Customs clearance is all set to undergo an unprecedented period of growth in the coming years. Both government and private entities in customs will play a pivotal role in diversifying the Kingdom’s economy and spurring non-oil trade. A major part of this overhaul is the standardization of certifications and workflows to make clearing customs easier and faster. This improvement will lead to a more competitive marketplace that contains new competitors as well as more efficient older ones. Here are 5 important ways to stay on top of the game and be a successful customs clearance agency in Saudi Arabia in 2020 and beyond.
- Hire the right people
Sound business advice in general but it’s magnified in customs clearance. A little mistake can cause several days of delays and lots of frustration. The best way to mitigate this risk and ensure a smooth, streamlined process is to be surrounded by knowledgeable, insightful people. Ideally, they would be industrial experts, Arabic speakers, and have solid contacts in customs to make sure they’re always following the latest guidelines.
- Keep an updated schedule of fees and penalties
Improvements and developments related to government bodies, ports, and customs clearance mean important factors such as fees, penalties, and terms & conditions are constantly being updated and revised. Make sure to always have an updated schedule as this will affect the client’s quote in terms of costs and delivery times.
- Intimately understand process flows and centralize verified documents
Documentation is the backbone of the customs clearance process. From start to finish, progress depends on having the right documents at the right times. Having a clear understanding of the process flows for entities such as SASO will improve your timing for document submission and minimize the risk of delays. Further, you can get an extra jump ahead of the competition by creating a streamlined workflow that includes the collection, verification, and organization of documents, certificates, and reports.
- Verify Packaging and help with the physical inspection
Most countries have regulations when it comes to labels and packaging and Saudi Arabia is no different. Each industry within the Kingdom has a different set of requirements which is why it is very important to have industry-based experts who can guide the client and clear cargo faster. The same expert should also help with the physical inspection and guide customs officers with any questions or queries they may have.
- Be specific and accurate with product descriptions
Product descriptions are required throughout the clearance process but especially when entering details through online government portals such as FASAH. Customs agents use the description when conducting the physical inspection and missing or unclear language can delay the process and create unnecessary headaches. To avoid this, write product descriptions that are precise, succinct, and detailed.