If you are lucky, you have a customs clearance provider that strives to understand your business processes and are able to offer a complete service, advice and support on anything related to import and export.
However, in the end it is the responsibility of the Importer of Record, to ensure that the data needed to create customs declarations is accurate.
As a retailer, you are responsible for ensuring that accurate information goes on to your customs declaration. This includes using the correct:
- HS code
- Country of Origin
- Customs procedures code
- Document status code
Common errors and their financial consequences
When it comes to moving goods and avoiding delays, speed is often prioritised over accuracy. It is not uncommon that customs brokers / freight forwarders complete declarations with deficient or wrong data. Sometimes due to human errors, other times maybe you failed to provide all the mandatory data, or a supplier fell through providing a certificate or license. Regardless of the reason, the one facing the financial consequences is
Are you paying too much in duties and VAT?
Companies do not set out to be purposely fraudulent. In fact, most proactive investigations uncover an overpayment of duty and VAT.
While there are many contributing factors, it commonly comes down to poor management of data accuracy. This, again, is often a result of lacking product and supply chain knowledge.
Increased duty and VAT imposed through inaccurate data recording on a customs delaration is generally caused by:
- Poor product knowledge
- Poor customs knowledge
- Lack of management and enforcement of new and existing suppliers, manufacturers or broker/freight forwarder
All of which increases the risks of customs entry errors occurring, if they are not identified immediately.
Basic customs knowledge is placed in the back seat
In the last decade, we have seen a tremendous growth in e-commerce and online shopping. This has created a demand for new processes for global customer return and repair models, while basic understanding of customs product and supply chain processes takes the back seat.
Having a thorough understanding of your own products is essential to your ability to manage suppliers, customs declaration providers, and your own systems…Mark Jamieson, VP Operations, Emma Systems UK
The importance of knowing your product
Perhaps at this point you are wondering whether you need more customs knowledge in-house. A skilled person, or a whole team? Knowledge requirements vary depending on the scope and complexity of your company’s declarations.
Rather than knowledge of an entire library, you should know the ‘procedure codes’ that applies to your product, the applicable correct ‘tariff code’ as well as the ‘countries of origin’ where your products are manufactured and exported from
Even better, is the combination of knowledge and an intuitive tool, that can recognise all customs declarations, identifies incorrect entries, and maps those declarations directly against an authority’s revenue report, such as HMRC’s MSS statistics report and highlighting any mismatches.
Learn more in our white paper or book a demo of Emma E-Doc, our digital customs archive and compliance platform.
White Paper for Retailers
In this white paper, we explain how fashion and apparel retailers can improve control of imports and exports.