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  • Work with vendors to properly identify HS codes, and fulfil fulfill all documentation, packaging and labelling labeling needs.
  • Understand national and international regulations surrounding both regulated or banned goods, and legalities around countries of origin/destination.
  • Include physical copies of all required customs clearance documentation with the shipment.
  • Ensure all required documentation is available, and (where available) double check physical cargo so that items, quantities, and dimensions match documentation.
  • Solicit, identify and contract with a transporter, freight forwarder or other certified entity familiar with customs.


  • Work with respective program and operations teams to identify routine response activities and pre-define cargo that will likely be used in response activities.
  • Ror For prepositioned stock, it is possible to pre-identify HS codes, shipping documentation needs, and screen against country level import regulations (example – WHO approved medicines list).
  • Solicit and identify third party vendors who can rapidly provide the specific products required for response, and make agreements that include documentation and labelling labeling needs.

Downstream Planning


  • If the importer/consignee is also the requestor, the importer/consignee should endeavour to provide as much information on the quired required cargo to the exporter/shipper as possible.
  • Prepare for receipt, storage and inspection of the consignments in country.
  • Understand the entry points and bottle necks associated with customs clearance.
  • Have all documentation ready before consignment arrives.
  • Expedite clearances where possible by pre-clearing using advanced copies of documentation.
  • Track shipment and know when it arrives in country to avoid demurrage or lost cargo.
  • Pre-identify transport to remove cargo from customs, ideally planned around the size of the shipment. Have adequate storage or down-stream deliveries planned as well.
  • As soon as consignment arrives, arrange for inspection and clear the consignments through customs.


If the importer or the customs broker acting on their behalf fails to obtain paperwork by the time customs clearance should begin, the submission procedure will be delayed, ad and the release of cargo will just be delayed or not happen in time or even at all. The consequences of frustrated cargo result in delays in the delivery to beneficiaries, or additional costs such as demurrage. Within a short period of time, large amounts fees can accumulate for which the receiver is held accountable.

Inspection and Damage

There are three types of inspection:

  • visual, looking for physical damage or defaults;
  • quantitative, represented by shortfalls in quantity;
  • qualitative, identified by divergence from specifications.

Note that all visible damage and shortfall must be clearly indicated on the shipping documents and claims lodged.

Methods of payment in import/export