A Quick Look at Customs Enforcement

A Quick Look at Customs Enforcement

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Travelling internationally can fun and exciting. It is a learning experience, of course, both in terms of history but also in terms of your own cultural and personal sensitivities.

And anyone who does travel internationally knows it is much more complicated than traveling domestically.  In the United States, for example it is relatively easy to drive or fly from one state to another.  Traveling from the US to another country—even to Canada—can be a much more complex process.

And a big part of this more complicated process is getting through customs.

Why Do We Need Customs Enforcement?

You might think that Clearit.ca customs enforcement is all about monitoring illegal activity but that is only part of their job.  Sure, they do look for the trafficking of drugs and the transport of other dangerous materials, but they are also an important aspect of international trade.  Customs enforcement has a hand in making sure that competition within the international retail markets remains healthy and fair.

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What is Customs Clearance?

One way that customs enforcement helps to regulate trade is by ensuring that anyone who crosses an international border pays fees, or “duties.”  Sometimes known as a “tariff” these duties are assigned to various consumer goods and you are required to pay them when you cross the border. These fees are designed to discourage the illegal transport and sale of foreign goods and to encourage the purchase of domestic goods.

If you work in international trade, you will certainly appreciate how this works.  If you do not work in international trade, this can be confusing so all you really need to understand is that you should always have certain documentation to prove ownership and value of the things you travel with.

Export Documentation

When you leave a country, you have to document what you bring with you.  If you travel into Canada, you need to have:

  • The buyer’s purchase order
  • The sale invoice
  • Packing list
  • Shipping bill
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Bill of Lading

Import Documentation

Since you are required to have many or all of these (and other associated paperwork) when you export your stuff, you will only need one more document upon entry into the new country. This is a Bill of Entry and it is just a certification that you have legally exported your goods and are now legally bringing them into another country.

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