Get an instant quote
Get in touch Listen to our podcast
Customs Clearance Tips for importing manufactured products

Customs Clearance Tips for Faster Lead Times

Rapid prototyping
and full-scale production
ISO accredited
& QC checks
All in-house
Used in over
50 countries
FREE Instant

Remember the lead time of your rapid prototype part order does not just include manufacturing but also shipping. The speed at which you can utilize or test your part depends on how quickly it physically arrives at your location.

In this article, we will look at some of the most common reasons for why shipments get held up at customs, as well as methods to minimize the possibility of a customs hold.


Customs Clearance Tips for importing manufactured products


Most common reasons for custom holds

  • Missing Commercial Documents: Inadequate documentation provided by the exporter
  • Labelling Issues: this involves the certificate of origin, weight, ingredients, marks, etc.
  • Misclassification: The descriptions of the goods in the commercial invoice do not match the HS codes used.
  • Insufficient or Unclear Description: of the items listed in the commercial invoice that does not allow the customs officer to identify the content of the shipment.
  • Incorrect Value: The value of the goods is significantly lower/higher than the average market value of those goods.
  • Industry Standards: The part’s name or HTS code flags an FDA inspection (parts for medical devices or other parts for the health sector).


To minimise customs problems, make sure to:

1. Provide necessary documents

The main documents include commercial invoice and the air waybill. You may need additional documents depending on the origin, destination, commodity and value of the shipment, these include: 

  • Certificate of origin 
  • Export licence 
  • Export declaration


2. Provide a clear and detailed description

Give customs authorities a clear indication of what’s in your shipment. The description should explain what it is, what it’s made of, and what it’s used for (if applicable), even if it’s just an assembly piece. It should be clear and describe all items included in the shipment.


3. Use the right HS code

The Harmonised System (HS codes) classifies goods so customs authorities know which taxes, duties, and controls may apply. Generally, prototypes and test parts shipped are classified using a standard HS code. However, classifying production parts can be trickier. If your products fall into multiple categories or have unique specifications, it’s crucial to carefully select the most accurate HS code. 

Consider consulting with customs experts or utilising online resources to ensure the proper classification of your goods. It also helps to be transparent with the manufacturer/exporter about the intended use of the part and any additional and relevant information can assist in determining the most appropriate HS code for your specific product.


4. Value your shipment accurately

Even if the item is an injection moulded sample piece, it still has a value of at least the production costs. The value should be as accurate as possible. If customs question your valuation, it could cause delays and penalties. Also, make sure to list the value of the goods in the currency you specified on the invoice.


5. Share the FDA registration code

If the parts ordered are to be assembled in a medical device, you’ll need to share the FDA registration code within the “end use” section of the customs information section.


Manufacture with faster lead times

Although our Incoterms are DDU, we understand that customs can be a real pain, so we’re here to help. HLH Rapid’s team monitor every international shipment to ensure that you have a speedy delivery with every custom order. Feel free to reach out to us at if you have any questions.

Ready to receive your parts? Send us your drawings and project details on our website contact form, and our team will get back with a quote within 24 hours.

Home Banner

Put your parts in production today

Get an instant quote