Customs clearance

Why does sea freight require customs?

For many businesses operating within our global economy, that means getting supplies, components, or products from overseas. Your freight may not be able to come by plane or land, so it may be put into a container and loaded onto a ship. Goods shipped this way are typically referred to as sea freight.

However, you might be wondering if it needs to go through the same customs process as your air or land freight, including import customs clearance. Here are 3 reasons why your sea freight requires customs and how you can benefit by working with a customs broker or importer.

Filing the Correct Paperwork

Once you start the process of moving your freight by sea, you are going to need to have the proper paperwork filed with customs. Nothing moves across the borders of a country, either by air, land, or sea, without completely the customs process.

Working with a customs broker, you can be sure that all the proper paperwork is filed and that your cargo will continue to move through the process in a timely fashion. If you are not familiar with all the customs processes and customs duties, then you might have delays that negatively impact your business.

Booking Space on a Freighter

Another reality of sea freight is that to get your container of goods off the dock, you need space on an ocean freighter that is also coming to your destination country. Doing so on your own can be time consuming, plus you will still need to complete the customs process before your cargo is loaded and then when it arrives in its destination. A customs broker can help in this process, including assisting in reducing your shipping costs by combining your shipment with several others to increase the volume and decrease the pricing.

Getting It Off the Dock

Completing the import customs clearance process is only one part of completing the delivery of your sea freight. It still needs to be taken off the dock and brought to your business or warehouse. Many businesses who tried to handle the customs clearance process on their own found themselves paying additional fees for storage at the docks because they did not properly complete critical paperwork or pay the appropriate fees.

To avoid those delays and financial penalties, it is important to have someone in place who can handle all these details and make sure that your sea freight makes it to the final destination by train and/or truck.

The Benefits of a Customs Broker

Clearly, there are plenty of aspects to the process of getting a sea freight through the customs process, shipped, loaded, unloaded, through import customs clearance, and then having it finally delivered. If any step is not completed correctly, it can lead to delays, additional storage fees, and penalties, which can negatively impact the bottom line of your business.

As the customs process continues with additional challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever you should consider working with a customs broker to avoid any potential issues. They can serve as a liaison between your business and the local government, because they will be up to date on the latest changes or current rules related to imports and exports.

They can also assist in making sure that all taxes and duties have been calculated correctly, your proper classifications are in place, and that your sea freight will move timely. By working with them, your sea freight can receive customs clearance even during these challenging times. It is true that sea freight does need to go through customs, but by working with a customs broker, you can complete the process timely.

Atlanta Customs Brokers is one of the oldest and most trusted customs brokerage and shipping firms in Atlanta. Established in 1985, our company has been a fixture in and around the Atlanta airport and Savannah port for more than 31 years. We enjoy working with our international partners and enjoy what we do. If you are a first-time importer or exporter or a large corporation, we can handle your needs.