Custom Clearance

The rules, regulations, and laws are a bit different from country to country, sometimes from port to port within a country, making someone who specializes in customs clearance very important to a shipper exporting and importing goods. Having the wrong person handle your customs clearance can be very problematic. Shipping containers are warehoused as they go through customs clearance. Warehousing and storage fees can add up quickly. If there is a problem with your customs clearance and your customs clearance does not happen smoothly, your shipping costs could go up by hundreds to thousands of dollars. On top of these costs, the delay in getting your shipping containers released to you because of customs clearance problems could cost you more money because the arrival of your shipment is delayed.

When choosing International moving company, you want a company with the experience to handle your customs clearance and are familiar with the customs requirements in your country of destination well and who knows what to do should any issues arise. For these reasons, going with the cheapest company you can find to handle your international shipping can turn into a nightmare, and much more expensive than hiring a company with a little higher quote but who has much more experience in the business.

There are other things you can do to help ensure your shipping containers make it through customs smoothly, is getting ready the specific documents required deepened in the country of your destination.

Documents Required

  • Copy of Passport (the page showing photo) Copy of Visa and/or Work Permit (for foreign citizens only)
  • Foreign citizens must obtain a Work Permit issued by the local employment office Residence Visa or Residence Permit (granted only after a Work Permit has been issued)
  • Inventory in English (certain countries will require translation), valued, dated and signed by the customer.
  • Signed declaration, stating the imported goods are the owner’s personal effects
  • Signed declaration, stating the imported goods are not subject to any Customs restrictions (e.g. drugs, weapons, etc.)
  • Signed declaration that no taxable high value goods (such as alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, guns, etc.) are in shipment. Such goods must be listed separately and will be taxed.
  • Statement of Transfer from employer should state the shipper was an employee for the company abroad, how long he/she has lived in this country, and how long he/she will remain an employee of the company.
  • Power of Attorney Form authorizing Destination Agent to act on behalf of the customer in liaison with Customs Foreign diplomats need a Certificate from the Embassy or Consulate

Customs Regulations


Used household goods are duty-free if customer has resided at least one year abroad, if the goods were owned by the customer over six months and will not be sold for a minimum of one year Goods should be imported within one year of customer taking up residence; if not, reasons are needed for delay – maximum three years Inheritance items:

Death Certificate or an official document which certifies the customer has inherited the items from the deceased and states the relationship between them

Wedding Trousseaux

Marriage Certificate If household goods are imported before the marriage, proof the marriage will take place within two months is required

Please Note: Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. International Sea & Air Shipping cannot be held responsible for any advice or information given regarding custom regulations, port fees etc. at the port of destination. Information is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and Customers/Shippers. Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, International Sea & Air Shipping cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate for applicable customs regulations.