7 common questions about customs clearance on export

  • 31/12/2021
  • 11 分钟

The export market is booming! That’s right. The devaluation of the Real in recent years has generated some challenges for Brazilian companies, but also new opportunities for those wishing to enter the export market.

It so happens that many of these businesses hesitate to become exporters because they think that customs clearance is complicated and too costly for their financial capacity.

Quite the opposite is true. In this article, we have the participation of Valéria Requião, economist and director of the Omega group, to solve the 7 main questions you may have on this subject. Follow up.

1. What does it take to become an exporting company?

The various terms and processes of international trade often drive away those who undertake the idea that this will be a complicated and costly way of acting.

It is to clear up this doubt that Valéria has pointed out since the beginning of our interview: “export is a much simpler process than import”. She comments that customs clearance is faster, there is no payment of taxes and the entire journey can be accompanied by specialized companies.

To be able to export, the business must be registered in the Siscomex system and in RADAR. Upon completion of this registration, you are already qualified regardless of your size or corporate name.

2. What are Incoterms?

As each country has its own commercial legislation, taxes and processes for the entry and exit of products, since the beginning of the 20th century, the need to create a single standard in these international relations was observed.

Incoterms are International Trade Terms and were structured to standardize reciprocal rights and obligations, within the framework of an international purchase and sale contract of the exporter and importer.

Through it, a standardized set of definitions is established and neutral rules and practices are established, such as: who pays the freight, who is responsible for contracting the insurance and where the exporter must deliver the goods. Once linked to the purchase and sale contracts, they have a legal meaning and ensure alignment between the countries that are negotiating.

3. What is demurrage?

Each operation has a time for using the container and ship operation, this period is granted by the shipowner and negotiated in advance. After the period (free time), the exporter begins to pay a daily “rent” for the container and, in the event of a ship stoppage, also pays the daily rate, called over-stay or demurrage.

“Export cargo has an important peculiarity”, emphasizes Valéria. “It departs and the documentation that the importer abroad will use to release the cargo to its destination is issued after confirmation of shipment”, he explains.

Thus, if the documentation is not released in a timely manner, the importer is unable to release the cargo at the destination, which may lead to losses and demurrage. The loss varies according to the negotiation, and the amount charged is daily, whether for container rental or in the event of over-stay of the ship.

4. How is the payment for the exported product made?

As export companies deal with foreign currencies and systems, it is very common to have doubts about the money receipt on their exported products. The payment method is negotiated before the closing of the sale, and can be made in advance (before the cargo is shipped), in cash (after the shipment) or even financed (within “X” days from the date of shipment).

Valéria says that she generally instructs entrepreneurs to use the letter of credit, “because there is a bank guarantee and there is the pegging of the shipment for receipt”. She also explains that the letter of credit has a cost, but this is a guarantee for both parties, especially in the first operations and in the event that it is not possible to receive it in advance.

5. What fees must be paid on export customs clearance?

Exporting is a process with much fewer fees and steps than importing products. After all, the issue of paying taxes and nationalization is up to the buyer, not the person selling the merchandise.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some costs during this process. From the Single Declaration of Importation the shipment of the goods, several services, procedures and professionals are necessary for the correct clearance and dispatch of the cargo.

These costs are mainly concentrated in the support of a shipping agent (we’ll talk more about this shortly) and the port operation in handling and shipping.

An interesting point raised by Valéria is that every exporting company is entitled to 7 days free of storage, in which there is no payment for the cargo space, regardless of its volume — called pre-stacking.

Therefore, most businesses prefer to transport the product to the port only when shipment is imminent, avoiding possible extra costs after this period.

6. How long will it take to complete this process?

Deadline management is one of the main features in optimizing export processes. It’s the way you plan to meet international demands and have predictability in receiving your cash flow.

The greatest importance in this regard is paying attention to the required documents and necessary steps for customs clearance. If everything is in order, as Valeria explains, the whole process is practically automatic. “If there are no problems, the cargo is usually cleared 24 hours after the date of entry into the port.”

The delivery time varies greatly depending on the country of destination and the rush to deliver the product into the buyer’s hands. When freight is contracted for direct travel, the term is shorter and costs are higher. When there’s no rush, it’s possible to choose routes with a larger number of stops that lower the price, but take longer to arrive.

The specialist gives a general idea about average terms considering the departure of cargo through Bahia:

  • if it goes straight to China, it takes 45 to 60 days to arrive;
  • 15 to 30 days if going to Europe;
  • 15 to 39 days if going to the US.

7. Why is it important to have a good shipping agency?

As it is a much simpler process than importing, optimizing each step in exporting makes a big difference in the result — both on terms and costs.

“In exports, everything happens very quickly and any error is fatal, which can mean the loss of the shipment and generate losses”. It is with this statement that Valéria points out the need for exporters to rely on specialized companies, which can work from the departure to the management of the arrival and receipt of the amounts involved in the operation.

Customs competence, together with international shipping and logistics management, allows all stages and deadlines to be met in terms of documentation, clearance and cargo transport, so that all stages are met. Therefore, having the support at this time is essential to your business success.

With digitalization and international terms, trade with other countries is now accessible to any Brazilian company that wants to expand beyond borders. Mainly with specialized help, customs clearance is fast, efficient and guarantees the predictability of your profits.

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