America’s Favorite for Customs Clearance and Freight Forwarding

Whether you are shipping cargo internationally as air freight or via the FTL, LTL, FCL, or LCL transport modes, it makes good economic sense to use a single provider such as Exim Cargo for customs clearance and freight forwarding. We employ highly-trained experts to steer your merchandise seamlessly through border formalities throughout the Americas.

About Export and Import Customs Clearance

Export Customs Clearance

Rules and regulations governing the export of goods differ from country to country but typically you must be prepared to provide the following documents for shipments transiting international frontiers

Import Customs Clearance

All goods for import into a country must conform to that country’s rules and regulations regarding the movement of legal goods.

In general, you should expect to provide the following documents required for import customs clearance:

4 Reasons for Clearance Delays at Ports and Borders

Random Customs Inspections

The job of a customs official is to ensure that illegal goods do not cross borders and that shippers don’t dodge payment of taxes and duties on their goods. Customs service officials cannot check every piece of cargo arriving at their posts, so they perform random checks on consignments of freight to deter smugglers. If the customs authority singles out your merchandise for a random check, a clearance delay will inevitably ensue.

Issues with the Customs Declaration

Unless you ensure accurate and precise completion of your customs declaration, customs officials may hold your goods up until they receive all the correct information. They will reject customs invoices if, for example, the telephone numbers of the shipper and recipient are incorrect, the tax number of the receiver is missing, the Incoterms are not specified, goods descriptions are not accurate, and/or the HS code is incorrect.

Incomplete Documentation

The number of documents required for export and import customs clearance often stretches into double figures. A missing document could result in costly delays before your freight can clear customs. It is important to understand the precise documentation that authorities of the country of import and/or export require before your goods arrive at the frontier.

Prohibited/Restricted Goods

What is legal and commonly used in one country may constitute illegal contraband in another. It is imperative to study the lists of banned and restricted goods in the countries of export and import to ensure that your merchandise can legally cross the border.

Why Choose Exim’s Customs Clearance Services for Your Freight?

Industry Expertise and Knowledge

Exim’s customs clearance agents have extensive knowledge of import and export customs procedures, particularly in the US and Latin America. They keep up to date with the ever-changing rules and regulations of each country to support the smooth movement of your shipments through the customs clearance process..

Flexibility and Dedication

It’s hard work keeping up with the constantly changing minutiae of each country’s customs procedures, but our agents are dedicated to ensuring a smooth flow of goods across borders, working flexible hours that match our clients’ needs for import and export customs clearance.

Advice and Support for Shippers

As experts in customs clearance and freight forwarding, we go beyond providing physical clearance at the ports. Our customs specialists and agents are ready to share advice on importing and exporting cargo and how to avoid problems at customs. They will even help you correctly complete export and import documents for customs clearance.

Other Services

Exim Cargo is a leading facilitator of international business in the Americas, offering a range of logistics solutions, assets, and services, including fleets of vehicles and an extensive network of warehouses.

Our comprehensive logistics services encompass the following specializations:

Air Freight

Ocean Freight

Inland / Road Freight


An Exim customs clearance broker is always ready to elaborate on our customs clearance services and provide you with a customs clearance quote. Our team specializes in the export and import customs clearance procedures—so don’t hesitate to seek their advice.

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Customs Clearance: Frequently Asked Questions

The customs clearance process can be daunting even for frequent shippers—and bewildering for those new to the import/export business. These are some of the questions that shippers often ask us.

Before importing or exporting goods across borders, the shipper or importer must follow a range of set procedures, which include submitting documents informing the customs authority about the nature and value of the goods, the destination of the consignment, the origin of the products, and a variety of technical details

Customs clearance charges fall into one of two categories:

  • A customs service fee: This is what you pay a customs broker to prepare and submit the documentation for your consignment. Shippers need a customs broker for export clearance in the country of origin and for import clearance in the destination country.
  • Duties and taxes: Calculated by a customs authority, duties and taxes are typically a percentage of the value of the goods. The customs authorities must receive these fees before they will release goods for onward transportation. Be aware that high-value items will attract premium rates, as will goods aimed at the luxury goods market.

Because air freight is costly and complex, steering goods through air freight customs clearance needs special skills and insights.
A customs clearance broker will judge whether to ship your merchandise as general cargo (consumer items such as electronics, jewelry, and clothing), as special cargo (temperature-sensitive items or goods requiring special packaging, or as cargo aircraft only goods (items, such as lithium batteries, considered too dangerous to carry in the cargo hold of a passenger airliner). Each category requires a separate air cargo customs clearance procedure, a unique airway bill, and attracts a different scale of tariffs.

HS codes comprise six digits which classify products for international trade purposes. Customs officials around the world use HS codes to determine duties and taxes due on various products.

A US-specific code, known as the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), has 10 digits, and is used by US authorities to assess commodity duties.