Press Release: Is Customs delaying your parcel?

In a new world of hyper globalization and mass consumerism, it doesn't come as a surprise that postal and courier services have lately been under massive stress. Customs around the globe have been hard at work assessing the risk of using these services for organized crime, as well as successfully targeting potentially dangerous or harmful goods. Customs however not only play a key role in safeguarding the citizen, but also try not to hamper trade and try to facilitate the process as much as possible. Customs is always reviewing its work practices and staff complement to handle the flow of work.

The Department makes a massive effort not to interrupt the flow of parcels. However, there is a belief that Customs unnecessary delay parcel delivery or somehow single handedly check every single item that comes through.

The Customs Department would like to explain the process behind the clearance of parcels received through Parcel Post Office:
• Customs physically check items imported from third countries (non-EU Member States) through a risk assessment criteria. However, most items are checked by means of an x-ray machine and other non-intrusive inspections’ equipment. Therefore, the Customs Department does not physically examine all postal items;
• certain items  may require the clearance of other entities (such as Health, CITES, MCCAA etc) before being released;
• the responsibility of the processing of a declaration upon arrival of any item that goes through Customs falls onto the importer, his representative or any other service provider acting on his/her behalf;
• for this reason, importers are being reminded to immediately present to their service providers all necessary documentation, such as invoices, proof of payment and any certification of conformity; 
• if not subject to inspection and/or clearance from other entities, and given that all the necessary documents are produced, any item presented to Customs will be examined, and released, within ten minutes;
• all notifications, tracking systems, storage facilities and the delivery of the parcels are not handled by Customs but by the service provider;
• items might be temporarily retained by Customs in the eventuality of wrongful declaration or missing paperwork; and
• Customs officials, and the service providers, do everything in their power not to allow the accumulation of work.

To avoid any potential delays, it is important that one makes sure that the item being purchased comes with the right documents, and complies with national and EU regulations.