A Simple Mistake Leads To A Complex Problem.

Posted on 16 July 2021

A Simple Mistake Leads to a Complex Problem: How Zee Helped Clear a Stuck Shipment in Record Time. 

While most of the western world speaks English to some degree, every country has its language practices. But what is the cost of an innocent miscommunication in business?

International trade and global logistics are two of the most jargon-heavy fields. This language-based complexity packaged on top of a mountain of other practical and legal challenges can be daunting for newcomers.

Not quite a Synonym.

While the terms Importer of Record (IOR), Consignee, and Broker can sometimes refer to one entity, they are three very different roles that can be performed by one, two, or three various parties.

All three positions are crucial when clearing your goods at customs.

Many freight companies will provide a broker responsible for filing customs documents; however, a broker will not act as the IOR.

Acting as the IOR means taking responsibility for the goods, and so comes with significant risk which carriers will not take on. This means the shipper must have a locally registered entity to fulfill this role. Not having an IOR ready for your goods at customs is a stumbling block for many inexperienced shippers.

Unfortunately, our client fell victim to this commonly-made mistake, assuming the broker given to her by the freight company would be sufficient and shipped without an appointed IOR.

Without an IOR, there were two possible outcomes for our client at this stage:

1. The shipment would be refused entry to Europe and sent all the way back to the USA, at our client’s cost.

2. Even worse, the shipment could be seized by Dutch customs for an extended period and could sit in the Netherlands for months gathering dust before eventually being disposed of or sent back to the USA.

In this case, the goods were seized, giving our client time to rectify their mistake.

Finding the Right Partner.

Confused by this unexpected delay, our client sought out Zee for professional help in rectifying the situation. As a professional IOR service provider, we were more than equipped to assist in clearing the goods before they could be shipped back to the USA.

Our team of professionals quickly got to work on clearing the goods. After contacting the freight company to learn more about the issue, we conducted extensive research into the customs documents needed for our client’s specific goods. Once we had all the necessary paperwork and several productive conversations with both the freight company and Dutch customs, the goods were ready to be cleared.

Our now newly signed client was astounded at the speed and ease with which we handled the situation. We filed all paperwork on a Friday afternoon, just one day after being contacted. By Monday, the goods had been cleared and were on their way to the Amazon warehouse in Germany.

A Series of Fortunate Events

While every growing jumble of new acronyms, abbreviations, and terms used in global logistics continues to swell and grow, our client no longer has to worry about the subtleties of international trade jargon.

Since partnering with Zee, this client has seen significant growth in its international sales. This, supported by their new ability to restock reliably without any risk, has validated their expansion into the German market as a US seller.    

The saying sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me might be true to schoolyard chatter. However, when it comes to sending your amazon FBA shipments abroad, words may indeed harm you.

Contact us to learn more!