To avoid parcel delays due to customs the correct documentation is vital

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To avoid parcel delays due to customs the correct documentation is vital

Customs can be simply defined as an authority or agency that resides at country level, with its first responsibility being the collection and safeguarding of customs duties.

Management of customs duties is crucial in controlling the flow of goods in and out of a country.  Following suit, the customs process begins in the country of origin and ends in the country of destination.

Documentation required for your shipment

To ensure that your delivery does not encounter unnecessary delays, the correct documentation needs to be completed which consists of the shipping as well as parcel documentation.

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Commercial Invoice

A commercial invoice forms part of the shipping documentation.  The following criteria will need to be completed:

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            What is in the shipment?

Description of goods (this provides customs authorities with a clear indication of what is in the shipment)

Harmonised Tariff Codes (the Harmonised System [HS Codes] classifies goods so that customs authorities know which taxes, duties and controls apply.  By including a code in the commercial invoice this helps to speed up the customs process.

Value your shipment accurately (The value of goods should be as accurate as possible to avoid delays and penalties and should be listed in the currency specified on the invoice.

Country of origin (this describes where the items are manufactured and can differ from where the items are shipped from.  A Certificate of Origin may be required in certain cases.)

Choose the right Incoterms (Terms of Sale [Incoterms] will need to be included and enable customs authorities to identify the owner of the shipment at every moment during its journey.

Consignment Notes

Part of the parcel documentation also needs to include a consignment note.  The consignment number is the reference number for your shipment and can be used to track your shipment at any time.

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