The Customs Process

DHL Express and Customs – Working Together to Deliver

Customs – a simple enough word – but how do we actually define the word in relation to our business? Find out how DHL Express fits into the wider picture of customs regulations and the clearance of your shipments for delivery.
  • First and foremost, Customs is simply an authority or agency that resides at country level. Its first responsibility is not only the collection but also the safeguarding of customs duties.
  • This management of customs duties is essential for controlling the flow of goods in and out of a country. Therefore, the customs process begins in the country of origin and ends in the country of destination.
  • DHL Express manages all queries from the customs authority on your behalf. Once your goods are cleared, we arrange for transit before final delivery.
  • There are only a limited number of local exceptions around the world. This is why the cost of standard customs clearance can usually be included within the door-to-door transportation charge.
  • Processing several million customs entries is no easy task. DHL Express does that every day for its customers because it acts as a broker on their behalf.
  • Through the local services we provide to customers everywhere, we are now one of the world's largest customs brokers. In this role, we need to ensure that your customs paperwork is relevant and accurate at all times.
  • Once thoroughly checked, your shipment information is handed over to the appropriate customs authority. They work with us to expedite the clearance and get your goods delivered quickly and efficiently.
  • DHL Express validates the paperwork and information for each and every shipment. Shipments will not clear customs unless paperwork is totally accurate and fully complete.
  • Certain goods shipped by DHL Express are referred to as commodities and are assigned “commodity codes.” This classification applies to any goods sent and the code is a pre-defined customs regulation.
  • The commodity code is a critical piece of information for when goods are submitted to the customs authority.
  • Depending on local legislation and regulations, the import or export of certain goods may be restricted or forbidden. It is the customs authority that has the large job of enforcing these rules.
  • Furthermore, each and every local customs authority has the power to set its own import and export charges depending on the type of shipment it processes.
Avoid customs clearance delays by providing documentation
It’s important that shipments include all the necessary documentation in order to clear customs.  When shipments do not contain required documents, DHL provides a convenient service that allows you to quickly submit documentation to avoid clearance delays. DHL:
  • Notifies the shipper
  • Provides access and instructions on how to upload missing documents
  • Sends updates on the documentation status until received and accepted
Need a Port of Export for your AES EEI filing? Use our MyDHL Port of Export Tool to identify one for your shipment.
Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN)
Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN)
Please review the following information for to identify which identification number you have that is used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the administration of tax laws and the acceptable form of proof to submit to DHL Express.
If you do not have any acceptable documents, please call the IRS Business and Specialty Tax Line at 1-800-829-4933 and request a search for your TIN.
Acceptable Forms of IRS Proof
Acceptable Forms of IRS Proof
  • Form 147C
  • Form 1040
  • Form 2363
  • Form 941 / 941-V
  • Form SS-4
  • Form 1065
  • Form 8109 / 8109-C
  • Form 7004
  • Form 355-ES
  • Form 1096
  • Form 1120 / 1120-S
  • Form 8879
  • W-2
Acceptable Forms for Social Security Proof
Acceptable Forms for Social Security Proof
  • Legible copy of the front and back of the Social Security Card
  • Top portion of the front page of 1040 form (Financial information is not needed.)
Unacceptable Documents
Unacceptable Documents
  • ADP Filing Statements
  • State Forms
  • W-9, W-3 and other Forms
  • SS-4 Application sent to the IRS and online confirmation
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