If you are planning on importing goods for your business for the first time, you should plan for the process with diligence. Careful planning can help you avoid unexpected delays and bottlenecks which can interfere with your commercial operations and cause significant losses. Here are some practical tips to help you navigate the importing process and customs clearance with ease.

Increase the Time

You should not prepare a tight schedule when importing your goods and expect that the merchandise will arrive on the expected day. Under ideal circumstances, you might be able to get your goods in the promised timeline. However, in real life, you must be aware that delays in shipping and clearance are not unusual. Therefore, you should not order goods with the expectation that they will arrive within the projected or official period. Instead, you should order with a buffer period, even if it means that your merchandise will arrive earlier than expected. This precaution can help you avoid the detriments of delays caused by bottlenecks at customs, customs workers strikes and quarantine procedures.

Plan for Additional Costs

You should not prepare a budget which accounts for only the general expenses involved in a smooth import. Often, complications will arise during the shipping and clearance of your goods. These complications can increase the total charges for bringing your goods into the country. For example, if your goods are delivered to the sea freight or airline terminal and they are not cleared immediately, you will be charged storage fees for the container. The payments will be levied by the management, and you will be required to pay the daily charge. Failure to clear the fees can cause further delay of your goods and more rental storage charges.

Keep in Contact with Suppliers

Your shipment could be delayed because of the irresponsible actions of your supplier. Therefore, you should communicate with the other party constantly to ensure the shipping processes are running on schedule. You should also make sure that the supplier has complied with the necessary legal requirements because violations can lead to unexpected delays. For example, goods which are covered by free trade agreements should have the correct certification for proof.

Finally, you should think about engaging a customs broker to help you get early customs clearance. Custom brokers can help you pre-clear your goods before they are brought into the country. As a result, your cargo will not be held up without a good reason.