Strategies to Reduce the Risk of Goods Being Opened During Customs Clearance

Mar 19,2024
Industry News
Goods are suddenly opened for inspection at the customs office, which not only wastes valuable time, but may also face additional costs and risks. How to reduce the risk of being opened

When your goods need to be transported across borders, have you ever worried about customs clearance? The hard-packed goods are suddenly unpacked and inspected at the customs office. Not only is precious time wasted, but you may also face additional costs and risks?

But you know what? Goods are easily unpacked and inspected during customs clearance and are often not traceable. Everything from the accuracy of declaration information to the way the goods are packaged to the specific regulations of the importing country can be a trigger for inspection. So, under what circumstances are goods more likely to be "targeted" by customs? Is there any way to prevent or deal with this situation in advance?

Cargo customs clearance

This article will start from a professional logistics perspective, deeply analyze the various reasons why goods are easily unpacked and inspected during customs clearance, and provide you with a series of practical countermeasures. If you also want to make customs clearance of your goods smoother and reduce unnecessary trouble and losses, then please continue reading, I believe you will definitely gain something!

In what situations are goods easily opened for inspection during customs clearance?

The value of the goods is too high or too low

High-value goods may be involved in tax evasion or smuggling issues, while low-value goods may be suspected of being declared at low prices to avoid tariffs. When the declared value of the goods is too high or involves anti-dumping categories, especially when the declared amount exceeds a certain threshold (such as more than 1 million US dollars), the customs will conduct more stringent inspections. In addition, specific products involving sensitive items or specific periods of time may also become the focus of inspection.

Historical data and risk assessment

Customs will also decide whether to inspect the goods based on historical data and risk assessment. For example, some countries or regions may be classified as high-risk areas by customs due to past smuggling, fraud and other issues, and goods from these areas are naturally susceptible to more attention.

The type of goods is special or sensitive

Certain special or sensitive goods are more likely to attract customs attention. For example, customs usually implements strict supervision and inspection on dangerous goods, precursor chemicals, endangered animals and plants and their products due to issues such as safety, environmental protection or protection of rare species. In addition, goods involving intellectual property rights, such as counterfeit brand goods, are also easily detained by customs and unpacked for inspection.

Frequent changes in transportation methods or routes

The transportation mode and route of goods are also one of the focuses of the customs. If goods frequently change transportation methods or routes, or enter and exit multiple times in a short period of time, these may arouse customs suspicion, thereby increasing the risk of unpacking and inspection. Customs may view these actions as an attempt to circumvent regulation or hide the true condition of the shipment.

Declared information is inconsistent or questionable

When customs officers observe suspicious persons or behavior inconsistent with declarations, they will be inclined to unpack the goods for inspection. This is usually to ensure the legality and safety of goods and to prevent smuggling, tax evasion or other illegal activities.

If the declared information of the goods does not match the actual situation, or there are other doubts, the customs may require unpacking for inspection. For example, if the quantity, weight, size and other information of the goods are inconsistent with the data on the customs declaration form, or the packaging and labeling of the goods do not comply with the regulations of the importing country, this may lead to customs opening the goods for inspection.

The packaging and labeling of goods are also one of the factors that affect the inspection rate. If the packaging of the goods is damaged, unclearly marked, or inconsistent with the actual goods, customs officers may doubt its authenticity or legality and conduct unpacking inspections.

Poor consignee or shipper history

The historical record of the consignee or consignor is also one of the important factors affecting customs clearance inspection. If the consignee or consignor has a record of violations in the past, or has a bad credit record with the customs, their goods are more likely to be subject to close monitoring and unpacking inspection by the customs during customs clearance.

In addition, if there are any abnormalities during the transportation of the goods, such as too large weight differences, too long transportation times, etc., it may also arouse the alert of the customs and lead to unpacking and inspection.

Goods are easily unpacked and inspected during customs clearance, which is a challenge that needs to be faced by any company engaged in international trade. Being well prepared, compliant, well packaged and working with professional logistics companies are effective strategies to deal with goods that are prone to being unpacked for inspection during customs clearance. At the same time, timely communication and cooperation are the keys to solving problems.

Strategies to reduce the risk of goods being unpacked and inspected during customs clearance

Fill out declaration forms accurately, completely and timely

Enterprises should ensure that the product name, quantity, weight, value and other information in the declaration documents are accurate. Providing accurate information can reduce customs suspicion of your shipment and reduce the likelihood of it being opened for inspection. Avoid ambiguity or inconsistency. This can improve the quality of declaration and reduce the risk of inspection.

Understand the reasons for customs inspection and actively cooperate

If goods are inspected by customs, companies should follow up promptly and understand the reasons for the inspection. This may be because the declared value is too low, the packing list is unknown, the consignee does not have import and export rights, etc. Based on these reasons, enterprises can adjust their strategies in a timely manner, supplement necessary documents or information, and actively cooperate with customs officials.

Complete compliance labels and documentation

Ensure that all necessary labels, markings and documentation are in place and comply with the regulatory requirements of the destination country. These documents may include import licenses, product descriptions, certificates of origin, etc. Compliant documents can increase the smoothness of customs clearance of goods.

good packaging

Use strong, secure, easy-to-inspect packaging materials to protect goods from damage during transportation and make it easier for customs officers to inspect without having to open the packaging.

preventive measures

Take some preventive measures, such as using seals, anti-pry locks, etc., to reduce the possibility of goods being opened by unauthorized personnel. This increases cargo security and reduces the risk of being opened.

Apply for AEO certification

AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) certification is a customs certification for import and export companies with high credit ratings. Companies that obtain AEO certification can enjoy lower inspection rates and improve customs clearance efficiency. Therefore, companies should actively apply for AEO certification to reduce the risk of being inspected.

Cooperate with logistics companies

Choose an experienced and professional logistics company to work with. They are familiar with customs procedures and can provide the necessary support and advice. They can help you prepare customs clearance documents, provide customs clearance services, and communicate with customs when needed.

Establish good communication channels with customs

Maintaining good communication and exchanges with customs and understanding the latest policies, regulations and inspection requirements can help companies better respond to inspections. Enterprises can meet with customs officials regularly to feedback problems and suggestions and seek cooperation and support.

Comply with national laws and regulations

The most fundamental method is to abide by national laws and regulations and operate with integrity. Enterprises should ensure the legality of goods and refrain from smuggling, tax evasion, fraud and other illegal activities to avoid touching the red lines and bottom lines of customs.

These strategies not only help reduce inspection risks, but also improve enterprises’ customs clearance efficiency and market competitiveness.

In order to avoid unnecessary unpacking inspections and delays, it is recommended that cargo owners and logistics practitioners understand relevant laws and regulations in advance, ensure that the declaration information of goods is accurate and complete, and choose formal and reputable transportation channels and logistics service providers as much as possible. At the same time, we will strengthen the packaging and labeling of goods to ensure the safety and integrity of the goods during transportation.