The international freight industry can be quite challenging. Especially for someone unknown to the intricate details and important requirements. This is why a lot of businesses across the globe that are engaged in international trade hire import brokers who are adept at handling the clearance process without any hassle at the destination countries. Since it is quite a daunting experience, people commit certain common mistakes that often lead to penalties. 

Here, we shall take a look at a few common issues related to clearance process.

1. Missing documents

Documents are undoubtedly the most important aspect when it comes to international trade. It gives the consignment legitimacy. And when such a document of sheer importance goes missing, it leads to heavy penalties and fines. The Bill of lading for instance is one such document that carries great importance, and yet is one of the most misplaced documents during the customs process. So, if a document like this goes missing, an indefinite delay and fines are inevitable. 

2. Improper storage

Improper storage of the goods is also one of the most common types of issue in international as well as domestic trade. Goods that aren’t stored in proper and guarded containers are often damaged and lose their value, and this is a quite common problem faced by most shippers. Thus, in order to avoid such problems at your end, you must ensure a smooth loading and unloading process, and proper storage of the goods. 

3. Delays

Delay is yet another common customs clearance issue in the US. Since every state has different exams and regulations, consignments are often held at the customs and hence get delayed. But that’s not it. Delayed shipments mean additional charges. So, while negotiating with a shipping company or broker, it pays to have a prior knowledge of a few basic concepts and terms.

4. Goods classification

Classification of goods is an extremely important step in the clearance process. After you’ve been allowed to ship the consignment to the destination country, classification of the goods is necessary so as to comply with the local customs standards. Failure to classify shipments properly also leads to costly fines and delays.


Customs clearance, therefore, requires some prior knowledge of the ins and outs of the process. And, hiring import brokers for performing all the formalities involved in the clearance process always works in your favour, if you’re a first-timer.