If a package gets stuck in customs, it could ruin the buying process for your customers and cost you money in lost sales. In this post, we’ll look at why the package is stuck in customs and how to get it out.
Why isn’t my package moving through customs?
It’s very important to find out why the package is stuck in customs first. This will help you make a plan of action that makes sense. Having said that, let’s look at the most common reasons why packages are held up in customs.
Documents that aren’t complete or are wrong
Customs and Border Protection needs to see all of the business paperwork for an importer or drop shipper from another country. The most common kinds of business paperwork are:
- Commercial invoice: An invoice that lists the products being bought, where they came from, who sold them, and who bought them.
- The number of items, how much they weigh, and how big they are are all on the package list.
- Arrival notice: A document given by the carrier that tells the party where the goods are and when they are ready to be released from customs.
Taxes or Duties
If taxes and fees haven’t been paid, this is another common reason for customs to hold something. Most countries will charge you import taxes and fees for shipments that are worth more than a certain amount. This kind of customs delay might not happen with a delivery duty paid (DDP) shipment, in which the right duties and taxes are already paid for.
Merchants can also store their business shipments in bonded warehouses until they are ready to pay the tariffs and taxes. This is especially common for shipments that are worth a lot of money.
The whole business invoice is used to make a customs declaration by the importer. To make sure that all of the Customs rules are followed, it is very important that all of the information about the transaction is correct. The following must be on the commercial invoice for admission at the very least:
- Describe what the products are
- Quantity Classification Weight Buyer Seller Shipper Country of Origin for Each Product
- Ship from Location Value Currency
Since the broker has to fill out the Customs entry before releasing the package, any missing information could cause the package to get stuck in customs.
Not clear where they came from
The place where a product is made, processed, grown, or made is called its “country of origin.” Importers often think that the country from which the goods came or the country where they were just put together is the country of origin.
Simple assembly, like putting parts in a box, painting them, or washing them, doesn’t show where the product came from, because the product has to change a lot before it can be considered to have come from that place. On the business invoice, each item’s country of origin must be written down.
Items That Are Banned or Limited
The worst reason for a customs holdup is cargo that has items that are illegal, harmful, or thought to be dangerous. This could mean things like:
- Other potentially flammable or flammable chemicals that can’t be used without a special permit are also banned.
- Illegal medicine: Some foreign companies make substances that are against the law in other countries because they are dangerous to health, as well as goods that can only be bought with a prescription and careful testing.
- Products that are bad for the environment include archeological finds with a lot of historical or cultural value and artifacts that can’t be sold to protect the environment and wildlife.
- Unauthorized plants or animals: For example, fatty plants can only be brought into the EU with the right paperwork and can’t be sold there without permission.
- Drugs: Since people can get around drug laws by using different scams, the online drug business is growing all the time. In this way, the rules are getting strange and are meant to stop drug trafficking over the internet.
- Food and drinks: Because it’s important to protect the health and safety of the public, there are also strict rules about food and drinks.
How to Tell If My Package Is Stuck in Customs
Here’s what you can do to find out if your package is stuck in customs or not. Let’s go through the steps:
Check your mail for a letter from customs telling you to wait: Check your business mail to see if Customs and Border Protection has sent you a notice that your shipment has been held. If the department has your property, they will usually get in touch with you within a few days, but it could take up to 30 to 45 days.
Follow the instructions in your letter of detention from customs: As soon as possible, do what Customs says in the letter that says you are being held. When shipments are late, it can make customers unhappy and even cause sales to drop. Quick delivery makes sure that your customers and coworkers are happy.
Track your package with the help of your courier service: Customs can’t track packages, so you have to use the courier service you used to send or receive the package to track it.
Contact your courier service: If your tracking code didn’t work, get in touch with the shipping company to find out where your package is. The courier should keep track of where your package is and what its status is. Also, you might want to use auto sync tracking software to keep track of your upcoming shipments and orders.
How long will my package take to get through customs?
Customs procedures and how long a package stays at the customs office depend on a number of factors, each of which is different and often depends on the country.
For example, parcels held at customs can be handled in different ways in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and other countries. Customs can hold a package for anywhere from a few days to a few months.
How to Fix a Dropshipping Package Stuck in Customs
The most important issue, which is how to get packages out of customs when dropshipping and make sure the shipment can be delivered, must now be dealt with. Here are some specific things you can do to ask customs to let your package through.
It’s important to know that not every customs hold is due to a problem with the shipment. In most countries, the customs process is long and can take several days to finish. If you choose a slower shipping method, like airmail, this becomes more clear.
Customs often checks packages to make sure that the declared value of the items is correct and that the contents match what is being said. Most of the time, it’s better to wait because there’s not much you can do to speed up these customs checks.
Keeping your cool is a good way to fight. Don’t worry too much about the delays, because your shipment will get there eventually. Keep going, it’ll come. Shipment tracking isn’t always accurate. Packages can disappear and then show up again.
Talk to your company.
Most of the time, the shipper will only talk about the cargo with the seller. There are many reasons for this. Ask the sellers or source providers how the delivery is going and if any important paperwork needed for clearing customs was missed.
Your dropshipping suppliers will be able to get in touch with the shipper and find out more about your package and how long it stayed at customs. Make sure that your seller gives you a tracking code so that you can keep track of your delivery.
Most of the time, the best place to do this is on the site of the courier, where you can find out what’s going on. If you think a package is being held at customs, you should first contact the person who sent it.
Contact Your Carrier
Make sure that customs is really holding up your package. A lot of the time, express shippers can help your package get through customs. Most of the time, calling a carrier is the easiest way to get in touch with them. However, carriers sometimes use premium-rate lines, which can add up quickly.
Get in touch with the shipper to find out if there is anything you can do to speed up the time your package spends in customs. Keep your tracking number close by so that your shipper can use it to find your package.
When shipments are undervalued, sometimes customs officials will seize the packages, which is a huge pain. Undervaluing a cargo might seem like a good way to avoid paying tax, but you should be careful not to do this because it is a form of tax evasion.
You might be able to get your shipment released faster and avoid problems if you talk to your shipper, look over the business invoice, and know what to do in certain customs declaration situations.
Make sure to pay any taxes that are still due.
Many countries charge taxes on shipments worth more than a certain amount. If your shipment is taxed, it will be held until the full amount is paid. If you use the postal service or a normal express carrier to send your packages, they will pay the tax for you (DDU), get them through customs, and charge you an administrative fee.
For shipments worth more than $2500 in the US, you will need a customs broker. This person will make sure the taxes are paid and the package is let out of customs. You can do this yourself, but it will usually cost you a lot more than if you hired a professional.
If you don’t do this, the product could be sent back to your warehouse or even destroyed. Make sure you know how to clear customs and how to pay the tax, and that you do both. We have a guide with more information about customs and taxes for shipments going outside of the country.
Look over the papers again
Missing paperwork is one of the most common reasons why shipments are late. Depending on the size, value, and type of your cargo, the paperwork you need may be different. Even small mistakes, like sending illegal or restricted goods or forgetting to include an invoice or CN22 customs form, can cause your cargo to be held up for a long time.
If you don’t have the package, it might be hard to figure out what is missing. If you are using an expedited shipping service, you should start by calling your shipper. They may be able to help you find any lost documents.
If you do have a missing document, they will be the best ones to tell you what to do. You might just have to email them a copy. Make sure your paperwork is in order and not in a foreign language. Customs can have a lot of trouble with wrong paperwork.
When dropshipping, the information above tells you everything you need to know about the “package stuck in customs” status and gives you some easy ways to fix it. Make sure you write down the important things to make dropshipping go more smoothly. On dropship-empire Blog, you can find more dropshipping guides.