What Are Some Customs Clearance Problems?


Quick Answer

Common customs clearance problems faced by importers include demurrage, physical damage, per diem and detention. Some of these problems are beyond the importer?s control, and bearing the expense is usually the only solution.

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Full Answer

Demurrage refers to a fee charged by steamship lines when cargo at the destination port is held for longer than the stipulated time. This fee is meant to cover the use of equipment and deter importers from using the carrier?s equipment for storage. Delays at the port are caused by customs clearance issues, delayed freight release or overweight containers.

Physical damage to goods is also a common problem during customs clearance. This occurs during loading or unloading by laborers or as a result of improper loading or leashing of the cargo. The concerned party needs to file a claim within the stipulated time to ensure compensation is received.

Per diem refers to a fee charged for renting equipment needed in the course of international shipping for a specified amount of time. The containers need to be returned to the designated location, or the consignee is subjected to various penalties such as late charges.

Lastly, an hourly detention fee is charged by truckers if unloading cargo takes more than the stipulated time. There is usually a two-hour buffer before the penalties are incurred.

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