One of the most frustrating parts of shipping cargo overseas is figuring out all the rules and regulations for shipping. From customs to the letters of credit, it can seem as though there is a vast sea of bureaucracy to cross before you can even get your goods afloat! In many instances, some of the rules seem downright silly.
Take a few of these high profile examples. The clothes you ship in containers may not seem like a big deal. But in some countries, the clothes you try to import may not make it past customs. In Albania, for instance, clothing that does not meet the country’s standards of acceptable design are refused entry into the country! Sending camouflage clothing to Barbados is also a no-no, while shipping watches to China via the postal system is strictly monitored.
While those examples seem ridiculous, they also highlight how easy it is to misunderstand the requirements of a foreign port. In every instance, you can expect to have your cargo slowed down, refused or even intercepted. This wastes time and money. Some restrictions on electronics, firearms, seeds and soil or perishable items like medicines or foods are understandable. But in every case, if customs wants to take it because it doesn’t meet a rule, you can bet that cargo will be confiscated.
It is unfortunately very easy to make a mistake, particularly if you do not fully understand the rules associated with shipping to foreign ports. The matter gets more complicated when you factor in letters of credit and other important documentation regarding your cargo. In every instance, it is your responsibility to understand the rules of the cargo you are shipping – not just from the home country, but for each port and the final destination. If this seems overwhelming, it is best to work with an expert logistics company like K International.