, we proceed with the dispatch.
  • Red channel: Finally, the channel indicates that physical verification of the shipment is required. This, along with the comparison with the documents presented by the customs broker.

The common thing is that the merchandise moves through fast channels, such as green or yellow. Therefore, the orange and red channels are for suspicious or randomized goods. Some criteria that are taken for this process is the origin and destination of the merchandise, and the history of the merchant, for example.

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