With the rise of e-commerce, social media and technology in general, even small businesses can easily find customers beyond their local market. Finding a way to navigate the Customs process more efficiently can therefore become an advantage for your business because less delays mean you can win customers with a seamless shopping experience.
No matter where your customers are, they expect their purchase to arrive on time and in perfect condition. Consider these simple tips to streamline your customs management and ensure a smooth process for your business.
Cut costs and time by managing Customs processes by yourself
Thanks to technology, submitting your Customs declarations yourself is easier than ever before. Some countries have introduced Customs declaration systems to handle the process, which means small and medium businesses can lodge Customs declarations using simple digital platforms. The South African Revenue Services (SARS) – for example – has a Customs Clearance Declaration (CCD) system that allows importers and exporters to declare goods and submit the required documentation electronically. Ultimately, doing it yourself will ensure better control and real-time feedback.
Find the right tools to help reduce delays
Errors or missing information in your shipping documents can be costly to your business because they cause delays, which means you fail to meet your customers’ delivery expectations. There are some basic steps you can take to ensure everything is sent and received on time.
Consider online tools such as the FedEx® Electronic Trade Documents tool that enables you to easily upload and submit documents ahead of shipping. You can save the documents you use most so you have them available anytime. There’s also the simple step-by-step instruction tool – FedEx Global Trade Manager – that can help you search for information, build on the descriptions for Customs clearance purposes, and calculate duties and taxes. These types of tools can help ensure that your business follows a streamlined and successful Customs process that leads to timely delivery.
Get help from the experts
One approach is getting help from the many good service providers. It is also possible to create commercial export relationships by striking deals with distributors or dealer networks who can do much of the legwork. This is an effective way to establish relationships and learn about the market but remember that this service does come at a cost. Before making any decisions, you should be aware of the costs involved.
No matter the route your business takes, keep in mind that once you have your international shipping process in place, you can be confident that your customers will be receiving their purchases anywhere in the world. You can visit the FedEx Small Business Centre for more information.