How Long Does Customs Clearance Take?

How Long Does Customs Clearance Take?

Shipping large orders from China can be tricky. Sometimes, customs clearance can cause delays, and it’s tough, especially for new businesses.

Wondering about customs clearance time? Let’s dive into how quickly your goods can pass through customs, what affects this timeline, and tips to skip the hold-ups.

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Understand Customs Clearance Timeline


Generally, customs clearance can be quick. With the right prep, your items might clear in just one day. After that, they need to be released from customs

Post-clearance, the wait can stretch. Since 2021, it’s taken 2-4 weeks due to port jams. A queue of trucks means your goods sit until it’s their turn.

Preparation helps manage these delays, but some factors are out of your control. Let’s look at the clearance steps:

Understanding the Clearance Process

Clearance varies by shipping mode. Air express with carriers like DHL is simple—ensure they have the commercial invoice, and they handle the rest.

For air or sea freight, you’re more involved. File an ISF, provide a Bill of Lading, and give the customs broker your commercial invoice and packing list. We at Super International Shipping take care of all this for you.


HTS Codes

Submit the right HTS codes to avoid overpaying taxes or underpaying, which leads to fines. Accuracy is key, and you’re responsible for it. With Super International Shipping, we find and apply the correct HTS codes for you.


Arrival Notices and X-Rays

A notice is sent when your shipment is near, starting the clearance. It’s usually quick unless there’s a flag for x-rays, which can delay things.


Port Discharge Times

Even after clearance, you can’t load and ship immediately. Remember, discharge takes time, often longer than clearance itself.


Wrapping Up Customs Clearance

In short, clearance starts with shipping preparation. Once customs has the arrival notice, the process kicks off, typically wrapping up in a day or two unless there are hiccups. Avoiding x-ray flags and ensuring your documentation is in order speeds things up.


Stuck in Customs? Here’s Why!

Ever wondered, “How long does customs clearance take?” If you’re scratching your head because your package hasn’t moved, let’s quickly break down common hold-ups.


Watch Out for HTS Code Errors


First up, the HTS code—it’s crucial for tax purposes. Slip up here, and you’re looking at delays. If HTS codes are a mystery to you, don’t sweat it. Teams like ours at Super International Shipping are pros at nailing the right codes for you.


Missing Paperwork Can Slow You Down


Now, paperwork—it’s gotta be spot-on. Missing a document or messing one up means trouble. You’ll need:

  • The Bill of Lading
  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing list
  • HTS codes

Get a customs broker or someone like us to double-check everything. We keep those papers tidy and error-free.


Port Pile-Ups Mean Waiting


Cleared customs? Great, but if the port’s packed, your items aren’t going anywhere fast. With recent supply chain hiccups, expect a 2-4 week wait to unload your products. And during busy seasons, it could hit a month.


LCL Shipments: A Domino Effect


Got a smaller shipment? LCL shipments mix your goods with others in one container. If one order in that container gets flagged, everyone’s stuff gets delayed.


Full Containers Fast-Track Shipping


Thinking FCL might be out of reach? It’s worth a second look. Consistent big orders can be bundled into an FCL shipment, saving time and money. If planning isn’t your thing, let experts like Super International Shipping handle it.


X-Rays: The Wild Card


Lastly, if customs picks your container for an x-ray, that’s more time added. It’s random, and there’s no sidestepping it.


In a Nutshell


Delays can be a drag, but knowing what causes them helps. For a smooth customs experience, get your paperwork right, consider FCL for larger shipments, and remember, some things, like x-rays, are just down to luck. Need help? Super International Shipping has got your back.



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