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Export.gov Portal
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Customs Problems

If your company is experiencing a problem with a foreign customs house, make sure you’ve correctly identified the problem.

Most common customs-related problems:

  • Misclassification
  • Duties higher than anticipated
  • Customs office won't clear the shipment to your buyer/importer
  • Customs office invoking health, sanitary, or safety issues
  • Labeling issues involving a certificate of origin, weight, ingredients, marks, etc.
  • Inadequate documentation provided by the exporter
  • Issues involving the import or packing regulations of the receiving country

To resolve customs problems, try the following:

  • Involve the buyer/importer. Chances are they can help or at least find out what needs to be done to resolve the problem.
  • Involve your shipping company. Most shippers are responsive to the customs problems faced by their customers.
  • Involve your insurance company.
  • Contact the foreign customs' office.
  • Contact the Commercial Service office in the appropriate country.