DHL Customs

How to Deal with DHL Customs Formalities (And Avoid Delays)

In international shipping, handling customs clearance processes could be challenging. If anything goes wrong, you are likely going to lose your potential customers. Hence if you really want to smoothen the process of customs clearance, you need to look for the right shipping carrier. DHL, being an international shipping company, is known for its error-free shipping and handling of goods across the globe. DHL customs formalities is an expert in handling the customs formalities in international shipping, ensuring that there is no delay happening for your shipments.

Ever since its beginning in the 1960s, DHL has strengthened gradually by reducing the transit time in shipping, making it a globally accepted shipping carrier that can help you to overcome any difficulties arising in the customs clearance process.

DHL Services to Help with Customs

No matter what your requirements are, DHL will have an ideal solution for your shipping issues, especially when it comes to customs clearance. Here are some of the customized DHL custom services to meet the customs clearance process.

Bonded Transit Document

When you are shipping any non-documented foreign origin goods through the US locations, to other locations, the in-bond entry(CF7512) allows the goods to travel through the US locations bonded to the destination by the importer’s broker or into a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ).

Bio/Phyto/Veterinary Controls

It is easy for DHL to create paperwork to facilitate the clearance of any bio, quarantine, phytosanitary, health, veterinary, CITES, or anything in similar controls to get clearance at the customs.

Bonded Storage

If any shipment has arrived at the DHL bonded storage facility or non-DHL storage facility and is held for more than three calendar days, following its arrival it can store the items in the bonded storage. We can avail this until the item gets a clearance from the customs either awaiting the documents from the receiver or the importer or an approved customs broker.

Certificate of Origin

If your item does not have any data or certificate of origin, then DHL Express will attach a required certificate to authenticate the country of origin for the commodities.

Commercial Invoice

Whenever you are shipping non-documented goods internationally, DHL will provide a Commercial invoice or a Pro Forma invoice on behalf of the customer to ensure that it clears these items at the customs with no hassle.

Export Declaration

When you are shipping to a certain destination or if the original value of the item is beyond a specific rate, DHL attaches a declaration for US customs on behalf of the customer.

General Order Warehouse Storage

When shipments are stored for more than 20 calendar days, even after attempting to connect with the importer for the necessary documents, they will charge these shipments a variable customs and storage charge applied by the General order of the warehouse.

Broker Notification /Document Transfer service

The notification is used to transfer the clearance documents to another broker to handle customs clearance on the customer’s behalf.

Import/Export Taxes

This is the tax value applied by the U.S. Customs on the value of the goods being imported.

Import Paperwork

The series of import-specific documents required to import a shipment to the receiver.

Multiline Entry

Each product you ship needs to have an identification and also should be classified using a proper harmonized tariff number. A DHL Express service can process an item entry with over 5 lines like one shipment with multiple products or multiple invoices.

Getting Permits & Licenses

DHL provides many entry necessary documents for shipments including but not limited to the Customs General Order, the Food and Drug Administration, and Fish & Wildlife Service.

Payment Deferment

When you are importing any non-documented items for which DHL Express advances US Customs duties, charges, and taxes and then later billed to a US receiver, a process service charge is levied.

Post Clearance Modification

If any item that was already cleared at the customs by paying the requisite duties and taxes ends up in a dispute with the US customs, DHL will file a claim with the US customs and monitor it.

Prior Notice

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bioterrorism regulations, DHL must prepare and submit a Prior Notice (PN) for all imported food shipments.

Single Clearance

Non-restricted merchandise based on the value and commodity is cleared on a consolidated order manifest to enable cost- and time-efficient processing under 19 CFR 128 Express Consignments regulations. Here, DHL will assess a service charge for when the importer requests a single formal entry.

Temporary Import/Export

Whenever the document of shipment at origin is missing, the DHL express will prepare an international customs document upon the customer’s request.

Under Bond/Guarantee

When the customer is not bonded, they create a single transaction bond as a substitute for a continuous bond.

Know more about the DHL Custom services here.

How Does DHL Manage Customs?

Like any other shipping service, DHL also has its international regulation for restricted and prohibited goods. DHL restricts certain items from shipping, which is listed on their website. If DHL identifies the items as restricted, then you need to pay an enormous amount as a duty for importing. They either identify the item as dangerous or we cannot ship it.

As discussed above, DHL offers a series of services to help you clear the customs process. It also offers a step-by-step guide to handle taxes for both receiver and sender. Here are some things you should know:

  • It operates in over 200 destinations around the world.
  • They process over 7 million customs shipments each year.
  • DHL has a team of experts handling the DHL customs clearance process.
  • They have dedicated teams to work at the local, regional and global levels to ensure that the customs clearance process is as per industry standards.
  • The DHL team has a trustable relationship with the customs officials.
  • It uses the latest technology to provide a swift customs clearance process.

What essential paperwork do you need to get the shipment to clear the customs process?

Every shipment requires a certain amount of paperwork that is needed for the customs clearance process. DHL has varied paperwork depending on the type of shipment. Let’s take a step-by-step guide for dealing with the DHL customs paperwork:

  1. Make use of the DHL official paperwork.
  2. Use the trademark or incoterms.
  3. Fill in the information about the sender and other details.
  4. Include the sender’s information.
  5. Get your waybill filled and printed.
  6. Include the relevant shipping information like the number of pieces, the weight of the shipments, etc.
  7. Add an accurate description of your products.
  8. Add harmonized codes.
  9. Provide the country of origin.
  10. Add the accurate value of the shipment.
  11. Calculate and present the subtotal of items.
  12. Provide the total value of the shipment.
  13. Provide the reason for export.
  14. Remember to mention the type of invoice you are including.
  15. Provide the complete declaration for the shipment with your name, date, and signature.

Do you need to pay for the Customs for DHL?


You always need to pay for the customs clearance process with DHL. You need to understand and get to know the accurate charges for paying for the customs clearance process.

DHL Customs Services and Associated Costs

Service Cost
Bonded Transit $85
Bonded Storage $31/day/shipment
Permits and Licenses $25
Multiline Entry $5/line after 5 lines (imports)
Clearance Data Modification $56
Export Declaration $15
Advanced Payment 2% of duties; $15 minimum
Disbursement 2% of duties; $15 minimum
Preferential Origin $10
Controlled Exports $65
Clearance Paperwork $20
Single Clearance $20
Import Paperwork $25/packet
Prior Notice $10


If you are using the ELEX WooCommerce DHL Express / eCommerce / Paket Shipping Plugin with Print Label, you can showcase the break in the charges for your customers on the checkout page.

DHL customs

Know more about the plugin from the product page.

Ship using Better DHL’s Customs Services

Smoothly navigating through the customs process is tough, but not impossible. To get it done effortlessly, you can rely on a reliable shipping service that has a proven record to deal with the customs process. DHL, with its intact policies that make the customs process go easy, is an ideal option to get the shipment through customs with no hassle. If you don’t do it correctly, you are likely going to get into trouble having to pay some extra fees or watch your shipments being held at the customs.

Read more about the duties and taxes to know what you need to be prepared for while shipping.

Further Reading:

Leave a Reply

WordPress Image Lightbox Plugin