What to look for in a customs clearance partner

May 30, 2023
What to look for in a customs clearance partner

The complexity of customs borders can hold online retailers back from expanding into valuable markets, particularly with concerns over passing customs duties fees on to buyers. Managing returns from these countries can also present complications. But when you know the rules and have the right partner, shipping goods across borders is both possible and profitable.

How to choose a partner for customs clearance

Working with a customs partner can open your business to more sales, avoid customs clearance complications, and make returns easier to manage. As a result, online retailers experience more efficient operations and higher customer satisfaction.

Your customs clearance partner should meet the following five criteria:

1. Provide transparent integration and processing fees

The goal of a good partner is to make customs processes easier for e-commerce merchants. Choose a partner who not only handles import and export customs clearance but also provides transparency regarding the fees you can expect for those services. The benefits for online retailers are well worth the costs incurred and it allows cross-border shippers to capitalize on growing markets within and outside the EU.

2. Create customs documents and enable DDP delivery

If a customs declaration is incorrect and does not contain the correct and/or complete data, there is a risk that the goods will be blocked for import by customs and returned. Having a specialist at your side significantly reduces the complexity of managing duties and taxes, and fees can be significantly reduced.

A partner that can facilitate shipping parcels DDP (Delivery Duty Paid) is also extremely valuable. This allows you to communicate all-in-prices and ensure your customers do not have to pay any fees when receiving their orders. DDP shipping is exactly what customers demand so they can shop without fear of having to pay high customs duties.

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3. Allows you to work with a local carrier network

The best partners have established relationships with local delivery networks in each country where you do business. That helps to ensure they know the specific rules (and customer delivery expectations), and they can hold your delivery lead time promises. Plus your customers experience delivery and returns as expected without ever knowing they are being shipped from abroad. 

4. Handles reverse logistics quickly and efficiently

Work with a partner who can check returns immediately on-site to speed up reimbursement and ensure that goods can quickly be made available again in your store. Your partner should also reclaim any duties paid and take care of duty-free re-importation.

5. Offers a digital platform for easy tracking

Keeping track of your cross-border shipments is best when done at-a-glance and from one interface. You need a tool that provides dashboard views to manage and track all shipments regardless of the destination country or last mile carrier to stay aware of any delays or other irregularities. You also want a partner that can offer tracking to keep your customer informed about their delivery status.

End-to-end shipping and customs clearance with Seven Senders

Seven Senders offers e-commerce retailers the most cost-effective customs solution and end-to-end ​parcel management. With our single API integration, you can greatly reduce the effort and complexity of serving your customers in non-EU markets. With our solution, shippers benefit from minimized customs duties and gain increased visibility throughout the supply chain process - including returns.

Find out how Seven Senders can help you with customs clearance to get your goods quickly and easily to your international customers! 

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