Shipping Support Center

A step-by-step guide for DHL Express customers

Customs Clearance

Ensure Your Shipment is Customs Clearance Ready

When a shipment enters or leaves the country, Customs reviews the accompanying paperwork and shipment contents to ensure the shipper has followed all the appropriate rules and regulations. 

CONTENTS

Entry Types
Prohibited Items
Avoid Delays

Know the Different Entry Types 

While proper documentation is important for avoiding Customs delays, it is also important to be familiar with the Customs clearance entry types and processes.

Depending upon the value, commodity and entry type, the Customs clearance process will vary:

Customs Clearance Checklist

To make a formal entry of goods (for imported commercial shipments) into the U.S., the following documents are generally required:

  1. DHL Express Waybill
  2. Commercial Invoice
  3. Packaging lists
  4. Specific import permits or licenses for special commodities controlled by U.S. government agencies

> Learn About Special Case Documents

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U.S. Prohibited Commodities

The following commodities are not acceptable for transport by DHL under any circumstances. This is a result of a policy decision, following the full consideration of Operational, Legal and Risk Management Teams.

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Help Avoid Customs Delays

Before your exporter hands over shipments to DHL, help them make sure the paperwork is complete and accurate to help avoid delays in the Customs process. 

Customs Clearance Checklist

Review this checklist to help ensure faster Customs clearance: 

  1. Provide all necessary documents 
  2. List each commodity separately with accurate descriptions 
  3. Check for consistency across all documents 
  4. Make sure documents are clearly written, typed or electronically submitted 
  5. Provide as much detailed information as possible 
  6. Confirm that all associated costs are correct 
  7. Ensure that receiving country or person is not on a Denied Parties list

 Download or Print Checklist

 Good to Know

Denied Parties are individuals and entities that have been denied shipping privileges by government agencies. Conducting trade with them is prohibited. 

> Learn more

Helpful Tip

Should additional information be required for Customs clearance, we will first proactively notify you by phone or text message and request you to submit the missing data at www.dhl-usa.com/clearance.

> Register and Ship Online Now

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