When a perfectly legal, properly declared pallet shipment is stalled in customs, the sender gets a helpless "WHY ME?" feeling. Sometimes, things are just flagged for inspection and it's nothing you've done wrong. Other times, senders are maybe fudging the legal line a bit. And then there was that circle of drug runners who – rather ingeniously, it must be said – made pallets out of compressed cocaine. They were probably caught due to authorities being tipped off, but you have to ask yourself if the risk you run with questionable shipments would be worth the loss.
The goods that really get the eye are fresh and processed food products of every sort, of course, especially if you are shipping to the EU. Our website has the essentials on restricted and prohibited items in pallet shipping but your very next stop should be the HMRC. It might not seem like great bedtime reading at first, but who knows – you might be riveted by material that could affect the very life of your business.
When it comes to illegal use or sale of copyrighted material, some companies take things into their own hands. For example, the group that own the rights to the Early Sweet variety of grape has a legal team specifically tasked with communicating with customs agents in Europe. When the arrival of an unmarked shipment of grapes raised suspicions, an agent of the company was alerted, flew to Brussels, ordered an inspection, and had the shipment destroyed, all without the grower ever knowing. The action was permissible under customs law due to the grape's registered-variety status in the EU.
In using our company for your pallet shipping, you don't need to provide us with any paperwork concerning customs, so you can check that off your list. You do, however, need to be thoroughly educated on what you can and cannot send and to be prepared for your shipment to be X-rayed or otherwise inspected, so pack your goods with this in mind.