Procedure and Documents for Customs Clearance

Suppose you have a problem streamlining your custom clearance process for your logistic operations. This article provides answers to make the process more efficient and help you navigate it easily.

You will learn the following:


The Procedure of Custom Clearance

Below are a few procedures involved in the customs clearance process that you should be familiar with, such as:

  1. Pre-alert: Before the arrival of the shipment, the shipping company or freight forwarder sends a pre-alert message to the last-mile network partner and Customs Authorities at the destination port.

    This message contains shipment details such as the bill of lading number, shipment weight, and expected arrival date. The pre-alert email also sends out the MAWB and Manifest.

    • MAWB: Upon arrival at the destination port, the Customs Authorities require the Master Airway Bill (MAWB) to proceed with the shipment. The MAWB is a legal document providing details about the shipment and as evidence of the contract between the shipper and the carrier.
    • Manifest: After submitting the MAWB, the freight forwarder or carrier offers the manifest to Customs Authorities. The manifest includes details about each shipment within the container or vessel, such as the shipper’s name, consignee’s name, description of goods, and quantity.
  2. Inspection: Customs Authorities may physically assess the shipment to verify the declared information in the MAWB and manifest. The inspection process may involve opening and examining the shipment’s contents, taking samples, and checking the load against the documentation.

  3. Duty and Tax Assessment: After the inspection, Customs Authorities assess the duty and tax payable on the shipment based on the declared value of the goods, the country of origin, and any applicable free trade agreements or exemptions. Failure to pay the assessed duty and tax will result in Customs not releasing the shipment from its custody.

  4. Release: After paying the duty and tax and submitting the necessary documentation, the Customs Authorities release the shipment to the Last Mile network partner.


It’s important to note that the customs clearance procedure can vary slightly depending on the specific country, type of shipment, and mode of transportation.

Operational and Documents Requirements

To pass through customs without any issues, specific operational and documentation prerequisites must be fulfilled, which include the following:

Country Pre-Alert Cut-Off Time Required Document
Australia 24 Hours MAWB / Manifest
Brunei 12 Hours MAWB / Manifest
Cambodia 8 Hours MAWB / Manifest
Europe 24 Hours MAWB / Manifest
Hongkong 8 Hours MAWB / Manifest
Indonesia 8 Hours MAWB / Manifest
Malaysia 8 Hours MAWB / Manifest
New Zealand 12 Hours MAWB / Manifest
Philippines 12 Hours MAWB / Manifest
Saudi Arabia 8 Hours MAWB / Manifest
Singapore 8 Hours MAWB / Manifest
South Korea 24 Hours MAWB / Manifest
Thailand 24 Hours MAWB / Manifest
Taiwan 24 Hours MAWB / Manifest
United Kingdom 8 Hours MAWB / Manifest
United States 24 Hours MAWB / Manifest
Vietnam 24 Hours MAWB / Manifest
  • To facilitate smooth communication with our Network partners in each respective country, please forward all email information to the relevant partner.
  • It is important to note that each country may have different contact details. For further guidance, please refer to our support team.


Please contact our support team if you have questions or need API integration assistance. Our experienced team members can guide you through the process and ensure a smooth connection between our systems.

Recognising the intricacies of each country’s customs procedures and contact details is essential for seamless collaboration. Regarding this situation, Luwjistik has several solutions that can help you to navigate the complexities of the customs of each country. How? You can find the answer below.

How Luwjistik Helps

Luwjistik offers a range of essential features within its logistics platform to facilitate smooth cross-border shipping in navigating customs clearance. To learn more about how Luwjistik can benefit your shipping needs and explore the platform’s offerings, you can contact our representative at or visit our website at