What Are the Challenges of Cross Border Shipping?

Customs regulations and laws differ across nations.

Every nation has its unique set of rules and regulations regarding the importation of goods, as well as the imposition of customs tariffs and duties.Certain prohibitions on what goods may be imported may appear bizarre, such as Canada’s restriction on the shipment of butter substitutes. Moreover, customs regulations and tariffs are subject to frequent revisions.

The process of documentation can be complex.

Shipping across borders entails a significant amount of documentation. Due to the variations in laws and regulations from one country to another, the necessary paperwork also varies. Even for shipments between neighboring countries with amicable relations such as the US and Canada, shippers are required to furnish several documents such as a bill of lading (BOL), commercial invoice, Electronic Export Information forms (EEI), customs forms, and additional documentation depending on the type and value of the goods shipped.

It may require a significant investment of time

Managing international shipments can be a time-consuming process due to various factors, including paperwork,research, and language barriers. In addition to these challenges, shipping packages across borders inherently takes longer and customs clearance can further extend the delivery timeline.

Customs clearance process of a package

The process of customs clearance may not be as intricate as dealing with regulations and paperwork, but it can be quite monotonous. To begin with, a customs officer will examine the relevant documentation to confirm that it meets the necessary standards. However, the specific documents required will vary depending on the country and product involved. Once the paperwork has been scrutinized, any applicable duties and taxes will be evaluated.But how are these duties and taxes paid? If you have shipped the package with Delivery Duty Paid (DDP) via a parcel service, the carrier will have already included these costs in your shipping charges. On the other hand, if the package was shipped with Delivery Duty Unpaid (DDU) and taxes and duties are owed, the package will be sent to a customs broker who will collect the amount due.After all the necessary duties and taxes have been paid, the package will be granted clearance to enter the country and can be picked up by a carrier. The good news is that customs brokers possess extensive experience (and often hold licenses depending on the country of origin) in ensuring that packages make it through customs smoothly and without their clients paying too much. The broker will make sure that all documentation is in order and that all import laws and regulations are being complied with. Many 3PLs and freight forwarders employ customs brokers to assist with the management of international shipments.

Need Help With Your Cross Border Shipping Needs?

Because cross border shipping can be complicated and expensive, many shippers choose to outsource it toa third-party logistics provider. By acting as a customs broker, 3PLs can ensure that all paperwork isaccurate and that all duties and taxes are properly assessed. They can also make use of their extensive globalcarrier networks to track packages and build efficient routes for faster delivery. At 4CUS, we offer comprehensivecross border services and much more. Contact our team to find out how we can assist you with your cross border needs or to receive a quote.


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