What is Customs Clearance?
Customs Clearance is the act of declaring goods to the relevant customs authority so they can enter or leave the country. The Customs Clearance Document details all the relevant information for the movement of the goods and ensures that the correct VAT / Duty / Excise / Tariffs are paid.
How long does it take to clear Customs?
Providing the correct documents are provided, preparing a Customs Clearance document should take a maximum of a few hours. However, incorrect or missing information can cause delays in the correct preparation of the Customs documents.
When the goods arrive at the Port / Airport, the local Customs Authority can choose to inspect the goods or immediately clear them. If the Customs Office chooses to inspect the goods, depending on the type of goods, the clearance usually takes from 30 minutes to a few hours.
Customs Complete aims to have your goods cleared on the same day, 24/7 – 365
What documents are required for Customs Clearance?
While there’s no set formula for Customs Clearance Documents, some of the key paperwork you’ll need includes:
- Commercial Invoice
- Import and Export licences (when applicable)
- Customs value declaration
- Packing slip
- Freight documents / Shipping information
Depending on the origin and type of goods you may also need:
- Certificate of Origin
- ATR Certificate – Used in trade between the UK / EU and Turkey to benefit from reduced Duty rates.
- Phytosanitary Certificate – for plants or goods of a plant origin.
- Veterinary Certificate
- Export Health Certificate – For exporting live animals from the UK to the EU, non EU countries and Northern Ireland
What is a Customs Broker?
A Customs Broker, also known as a Customs Agent or a Clearance Agent, is an accredited agent who assists in the process of clearing goods to be imported and exported through Customs. It is recommended to have a Customs Broker help you prepare your paperwork to ensure the smooth transition of your goods.
How Do I Contact a Customs Agent to arrange Customs Clearance?
It is recommended to contact a Customs Agent as soon as you have the details for your shipment. There are many Clearance Agents who offer similar services but it is important to choose an Agent who has the experience and knowledge to clear your goods.