On arrival of cargo at the Nigeria airport, the next question would be ‘what next’?
Recall that at the port of take-off, some important documentation steps took place to ensure due process.
At last, your cargo arrives at the airport of destination. At this point, another process requiring documentation begins. After this, the items are released.
This is what we regard as the Airport Customs Clearance process.
What is Customs Clearance?
Customs clearance is a work process that involves preparing and submitting required documents for the facilitation of exports or imports into the country.
At the point of clearance, the information provided must come with enough details to represent the client during customs examination, payment of duty, along with other assessment processes.
The clearing process requires the following documents. Please note that without these documents, the clearing process can not begin.
1. Commercial invoice
The commercial invoice is a legal document between the supplier and the customer that clearly describes the sold goods and the amount due to the customer. It is one of the main documents used by customs in determining customs duties.
According to Business Dictionary, A commercial invoice is a document required by customs to determine true value of the imported goods, for assessment of duties and taxes. A commercial invoice (in addition to other information), must identify the buyer and seller, and clearly indicate the (1) date and terms of sale, (2) quantity, weight and/or volume of the shipment, (3) type of packaging, (4) complete description of goods, (5) unit value and total value, and (6) insurance, shipping and other charges (as applicable).
2. Air Way Bill (AWB) – An air waybill (AWB) is a document that accompanies goods shipped by an international air courier to provide detailed information about the shipment and allow it to be tracked. On it, you have your unique 11 digits tracking number, details of the owner of the goods and details of the carrier.
It is one of the most important documents needed for customs clearing purpose.
This document serves as the contract between the owner of the goods and the carrier. The bill has multiple copies so that each party involved in the shipment can document it.
3. Certificate of origin – This document declares which country the commodity was manufactured. The certificate of origin contains information regarding the product, its destination, and the country of export. The CO is an essential form because it can help determine whether certain goods are eligible for import, or whether goods are subject to duties.
4. Power of Attorney – the document authorising the freight forwarder to act on behalf of the owner.
Read Also: Basic Import Document required in Nigeria
The Customs Clearing Process
After the items have been verified good to go, the receiving freight forwarder receives the documents from the handling agent to clear them through customs. This is why it is important to choose a freight forwarder who has certified customs brokers to process this for you.
What happens during the clearing process of goods?
Due to the rigorous stages involved in the process of clearing goods, many businesses have been stuck in fear of doing international shipping.
As a matter of fact, this is one of the reasons behind the high rate of involvement with unqualified freight forwarders. This can be avoided by seeking the right people to handle your freights.
But here, we need to know exactly what takes place during the customs clearance of goods.
Let me explain how it works. This makes it easier to follow even if you want to handle the process all by yourself.
So, what exactly happens when your shipment arrives in customs?
1. The paperwork for your shipment will be looked at.
Earlier we defined commercial invoice and its importance. It is the bill for the goods from the buyer to the seller. This document is so important that all international shipments need to present to custom for clearing purpose. This document lists both the shipper and the receiver’s contact information. It also has the export date and airway bill number and a description of the item and its total value.
2. Taxes and Customs Duties Payment Evidence will be Requested
Before take-off, it is expected that both taxes and duties payment should have been made. In the event of the contrary, this step must be taken before clearance takes place.
Customs Duty is a tariff or tax imposed on goods when transported across international borders. Its purpose is to protect each country’s economy, environment, jobs, residents, etc., by controlling the flow of goods, especially restrictive and prohibited goods, into and out of the country. If these have not been settled, This is where the option of DDU (Deliver Duty Unpaid) and DDP (Deliver Duty Paid) comes into effect.
If a shipment is marked as DDP, this means that payment of the taxes and duties have already been paid for. Some express couriers have their own customs brokers who can process this payment for you, and they offer these services at a fixed price when you pay for your label.
However, if the shipment is marked as DDU, customs will forward the package to an independent customs broker to collect the required amount.
This is where it can get very expensive, as all brokers are independent and each charge a different fee structure. Different fees such as brokerage, storage, and late payment fees may apply, making it impossible to tell the customer what their final amount will be.
3. The customs officer will see if any taxes and duties apply to your shipment. This will depend on the type of goods, their value, and the laws of the importing country. If it’s determined that the value of the goods are above the tax threshold, then the officer will check whether these taxes and duties have been paid for.
Contact Bowagate Global Limited Today
Want to learn more about our Sea Freight shipping or talk to us about your Shipment?
Give us a call: 08147068472. Our lines are open during business hours, so you can speak to a real person. Or send an Email: [email protected]. You can also visit www.bowagateglobal.com for more details.
For your expert and professional freight forwarding, contact BOWA GATE GLOBAL LIMITED. We offer cheap (affordable), fast (swift) and reliable quality cargo services that include Import, Export, Freight, Clearing/Customs Duty Brokerage, Groupage Freight, Warehousing, Consolidation, Air Freight Consolidation, Shipping Globally, Door to Door Freight Shipping, etc.
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