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See Article— USA Today

Does Door to Door Shipping Include Customs Clearance?

Published by Tamar Hela.

What's in this article?
  1. What is Door-to-Door Shipping?
  2. What is Customs Clearance?
  3. Is Customs Clearance Part of the Door-to-Door Package?
  4. Air Freight A Common Choice for Door-to-Door Shipping
  5. What Documents are Needed for Customs Clearance?
  6. Detailed packing list
  7. Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin
  8. Import and export licenses
  9. Additional certificates
  10. Get Your Shipment Right the First Time
Does Door to Door Shipping Include Customs Clearance?

Door-to-door shipping is an all-inclusive process that offers a range of benefits, including time savings, convenience, and increased security of goods. But is customs clearance, an essential component of international trade, included in this comprehensive package?

Simply put, yes.

With door-to-door shipping, you hand over the goods to an experienced freight forwarder, who will handle all logistics and documentation, including customs clearance.

While the bulk of the organizing and running around is done by the shipping specialist, it's still important to know what is involved in the shipping and customs clearance process so that you can avoid any delays that may result in a loss of money and time.

A1 Auto Transport is here to guide you through this process and explain the importance of customs clearance and how it can be obtained more easily and quickly.

First, let's take a look at door-to-door shipping and what exactly makes it an attractive shipping option for people around the world.


What is Door-to-Door Shipping?

This method of transport has become more and more popular, thanks to its incredible convenience.

With door-to-door, all the sender needs to worry about is paying the service provider a set fee and ensuring they are at home for collection.

The shipping company will handle all other aspects of the process, such as:

  • transportation methods (air freight, ocean freight, road freight, or multimodal transport)
  • arranging delivery times
  • managing the transit phase
  • liaising with all relevant stakeholders
  • tracking the cargo, noting any potential delays, and then updating the sender and receiver
  • customs clearance (we'll get into this further down)

There are other benefits to door-to-door shipping, too. This shipping method is often quicker than other methods, such as port-to-port shipping. The reason for this is that freight specialists understand the industry and shipping options so well that they can tailor a shipping solution that offers the fastest delivery time.

For the customer, there is very little involvement in the shipping process, resulting in peace of mind and a seamless shipping experience.

Notably, though, these time-saving and convenience features do come with an additional price tag, making door-to-door more appealing to senders who have the necessary budget.

What is Customs Clearance?

When shipping anything across borders, customs clearance is one step you cannot skip.

Customs refers to the regulations and requirements of authorities in both countries. To successfully import or export an item, clearance is needed from either the destination country, the origin country, or both.

Every country has its own set of rules and customs duties. If you are unfamiliar with these regulations, you'll have difficulty getting the necessary clearance.

Experienced freight forwarders, on the other hand, deal with customs officials in several countries around the world daily.

They are up to speed with the latest news and regulations and can use that information to obtain customs clearance at the destination country much easier and quicker.

Is Customs Clearance Part of the Door-to-Door Package?

In essence, the answer is yes. A trustworthy and reputable shipping company will inform you of any potential costs associated with getting customs clearance.

This cost will then be added to the overall service fee and detailed in the shipping agreement.

However, it is still good practice to enquire about customs clearance when using a shipping provider for the first time. And make sure to stipulate that the costs must be included in the quote so that any hidden costs do not take you aback.

You can also do your own research into what customs officials require at the destination country so that you can be better prepared.


Air Freight: A Common Choice for Door-to-Door Shipping

The door-to-door shipping industry is based on convenience and time efficiency. This makes air freight a popular choice for international shipping providers.

When shipping goods by air, the need to obtain customs clearance quickly and correctly is even higher. This is to avoid any delays and associated costs when using this mode of transport.

Your experienced freight forwarder will streamline this process by following these important steps:

1) File the necessary paperwork, leaving enough time to navigate any delays

2) Declare the shipment to the respective customs governing body

3) Pay any customs duties or taxes

4) Comply with the regulations of both countries.

To keep up with the fast pace of air freight, the customs clearance phase of shipping needs to be carried out with speed and precision.

A reliable freight forwarder can help by acting as the middleman between you, the sender, and customs authorities.

If the destination country needs any additional documentation during the process, your shipping specialist will help work with you to acquire it.

What Documents are Needed for Customs Clearance?

In international shipping, customs clearance is paramount. Without it, your shipment will be rejected at the destination, and you would have wasted all of your time and effort.

Luckily, with the help of an expert in the field, this need not be the case.

As mentioned earlier, the shipping agreement should include mention of the customs clearance process, as well as which party is responsible for obtaining which documentation.

While this process is a joint effort between you and your freight forwarder, it helps to know what paperwork is needed for a successful customs clearance so that you can be better prepared.

Detailed packing list

This is an inventory of every single item in your shipment. The more detail provided, the easier it is for customs to identify and sort through your goods in an inspection.

This also reduces the risk of rejection at the destination country because the inventory was not filled in correctly.

The list also serves as a way for the receiver to check that the shipment has arrived intact and as advertised.

Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin

As the name suggests, this certificate proves where the shipping item was manufactured or produced. This is needed so that customs officials can check the validity of the goods, as well as whether they comply with regulations.

The certificate of origin is especially important in the import and export of vehicles, such as ATVs.

Import and export licenses

Import and export licenses are granted for specific items, such as dairy products, precious metals, and ammunition.

While not essential for every delivery or each type of shipment, it's a good idea to double-check with the origin country and the destination location. Your shipping specialist will be able to handle this for you easily.


Additional certificates

Depending on the type of goods, where they are coming from, and where they are headed, you may have to obtain extra paperwork to ensure you pass the customs check.

This includes health certificates, insurance, and special documents for carrying hazardous materials.

Get Your Shipment Right the First Time

Not being able to provide the correct documentation could result in significant delays and possible rejection at the customs clearance, which goes against the principles of door-to-door shipping: to provide a convenient, stress-free shipping experience.

A reputable shipping and logistics company with experience in international trade will streamline the whole customs clearance process for you, saving you time, effort, and energy so that you can sit back and focus on other important matters.

A1 Auto Transport can take care of your door-to-door shipping, as well as customs clearance - all in one package. Contact us today for a free quote.

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Tamar Hela is one of our featured writers at A-1 Auto Transport, researching everything from AI auto shipments out of China to what paperwork is required to move long distance. We can safely say she's become well versed in all things shipping and logistics while making the information easy to digest and understandable. 

Tamar has been a copywriter for over 16 years and was trained in the 7-Figure Copywriting Accelerator course through American Writers & Artists, Inc. (AWAI). She's also an incredibly seasoned copyeditor, having previously been the Chief Editor and Publishing Director for Cosby Media Productions, based in Atlanta, Georgia. 

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd,
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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