Common Customs Problems and How To Avoid Them

Are you another one among the countless victims of the technicalities of customs authorities and trade regulators? Are you also looking for solutions to avoid the hassle of dealing with customs authorities over such issues? Well, worry no more because you have come to the right place to learn all about the ways you can avoid customs problems!

Like any other problem, the key to resolving such an issue is to understand the problem itself and its background. The presence of a Customs organization in any country is a key factor in fueling the economy of that nation. Such a mechanism functions through the imposition and collection of taxes or duties on the imports and exports of that country.

Yet, the process is commonly considered as a troublesome process for the importers and the other parties involved, as even small errors or simple mistakes could lead to considerably harsh penalties from the regulatory body. From a customer’s point of view, this process of declaring the goods as passable is full of flaws. Considering the customs agents rarely inspect the goods themselves, problems like misclassification are extremely common in the business. Furthermore, the injection of technology into the process is causing several paper-based workers to make mistakes and input incorrect information. This also results in compliance problems due to being unaware of the subjects altogether.  All such problems add to the fines and penalties you could face when dealing with the customs. Hence, you must opt for the following tips to avoid disciplinary action and more.

Incomplete or Misinformation:

One of the most common problems that you might face while importing or exporting goods is your lack of technical knowledge. It might restrict you to fill in all the essential information required for a successful declaration of goods. Such an instance of unawareness might force you to make critical errors that may lead you to heavy and unavoidable fines. To avoid making mistakes at such a basic level, you could hire a customs broker to assist you in your operations. They will help you to fill the gaps of information that you might not realize, saving you from further delays in the shipment and fines.

Improper Classification of Goods:

The problem of misclassification of goods is a grave problem as well as a prevalent practice in the system. The consignors or consignees often consider the practice of classifying their goods below the actual amounts or in different product categories to avoid paying high duties according to the actual products. You might even be able to sneak your way through the eyes of the customs authorities, considering they rarely inspect the goods themselves. Yet, on the odd chance that the inspections do take place, you might be penalized a lot more. Additionally, you might face a ban from importing or exporting goods in case you get caught, along with extensive fines.

Hence, it is better to provide information honestly and carefully regarding your consignments. This way, you can avoid penalties and create long-term benefits, rather than sneaking through deception and then paying for it. Along with that, it si the responsibility of the Customs department to incorporate detailed tariff categories into their electronic goods declaration mechanisms.

Lack Of Compliance Awareness:

Compliance with regulatory rules and authority standards is crucial in businesses of large stature. Yet, customers often become accomplices in compliance evasion in large operational or logistic chains without even knowing it. Hence, you must keep the factor of complying with governmental boundaries and restrictions under consideration. Avoid inclusion into tax fraud and other forms of activities that fall under criminal law in various countries. Consequently, your business should chalk out all the compliance standards that you need to follow to function efficiently.

Invalid Certificate Of Origin:

The industry of international trade places the factor of the originating country of goods at quite some significance. Meaning that a certificate of goods origination is often required at multiple stages of the import process. Customs authorities remain quite cautious on the authentication of such certificates, to avoid accepting goods from countries with sanctions. Allowing the flow of goods from banned countries could lead to the blacklisting of their entire trade structure. Hence, you must ensure credible certificates of origin in advance to allow a seamless customs clearing process. Also, remember multiple such certificates in case of re-exporting the goods to another country based on their accepting requirements.

Health Standard Restrictions:

The health standards are the rules through which the trade and transport of dangerous goods are governed. Such goods often include chemicals and other materials that are capable of inducing health hazards to the exposed public. The declaration of such products is bound to attract the attention of the customs authorities, forcing you to often pay additional tariffs and expenses on complying with further safety concerns. Consequently, you should educate yourself on the trade of such goods to avoid any surprises later.

Fines And Additional Duties:

The trade business is full of people trying to avoid the grasp of customs authorities and avoiding the taxes applicable on their goods. Yet, such measures often lead to getting caught due to various errors in their corresponding lies. For example, one can declare goods as a product with a low tariff, yet the weight and other statistics might falsify the statements. Similarly, such practices lead to huge fines from the customs authorities on top of the seizure of goods, along with permanent bans from the business and criminal proceedings for the fraud. Hence, the most obvious yet crucial suggestion for you is to trade honestly and comply with the law.


It can be said that an average customer in the trade business is bound to face a majority of these problems. These problems are often caused due to the inability of the customs department for the corresponding country. For example, the customs department in your country might be using outdated software and other portals for goods declaration. This creates inconsistencies in the declarations and consequently problems for you as a trader. With the help of the 6 tips mentioned above, you possess enough knowledge to tackle all such major problems. They will assist you in maintaining a seamless relationship with the customs authorities and simultaneously thrive in your business.

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