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Customs Clearance Issues
All imported goods are subject to Customs clearance in every country. When you buy from NearbyExpress, there are three warehouses from which your goods will ship from, United States, Germany, and China. Therefore, if the destination country of your order is not one of the three countries above, and you are the importer responsible for the goods when the goods pass through Customs in your destination country, then you should be aware of your responsibilities as the importer of record. According to our general terms and conditions, you may order anything you like from NearbyExpress and we will fulfill your order, but it remains totally your responsibility to find out in advance if the products are permissible to import into your destination country, and if so what clearance requirements, taxes, policies, or forms may apply in that country. NearbyExpress cannot and will not offer advice or pre-shipment information on Customs issues in any regard.
From our rich experience in shipping, we can confirm that in over 99% of shipments from NearbyExpress there is no issue whatsoever with Customs clearance. Furthermore, in the majority of the rare cases subject to a delay in Customs, the goods are released and delivered successfully. This is because the clearance via normal shipping methods (express couriers or post) is handled professionally by the shipping company, and NearbyExpress is an experienced provider of correct shipping documentation and compliant products and packaging.
You need to be aware that since any order you make on NearbyExpress.com will pass through your country’s Customs, the Customs Dept have the right to hold and inspect your goods according to their policies.
Every country’s Customs Dept has different policies, and these policies can vary substantially, for example...
- from port to port
- from day to day or from one Custom’s staff member to another
- depending on the volume of packages requiring clearance on any particular day
- depending on the security levels and political climate of the moment
- depending on the package shipment method
- depending on the package origin
- depending on the package, weight, shape, packing, size, profile, x-ray results, etc
- depending on the package contents
- depending on the declared or assessed valuation of the package contents
- depending on the paperwork accompanying the shipment
- depending on random inspection timetables or scheduled batch checks for particular criteria
As the importer, you bear sole responsibility for the clearance of the goods and any issues that may arise from an inspection or hold. Typically, the consignee of the shipped packets is taken as the importer in any problem case.
If you are dropshipping, it is important to note that the consignee of the goods is your customer, and therefore they will be liable for any assessed import duties, sales taxes, or issues arising from Customs inspection.
In most countries, depending on the category of goods imported and the quantity or value, the shipment will be assessed for duties and /or sales tax. That is your responsibility as the importer.
In The Case Of A Customs Hold
NearbyExpress will contact you to discuss the issue openly.
- You will typically be required to communicate directly with your country’s Customs or contact them via your courier company.
- If additional documents are required, NearbyExpress will do our utmost to provide the documents to you and support the goods clearance.
- Your country’s Customs can hold goods pending a decision for as long as they like.
- The final decision about assessing, valuing, taxing, releasing/refusing, seizing the goods is entirely down to Customs. In some cases no reasons are provided, and in many countries the importer has no right of appeal. In most countries the Customs are hard to communicate with and lack basic public information or accessible staff contact.
- In the vast majority of cases, the goods are released after a delay ranging from 1 day to 6 months... the reason for the delay is usually unknown, and the length of the delay is unfortunately beyond anyone’s control.
- If the goods are refused entry, they will either be destroyed with no compensation, or turned back so the courier ships them back to NearbyExpress.
Under these terms and conditions, which you are agreeing to at the time you place your order, you are acknowledging you understand your basic responsibilities as an importer and the resultant liabilities should any exception occur.
Examples of situations where NearbyExpress will compensate you
- If internationally recognized documents such as CE / FCC / Sisvel could not be supplied fast enough by NearbyExpress, and Customs refused entry to the goods.
- If you made a valid request for customization of the shipping paperwork and we agreed to follow your instructions but failed to do so.
- If we made any serious error on the paperwork accompanying the goods.
- If the goods were delayed or impounded by Exit Customs of our warehouse country rather than your own country’s Customs.
- If a Customs inquiry reveals a valid IPR issue with the products. (FIY, NearbyExpress never knowingly markets/sells counterfeit products or any products/packaging infringing intellectual property of any parties)
Examples of situations where you are not entitled to compensation
- If you refused to accept the goods.
- If the goods could not clear due to import restrictions that are specific to your own country, e.g. FDA approval of health products (USA), country-specific certification, restricted categories of goods, quotas, anything called "anti-dumping enforcement", etc.
- If you refused to accept applicable taxes or other charges associated with the import procedure.
- If you refused to pay additional charges or fines resulting from Customs’ re-assessment of the classification or value of the goods.
- If you were unable to accept the goods due to laws in your country such as a lack of an import license.
- If Customs refused entry to your goods because you failed to provide paperwork or other information in a timely manner, OR provided incorrect paperwork or information.
- If Customs refused entry to your goods but they did not provide a reason, OR we were unable to confirm sufficient detail of the supposed reason.
- If clearance failed due to lack of licenses / documents / certificates which are specific to your country and NearbyExpress deems it beyond the reasonable scope of our Shipping Team to provide these documents in the absence of any pre-shipment communication from you.
- If Customs refused entry to your goods or levied increased taxes, charges, or fines associated with the classification or declared value of the goods on the shipping paperwork. We always inform you in advance about the declaration of your goods, and in the cases of larger shipments you have to agree to the declaration value explicitly, so this is deemed to be totally your responsibility.
- If we previously warned you about a possible increased risk of delivery exceptions due to our experience of shipping to your country, for whatever reason, but you explicitly agreed to go ahead with the order.
- "Compensation" refers to full or partial refund/credit of the amount you paid for the goods and /or shipping (depending on the situation). NearbyExpress does not offer any further compensation beyond the costs of the product and shipping.
- We reserve the right to evaluate the reason for a Customs exception. We will do this openly based on our communications with the Courier, your country’s Customs, and any evidence you have provided us of your own communications with the Courier and Customs.
- If the goods are returned to us, but we deem that you were liable for the failed delivery, you will not receive compensation.
Search online, check with your local Government, local Customs and Chambers of Commerce, and seek advice on all import regulations and procedures!
To ensure successful delivery, particularly of larger shipments, we strongly recommend you personally undertake rigorous research of your local destination laws, regulations, and common practices in relation to imported goods and taxation.
For large shipments you should always hire a licensed Import Broker.
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