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Yiwu City, Zhejiang

20 items that the customs will inspect during customs clearance

Customs clearance involves a rigorous inspection process to ensure compliance with import and export regulations and to prevent illegal or prohibited goods from entering or leaving a country.

While the specific items inspected may vary depending on the country and its regulations, here are 20 common items that customs authorities often inspect during the customs clearance process:


Customs officials thoroughly review all accompanying documentation, including invoices, packing lists, certificates of origin, and import and export licenses.

Declared Value:

Customs verifies the declared value of the shipment to determine applicable duties and taxes.

Declared Value:

Customs verifies the declared value of the shipment to determine applicable duties and taxes.


Customs checks the quantity of goods to ensure that it matches the quantity declared on the shipping document.


Customs officials classify goods according to Harmonized System (HS) codes to determine applicable duties and regulatory requirements.


Customs inspects the packaging of goods to ensure that it complies with safety and transportation regulations and is suitable for import and export.

Weight and Dimensions:

Check the weight and dimensions of your package to make sure it meets shipping and handling requirements.
There are two places where weight is more likely to go wrong.

  • The gross weight and net weight of bulk cargo are 3%-6% higher than the actual weight.
  • For products priced by weight, only the gross weight is known, but the net weight is calculated (the net weight is calculated back by the formula of gross weight minus net weight divided by the number of pieces not exceeding 1 or 2 kilograms)

Prohibited Items:

Customs inspects prohibited items such as weapons, narcotics, counterfeit goods, endangered species and other restricted items.

Restricted Goods:

Cargo subject to specific regulations, such as agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, and hazardous materials, are inspected to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Country of Origin:

Customs verifies the country of origin of goods to determine eligibility for preferential trade agreements, tariffs and regulatory requirements.

Quality and condition:

Customs inspects the quality and condition of goods to ensure they meet safety and quality standards and are suitable for import and export.

Labeling and Marking:

Goods must be properly labeled and marked with required information, including country of origin, product specifications and operating instructions.

Document Authenticity:

Customs verifies the authenticity of all documents provided, including certificates of origin, inspection certificates and other relevant documents.

Tariffs and Taxes:

Tariffs, taxes and other applicable charges are assessed and collected by Customs based on the declared value and classification of the goods.

Intellectual property:

Customs inspects infringements of intellectual property, including trademarks, copyrights and patents, to prevent the import and export of counterfeit or pirated goods.

Security Inspections:

Shipments may be subject to security inspections, including X-ray scanning and physical inspection to detect any hidden or illegal items.

Special Licenses and Permits:

Inspections of cargo requiring special licenses or permits, such as controlled substances, firearms, or hazardous materials, to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

Documentation Completeness:

Customs ensures that all required documents, including customs declarations, commercial invoices and freight manifests, are complete and accurate.


Goods in transit or on transshipment at destination may be inspected to ensure that they comply with transportation requirements and are properly documented for onward transportation.

Random inspections:

Customs can conduct random inspections of goods to deter smuggling and ensure compliance with import and export regulations.

Overall, customs clearance involves a comprehensive inspection process designed to verify the legality, safety and compliance of imported and exported goods. Complying with customs regulations is critical to clearing goods smoothly and promptly and avoiding potential penalties or delays.

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