Customs Clearing and Forwarding Agents/ Services


Feb 21, 2007
Greetings all,

A friend of mine has recently moved back to India after a longish stay abroad. He arranged for his household effects to be sent by ship. As such, the stuff is eligible for duty exemption.

The question is: in practice, how painful or easy is it to go over to customs and get your stuff cleared yourself?

Is it advisable/ cost-effective to engage an agent who gets this done for you?

If so, any agents people can vouch for?

Any first hand experience would be useful.

Hi Persi,
No recent first hand experience or names to share but i would engage an agent rather than try clearing it myself. These people share a good rapport(read more into that) and things proceed smoothly.
We were the importers of Sakura (films & paper) ages ago and had been thru various agents. My impressions are based on that.
they do open up your entire container and go through most of it. as long as you dont have anything that makes it difficult, or willing to pay the tax its not so much of an issue. you'll have to spend about 1-2 days on it. but the best way to go about it is to use a clearing agent. he'll talk the language of the customs official and speed things up. you might also have to give out a bit of cash
@ Persiflage

You wont be able to deal with customs directly and would certainly need an agent to assist you with. I may know a few people that could help, if you could let me know where your friend is based out of and where is the material/container coming to. There wont be duty applicable for used household goods but 'other' expenses shall be applicable, but a list and price of all the stuff in the container is a must, which could be needed by customs while inspection.

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