Avoid customs clearance delays with FedEx

Confidently navigate customs clearance

Confidently navigate customs clearance

Avoid customs clearance delays with FedEx

Avoid customs clearance delays with FedEx

Customs clearance doesn’t have to be complex. A few simple steps can get your international shipments where they need to go, on time and every time.

It’s exciting to be able to trade almost anywhere in the world these days. But no matter where your customers are, they expect their purchase to arrive on time and in perfect condition.

A trusted logistics partner should take the utmost care in delivering your goods for you, and make sure your shipments enjoy hassle-free customs clearance anywhere in the world.

If you’re not familiar with Harmonized System (HS) codes or creating commercial invoices and pro-formas for shipping then you can find simple step-through instructions in tools like FedEx Global Trade Manager. Search for information, build on the descriptions for customs clearance purposes, and find out about duties and taxes to avoid customs clearance delays later.

Here’s a snapshot of the customs and regulation requirements you will need to know when sending a package internationally.

Customs Brokerage
FedEx international shipping services automatically include customs brokerage. We offer standard customs clearance, however, we also offer a comprehensive range of value-added solutions when your shipment has special clearance needs. Our ancillary service offerings vary depending on your location so check here for availability in your region.

Duties and Taxes
Most shipments across international borders are subject to duty and tax assessment by the importing country. Customs authorities collect duties and taxes on goods coming into and out of a country as a type of tax on cross-border goods.

Common duties include tariffs on import goods that compete with locally produced items to protect local industries. Duties are usually paid by the exporter.

Common taxes include sales tax, value-added tax (VAT) and goods and services tax (GST) and are usually paid by the importer.

Regulatory Alerts
International shipping regulations and requirements can change quickly. You can subscribe to FedEx eNews Center for a great way to be alerted about the latest news that may impact your shipments and stay updated with special offers.

Our top tips to avoid customs delays
Once you have your international shipping process in place, you can be confident that your customers will be happily receiving their purchases anywhere in the world. Here are some for our best housekeeping tips to avoid customs clearance delays:

  • Declare the accurate value for your item, even if it’s being provided to the recipient at no charge (i.e. as a sample or “not for resale”). The value will be used to assess duties and taxes.

  • Include clear descriptions of your goods so that customs officers can make informed decisions when processing your shipment. See the table for examples of good and bad descriptions

Bad Description Good Description
Gift One men’s knitted sweater (100% cotton)
Sample 200cm x 400cm nylon carpet samples
Documents 20 pages of legal documents
Kids clothes 10 cotton shirts
  • Keep multiple-piece shipments together and label each piece of the shipment individually.

  • Correctly complete all necessary documents. Keep your answers specific, accurate, and free of spelling errors.

  • Make sure information is consistent across all required customs documents.

  • When filling out customs documents, list each commodity separately, and provide a detailed, accurate description of each one - including what it’s made of and how it will be used.

  • Legibly print the commodity’s country of origin/manufacture to indicate where your commodity was manufactured, grown or produced.

  • If you’re using your own broker, include their complete contact information.

  • Provide a phone number or fax information for both the sender and the consignee.

We offer a variety of online resources and tools to help you get ready for every step of the process.


More from Small Business Center

Article 8 image

How can you ensure your returns policy delights, and doesn’t irritate, your customers? Find out now.

Article 3 image

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. Just follow the steps to smarter shipping.