Completing any export or import shipment is a process which requires careful planning, manual labour practically moving the shipment as well as specific forms / documentation to ensure the shipment safely reaches its destination. While most forms are to indicate the product that is being shipped and if it is indeed safe to move, other forms are there to communicate what happens next with a shipment and who is assigned to certain tasks. One of these forms is referred to as a Clearing Instruction.

Clearing instructions are mandatory documents completed by the exporter or importer for their forwarding or clearing agent, what this does is it sets out all activities required to move the goods either from the seller to the Incoterms handover point (in the case of exports) or from the Incoterms handover point to the buyer.

The clearing agent is a licensed person who submits declarations to customs on behalf of the importers and exporters and pays all customs duties on behalf of the importer or exporter.

The importance of a clearing instruction is that it is a mandatory form that needs to be available for customs. A clearing instruction indicates that permission has been given to an assigned clearing agent to clear the shipment. If this form is not present, the shipment will not be allowed to be cleared.  

When completing a shipment, it is always good practice to ensure all forms and documentation is in order and sent out to the relevant destinations. Overlooking these forms could result in major implications resulting in delays as well as fines. Should you need any assistance in ensuring you have the correct documentation, speak to your freight forwarder, such as Pioneer Freight.