What is port clearance and how do you get it?

With the changes to international shipping brought about in the wake of Brexit, the process of obtaining clearance at the port has become more complex. Whether you are shipping goods to the EU or internationally, you will need to provide the right documentation for your items to clear customs. Without the correct documentation to clear the port, your shipment might be delayed or even rejected. So, what is port clearance? Who decides what needs clearance and how do you apply for it? Here is our guide on getting clearance for your goods.

What is port clearance?

Port clearance is the process involved in clearing customs at the port and ensuring it is safe to travel outside the UK. To ensure the goods can be cleared, the importer must make arrangements with the exporter to confirm all documentation is in order for export, transportation and arrival. This can be done through a third party such as a freight logistics and transporting company, like ourselves. This process is done to make sure goods being transferred to an international port comply with the regulations of that country or EU member state.

Who decides what gets clearance?

What goods receive customs clearance is decided by the customs authorities at the ports of origin and destination. As the goods are the liability of customs agents during this process, they will decide whether the goods are clear for transport. This applies to goods being moved outside the UK, or in the case of Northern Ireland, outside both the UK and EU. Different rules apply for moving goods within the UK, sending goods through the post, taking a small number of goods abroad to sell yourself, and taking goods out of the UK temporarily.

How can I apply for clearance?

First, check the rules and regulations you need for exporting to another country as well as any licences you need for the type of goods you are exporting. Register for an EORI number and VAT and make arrangements with the company or individual you plan to export to. You will need to complete documentation such as a packing list detailing the goods being shipped, a commercial invoice, and a signed declaration of export including proof of origin. A customs agent will advise you if any additional information is required and will issue a clearance once they are satisfied that the goods are suitable for shipping outside the UK.

Using GFS for customs clearances at ports

When it comes to clearing customs at the port, engaging the services of a qualified customs declaration agent is one of the best ways to ensure your goods will pass smoothly. At GFS, we specialise in all documents related to imports and exports. In addition to inventory linking, we also provide supplementary declarations and duty relief applications. As an HMRC-approved firm, you can rest assured that your goods will be processed and cleared without any errors or penalties. If additional documentation is required for clearance, we can handle that as well.

Learn how we can make your next shipment much easier by getting in touch with us today.

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