All You Need to Know About Customs Clearance in Freight Shipping

January 17, 2018
Dealing with paperwork and legal documentation is not the best definition of fun, but it is a necessary evil. Whether you are at work or traveling, there is always going to be some paperwork to fill out. So, it is better to just embrace it and try to do the best you can. If you don't, it can lead to serious consequences, especially when it comes to international freight shipping.

One of the most important pieces of documentation you need to provide when you are shipping cargo overseas is your customs declaration. just like when you are traveling to another country by plane, customs institutional office that takes care of the export and import of goods such as animals, transports, personal, and hazardous items. This is a crucial step in the freight shipping process. If you don't do it properly, the package will not be delivered, or you will end up spending more money than you had planned. Or worse, you could be committing a felony without even realizing it.

According to, "custom clearance" is defined as a "documented permission to pass that a national customs authority grants to imported goods so that they can enter the country or to exported goods so that they can leave. The custom clearance is typically given to a shipping agent to prove that all applicable customs duties have been paid and the shipment has been approved."

The appropriate way to deal with customs clearance in freight shipping is to learn all about it before you begin the shipping process. Honestly, it is not complicated if you do it right, and the best way to avoid making mistakes is to learn about every piece of documentation and requirement that you will be asked for. Better safe than sorry, right?

Customs Clearance Requirements and Documentation

Every country has slightly different customs clearance procedures, so the first thing you need to keep in mind is the country your merchandise is going to. Below, we will take you through some of the requirements to ship to the United States, Brazil, and Mexico so you can notice the differences between the three countries:

Customs Clearance and Freight Shipping in the U.S.

In the U.S., all merchandise and packages are forwarded upon arrival to one of U.S. Customs and Border Protection's International Mail Branches for clearance.

  • All packages entering the U.S. from another country require a U.S. Customs and Border Protection declaration form (there are two different forms: CN 22 or CN 23). On this form, you will have to provide a detailed description of your shipment. You'll have to put your name and address, a very specific description of the package's content, quantity, purchase price in U.S. dollars, the weight of each item, and the country of origin of each product.
  • On the customs declaration form, there is a box where you must specify the kind of item you're shipping. Be careful when you do this, as a lot of people tend to declare packages to be "gifts" to avoid paying taxes, which is illegal.
  • If an item is less than $2,000 in value and it is not restricted or prohibited in the U.S., a Customs and Border
  • Protection agent will usually get the paperwork ready for importing it, and then release it for delivery.
  • Packages under $200 will generally be cleared without any additional paperwork.

Customs Clearance and Freight Shipping in Brazil

The freight shipping customs clearance process in Brazil is different than in the U.S. However, there are some similarities, as Brazil also has different types of customs clearances depending on the amount of cargo you're shipping.

  • The "formal customs clearance" process in Brazil is meant for businesses that import cargo into the country so that another company can resell it. Usually, companies can use this type of clearance if they want to ship packages valued over $3,000 or anything that requires import license.

  • The "express customs clearance" process is common for businesses that are shipping to international costumers. Also, this is the go-to option for cargo that is shipped via commercial carriers. Small and large businesses alike often use this process with shipments that are worth less than $3,000 and don't need an import license.

  • The third type of customs clearance in Brazil is via the local post office. This is the best option for consumers shipping to friends and family. Packages valued at $50 or less that are shipped this way are duty-free.

Customs Clearance and Freight Shipping in Mexico

For importing and exporting cargo to or from Mexico, there are some requirements that you must follow, including registering as an importer and sectoral promotion programs.

  • For taxes purposes, all importers must be registered and listed on the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit's Official Register of Importers in order to import more than 400 different items.
  • A "Pedimento de importación," or customs clearance document, is required to import goods into Mexico. Mexico requires this document for all commercial crossings.
  • As you can see, these three countries have different customs clearance processes, which can make international shipping very complex. That's why you should be careful when shipping any international freight. If you do not educate yourself, international shipping can become a complete nightmare.

How Can You Survive Customs Clearance?
  1. As we said earlier, the best way to avoid setbacks is to know what customs documentation is needed for the country you're shipping to, which will go a long way to making your shipment successful.

  2. If you do not think that you can handle all this fuss, you should hire a freight shipping company that will do all of this paperwork for you, effectively saving you from the exhaustive task of having to deal with customs documentation.

Where Can I Find a Freight Shipping Company that Can Handle Customs?

Today is your lucky day! We're are the freight shipping company that can help you! CA CARGO INC is an international freight shipping company with 16 years of experience and the best staff who are specialized in transportation, repackaging, storage, and customs clearance. We provide door-to-door services to and from the U.S., South America, and Europe.

At CA CARGO INC, we deliver all types of merchandise, including, but not limited to, vehicles, farm supplies, fragile marble slabs, and heat-sensitive medical supplies.

What Services Do We Offer?

At CA CARGO INC, our logistics services include customs clearance, storage, handling, transportation, and distribution. We deliver, handle, and store goods internationally, providing cost-effective logistics and supply chain solutions that guarantee safe transportation and efficient customs clearance.

Our international customs agents dispatch all merchandise and follow all regulations. Our team takes care of all documentation, inventory management, and necessary procedures. We can comply with the most stringent customs requirements, and we continuously update our procedures to meet current rules and regulations.

If you are looking for an international freight shipping company that can help you get through customs, CA CARGO INC is your best option. For more information about our services or to request a quote, contact our specialists by filling out our contact form. Find us on Facebook as Ca Cargo Inc., and follow us on Twitter as @cacargoinc, and Instagram @cacargoinc. We'll be happy to answer any questions you have!