8 tips to avoid problems in customs clearance

  • 07/01/2022
  • 11 minutes

Customs clearance is a mandatory process for the import and export of any merchandise, even if it enjoys exemption from federal and state taxes (ICMS). Did you know that with some care it is possible to ensure efficiency in this stage of international trade?

You can also listen to this article in the audio version.

In order for you to get past the dispatch in the most optimal way possible, without delays or unforeseen events, we invite Genar Teixeira Clemente Júnior, customs consultant at InPort Despachos Aduaneiros, to list some tips that can help at this time. Check it out!

1. Register with attention

Every product imported and exported is subject to a wide range of laws, regulations and tax collection. Any merchandise that enters Brazil must go through a complete inspection to be released, according to these determinations.

Therefore, the more complete the customs registration that accompanies the product, the fastest this entire process and its release will be. Paying attention to details in documents such as the single export declaration (DU-E) avoids problems, delays or even the retention of a batch.

2. Prepare the merchandise and its documents

A fundamental point for a well-prepared record is to ensure that all documentation related to the merchandise is in order and in accordance with what regulatory agencies require.

“There are some types of goods that require not only a customs procedure”, explains Genar, “but also the consent of other bodies, depending on the type of merchandise”.

Exporters are responsible for analyzing all this information and checking the accuracy of the data. In the meantime, the importer must carry out a complete verification of such document filling.

One of these very relevant points that customs indicates is the need to describe the goods with as much detail as possible so that there is no conflict at the conference.

“Chassis, color, description etc. In the DUIMP (single declaration of importation), the more you inform in the electronic transmission to the Internal Revenue Service, the better”, advises the respondent.

There are other data to be registered which, in addition to being mandatory, also speed up the inspection and release of the merchandise. The main one is the Tariff Position (NCM). It is the code that categorizes each type of product for its proper taxation.

3. Know the responsibility of each agent in the process

Another crucial point for speeding up customs clearance is knowing and maintaining an adequate relationship with each professional participating in this process.

This information about responsibilities and performance limits can be verified in the Incoterms (International Trade Terms). Remembering that such content must also be present in the DI.

4. Fit the goods to the parameters

As Genar describes, “the IRS is currently unable to inspect all incoming merchandise”. That’s why parameterization facilitates the inspection of cargo and its release after paid taxes.

This parameter varies according to cargo weight, value, Tariff Position, import history of that type of product or even the importer’s fiscal regularity.

When the entire process is done in a reputable, transparent and detailed manner, the cargo you import is retained for less time in customs processes. Attention to the process means a shorter period for chartering in general.

5. Understand how channels work

The Brazilian Internal Revenue Service uses a system of parameterization channels to categorize the customs inspection of all cargo entering the country.

There are four colors that represent different analysis processes. The ideal for any importer is to ensure all documentation, with adequate description and fiscal regularity, in order to go through the green channel (automatic clearance). “When you don’t owe anything in taxes, it tends to make your exit easier,” says Genar.

If there is incomplete information and other types of inconsistencies in the record, this merchandise can be held much longer in the yellow and red channels.

Worst case scenario, this product is categorized in the gray channel when there is evidence of under-invoicing and other types of fraud. In this case, not only does the Revenue retain the cargo, but this can lead to sanctions and punishments for the importer.

6. Be aware of deadlines

Each step of the import process has its deadlines defined, mainly in the presentation of documents and in the inspection and release of the cargo.

This step is important to streamline the entire dispatch, but also to ensure its logistics when planning internal operations for transporting and receiving the goods.

7. Pay attention to possible errors

After doing all the registration and adequacy of the goods to be imported, it is essential to carry out a new verification in search of anything that may be missing or not in accordance with what the IRS asks for.

The most common mistakes in this process are incorrect filling of the NCM category and non-compliance with Incoterms. Such a mistake can generate a fine of 1% of the customs value.

Another constant error is importing the merchandise without prior licensing. There are several cargo categories that require approval from specific agencies. In these cases, in addition to the customs procedure, the goods require the prior consent of other federal administration bodies such as:

  • Ministry of Agriculture — products of plant and animal origin;
  • INMETRO — toys in general, electronic electrical equipment, etc.;
  • ANVISA — hospital, pharmaceutical and human consumption products;
  • Ministry of Defense — chemical products that are components of explosives, etc.

As each of these categories has its own body with constantly changing rules, the best posture in this case is to review these determinations every time you import — even if it’s a product you’ve previously purchased.

8. Count on expert help

Even with all the care in the preparation of the merchandise and the necessary documentation, you can still come across points that, even appearing to be details, can delay the release of your imported products.

That is why the work of the shipping agent exists, being responsible for verifying, coordinating and operating cargo transport processes by ships and ensuring efficiency in each of its stages.

With this support, the importer guarantees not only quick release, but also compliance that avoids fines and the creation of a regular history that speeds up your next purchases.

After all, customs clearance trends point to something that is not just a one-off process for those who import. It is the certainty that your operation will be reliable and predictable so that, with these products, you can feed your company and national trade.

Why then don’t you have the best shipping agency service in Brazil? Get in touch with us and get to know our service!