What is Customs Clearance Fee and How to Pay it?

Are you one of those people wanting to know more about customs clearance fees but don’t know where to start? This guide got you covered. Keep reading to explore what it is and how you can pay for it.

What Is Customs Clearance?

What Is Customs Clearance?

Customs clearance involves taking the goods from the customs authorities after paying the stated fees to facilitate the movement of the shipments inside the country (if it’s imported) or outside of the country (if they are exported). It also indicates a document issued by the customs department to the shipper. It indicates that all the fees have been paid and are ready to proceed further in the export or import.

What Is a Customs Declaration?

What Is a Customs Declaration?

Are you importing the shipments from China? Then it’s important that you are familiar with the basic Chinese customs clearance process. You should provide a customs declaration form to the authorities to finish the customs clearance process.

What Is a Customs Clearance Agent?

What Is a Customs Clearance Agent? - DFH Global Logistics

Also referred to as a customs broker, a customs clearance agent is a licensed individual to act on behalf of the importers. They might be independent or may also work as freight forwarders. If you book your shipment, you can ask the logistics provider if they offer extra services like a customs broker.

Remember that customs brokers help importers obtain their shipments through customs as fast and smoothly as possible. Without proper details, documentation, and payment, your shipment could get held up, be responsible for added fees or penalties, and even your shipment sent back to its original destination.

What Is the Customs Clearance Process?

What Is the Customs Clearance Process?

The customs clearance process includes preparing and submitting all necessary documents to facilitate the export and import business. That process helps move certain shipments outside or inside the country based on the trade’s nature.

Government agencies, customs clearance companies, and customs brokers or agents represent their clients during customs assessments, examinations, and payments of customs duties. They co-take the cargo from the customs authorities after the customs clearance, along with the documents or certificates issued by the customs and border protection authorities.

Here are the steps involved in the customs process:

·        Documents verification

In the first step of the customs clearance process, you should submit all the needed documents to the customs department, such as invoice documents, shipping documents, and more.

·        Customs officer checks

Here, the customs clearance official will match the paperwork provided by you along with the shipment. If they are correct, the following steps may be flawless and straightforward.

·        Payments of taxes and customs duties, and other fees

Your customs official will identify the applicable taxes per the details presented in the papers. The exact payable duties depend on the type and value of the cargo. If there are any pending taxes and duties, the customs and border protection authorities will request you to pay the remaining money. That must be performed before releasing the shipment.

·        Release of certain shipments

Finally, once all the rest of the duties and taxes are paid, the customs authorities will release your cargo. After that, the shipper, seller, or importer can take the goods inside or outside the country of origin.

What Are Customs Clearance Fees Included?

What Are Customs Clearance Fees Included?

Here are some of the fees you need to consider as customs clearance fees:

·        Continuous annual bond – $400 per $100,0

·        Single entry bond – $50 per $100 value of the shipment

·        ISF bond – needed for ocean shipments when the importer does not have a continuous bond on file

·        Import security filing (ISF) $55 – ISF filing is needed for ocean cargo only

·        PGA form – $35

·        General merchandise entry – $175

How Much Does the Customs Clearance Cost?

How Much Does the Customs Clearance Cost?

The customs brokers charge a customs clearance fee to cover the cost of preparing and filling the customs documents.

The standard fees for customs clearance are about $50 for clearance with China’s customs and an added $100 to $120 for clearance with CBP. You see, customs clearance fees can’t be anticipated when you first receive your freight quote in advance.

Remember that CBP may also perform an examination accruing a higher total of the customs clearance fee for your ISF filing or ISF bond. The examination is nearly ensured when shipping certain shipments such as food, drugs, alcoholic beverages, and animal goods, and in such cases, your documents are supplied to other government agencies concerned with threats to national security, safety, and health.

Who Pays for The Customs Clearance Fees?

Who Pays for The Customs Clearance Fees

Usually, it depends on what incoterms you do with your suppliers. Under DDP, CIF, and FOB trade terms, importers should pay for both countries’ customs clearance fees to the Customs brokers, While under EXW trader terms, the buyers pay for customs clearance fees in both countries.

Then the customs brokers pay for paying customs clearance fees. You see, customs brokers procure all the needed documents you need and help in completing the paperwork to avoid delays. They help you conduct and navigate the alphabet soup of import and export taxes, codes, and forms, help with valuation analysis and identifying the county of origin, and automate the processing fee through electronic documents and reporting systems.

How To Pay the Customs Clearance Fees?

How To Pay the Customs Clearance Fees?

Remember that the customs clearance fee is paid directly to the customs brokers or customs clearance agents to cover the cost of submitting the documenting and processing fees and duties payment. That could be charged as a flat per service, as a percentage of the shipment value, and as one price for a bundle of services.


Customs clearance in China is one of the hassle-free processes, only if you have all the documents ready and experienced customs brokers and freight forwarders to support you. You can save money and complete the customs clearance process on your own, but oftentimes, it can be challenging if you’re unfamiliar with the local practices in a certain country.

We hope the info provided in this guide is enough to do the customs clearance process. If you wish for a hassle-free and smooth customs clearance process and transportation of your shipments, DFH is here to help you.

DFH is one of the best freight forwarders in China that can guide you through customs clearing. Even though we don’t offer customs broker services, we have collaborated with the right customs broker since 2009, which are top and leader customs brokers from China and destination countries, to move your freight across the country easily and quickly. Feel free to contact us; we will assess the ideal option for all your transportation needs. We also have additional services for you to help save at least 30% -40% for all of your shipment costs.

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