Electronics have become as much an essential part of our modern day lives as the food we eat and the water we drink. From televisions, to mobile phones, to computers and game consoles, people around the world are using electronics every single day. To meet the demands, shipping electronics to Africa is done more often. The process may be complicated with many potential pitfalls that can cause delays, damage, or loss of your valuable electronics. This article will guide you through the essentials when you export electronics to Africa, and avoid making mistakes that could cost your business extra money or delay your delivery.
To ensure a successful shipment, it’s important to avoid these common mistakes when shipping electronics to Africa
Here is a list of 6 things you need to keep in mind before shipping your electronics to Africa.
- Not Knowing About Documentation Requirements
In order to avoid any delays in customs clearance, it is essential that you have all the correct documentation ready before any cargo movement to Africa . In addition to invoices, packing list and commercial invoicing documents, you will also need certificates which can vary depending on the type of shipment and type of commodity being shipped. If possible, find out about the documentation requirements for shipping your goods in advance so that there is no last minute scrambling around trying to find them.
- Incorrect Shipping Documents
The most common mistake that people make when shipping their personal electronics to Africa is using incorrect shipping documents. This can lead to your shipment being delayed or even returned to the sender, which makes it even more difficult for you to get your item delivered successfully. To avoid this problem, make sure that you use the correct shipping documents and follow all customs regulations when sending items abroad.
- Ignoring Regulations Regarding Hazardous Materials
Electronics are considered hazardous materials if they contain certain amounts of materials such as mercury or lead. In order to ship your electronic device abroad, you must comply with regulations regarding hazardous materials transportation such as UN3480 (UN 3480). Failure to comply with these regulations could result in fines or even imprisonment for up to ten years if there is an accident while transporting your shipment.
- Missing the Customs Deadline
Your shipment is due to arrive at its destination within one week of leaving your warehouse. If it arrives late, you’ll miss that deadline and could incur additional costs or fees. To avoid this problem, make sure you take advantage of all available tools like tracking numbers and delivery confirmation numbers so that you’re always aware when your package is due to arrive.
It’s also important to understand what sort of paperwork you need to fill out, as well as how much time it takes for items to clear customs. The African customs regulations are not always easy to understand, so it’s important to work with an experienced company in customs clearance in Dubai that can help you navigate them successfully.
- Not Declaring Your Electronics’ Value Properly
If you’re shipping electronics to Africa, it’s a good idea to declare the full value of what you’re shipping. If the customs officials don’t know what they’re worth, they’ll have to open your package and inspect them. For high-value goods, you need to declare them as such on customs forms, so that they can be properly assessed and taxed. Failure to declare valuable items could result in penalties or even seizure. If you’re unsure about the value of your shipment, consider contacting a customs broker who can provide advice regarding valuation and other matters related to international shipping.
Also, it’s important to mark your shipment as “used” or “new.” If you don’t do this, you may end up paying higher taxes and fees on your shipment. The customs office will look at the serial number of your device to determine whether it’s new or used.
- Not Choosing Insurance
Choosing insurance is the best way to protect your items in case they get damaged or lost during transit. Without insurance, you’re responsible for any loss or damage that occurs during the shipping process. Insurance also covers your shipment in case it gets delayed or damaged by an act of god, like a natural disaster or fire. It also covers any additional costs associated with customs clearance, duties or taxes, etc., which may be necessary for your goods’ entry into Africa. In addition to this, it also ensures that you get compensated for any loss incurred from the shipment of your product if it doesn’t reach its destination or if it gets damaged during transit.
- Improper Packaging
The main mistake that many businesses make is to not properly protect their products during shipping. Even if you are using professional packers, they may not be able to ensure that your products will arrive in one piece if the packaging isn’t adequate.
It is important to use bubble wrap or a styrofoam material to ensure that your products don’t get damaged during transit. You should also use enough packing material so that your electronics are not squeezed together and can move freely inside the container. The best person to task this job with is an expert in dangerous goods handling in Dubai.
- Shipping Without a Tracking Number
Another common problem is not providing your customers with a tracking number for their shipments. This may seem like a small detail, but it’s actually an important part of making sure they receive their products in good condition and on time. If they don’t have access to tracking information, they might worry that something went wrong with their order or question whether they’ll get their merchandise at all.
- Ignoring Export Rules
Many businesses overlook the need to comply with international trade regulations, especially when shipping their electronics to Africa. Businesses and individuals who want to ship their goods across borders need to be aware of all the laws and restrictions that apply, including those regarding export licences, customs duties, tariffs and other forms of tax. A simple mistake can result in the seizure or return of your shipment and a loss of thousands of dollars.
- Not Using a Reputable Shipping Company
You want to use a reputable shipping company for all of your shipments, especially for ones that are going overseas. This is because if something were to happen during transit, such as a plane being delayed or lost luggage, then your insurance would cover it if you had used an insured shipping company. The last thing you want is for your customer to receive broken parts or damaged goods from the shipping process and then blame you for it — which could lead to unhappy customers and bad reviews.
Reliable, Secure and Trusted Safe Shipment of Electronics to Africa
By avoiding these common mistakes and being aware of other relevant factors, you will be much less likely to face future problems when shipping your cargo. You can also sleep easy knowing that you’re on the right path to a smooth delivery process, which will free up time for your larger business concerns. Always choose a carrier that meets all of your needs and can also provide assistance for Customs clearance in Dubai and other handling services. While working with an established shipping company, you can rest easy knowing that your electronics will make it to their destination without issue. Work with an experienced and equipped shipper like Green Way Cargo that provides end-to-end transshipment services to Africa for timely, safe and efficient delivery of your electronics.