The holidays are upon us and it’s the busiest time of year for shippers/importers. It’s prudent to do all you can to simplify the customs clearance process. This helps ensure that the goods customers want appear on shelves just in time for Black Friday (and warehouses for Cyber Monday.) In the months leading up to Black Friday, freight shipments by truck, plane, and ocean rise significantly so customs brokers are extremely overwhelmed.

Here are some tips to make Black Friday preparations go faster and with peace of mind.

Get in touch with your customs broker as soon as you have an idea of what your shipments will be like

Have reasonable sales forecasts done and talk to your customs broker at least 2-5 weeks prior to when you expect your shipments to arrive in time for Black Friday. If you make arrangements too soon, you could have the wrong idea of your order size but if you talk to them too late your goods could be held up before the prime time of year to make money.

Provide all relevant information on commodities

Make sure that the customs broker has all relevant information to make entry go as quickly and painlessly as possible. If you’re importing new commodities, you especially need to pay attention to this step. If your commodity is subject to Participating Government Agency (PGA) requirements, you need to take extra time for this.

Take note of tariff codes and all subsequent requirements

You need to research that your imports have the correct tariff codes assigned to them and that you understand all the requirements attached to importing that commodity. For instance, you may decide to import a DVD player at the last minute just to find out that your broker needs FDA information and registration numbers. This can cause massive delays.

Take proper precautions against cargo theft

The weeks leading up to Black Friday are notorious for huge jumps in cargo theft. Warehouses, drop yards, distribution centers, and trucks themselves become prime targets for hijackers. Make sure that every point of your supply chain has instituted protective measures.

World Trade Distribution, Inc. validates carriers and provides tracking for your cargo. We have more than 17 acres of bonded storage plus a bonded warehouse that is monitored by live guards and CCTV, and an electrified perimeter fence to deter even the most persistent cargo thieves.  In addition, World Trade Distribution, Inc. has on-site US Customs inspectors, as well as other government agency inspectors, helping to make the customs examination and clearance process move as swiftly and easily as possible.

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The weeks leading up to Black Friday can be extremely stressful. With the right planning for getting your goods through customs, then keeping them safe once they make it to port, it doesn’t have to be. Providing all the relevant information about your commodities, and taking extra time to research procedures for commodities you haven’t imported before, will simplify the customs examination and clearance process. Verify the security measures along all points of your supply chain by getting an idea of what kind of validation and physical security is used at each location, and how truck drivers are educated in keeping the cargo safe.

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