I have already anticipated in other articles that I went through many unusual things during these more than 10 years of working with foreign trade, and Courier exports did not deviate from this pattern.
As it is a relatively simple modality of export, we tend to carry out this type of process without many concerns beyond the restrictions of values and dimensions of the cargo imposed respectively by the Brazilian Federal Revenue Authority and by the logistic operators.
In general, the following people are eligible for the simplified export process:
legal entity or rural producer, artisan, artist or similar, as provided for in specific legislation; or (Wording given by RFB Normative Instruction No. 1847, of November 28, 2018)
up to the limit of US$ 1,000.00 (one thousand United States dollars) or the equivalent in another currency, per remittance, in the case of exports carried out: (Wording given by Normative Instruction RFB No. 1847, of 28 November 2018)
The dimensions and maximum weights will vary for each logistics operator and are linked to the deadline, the greater the volume, the slower the shipment.
The documents we send with the cargo are basically the same as in a formal process:
Brazilian export invoice
The certificate of origin is somewhat meaningless in this type of shipment, as on the destination country there will usually be a simplified receipt, and will probably not take into account the benefits of the agreements.
Another document that is not normally necessary in this type of shipment is the fumigation certificate, since this product profile is rarely shipped in wooden boxes.
So far, it's a pretty simple process. But when things get complicated then, you might ask me?
I'm going to tell you three stories where I found myself in trouble.
The one where the logistics operator performed two DSE's
This shipment started as any other simplified shipment, a small order, in a 20x20 cm box, which I hurriedly packed to send to the customer who had an equipment out of service in need of replacement parts.
The operator collected it normally at the factory, and as usual, I followed up by tracking number. I noticed a delay and after that the process changed number, but the goods arrived practically normally on the client. When a month later, my broker called me:
Keila, you have a red channel DSE, guría.
(guess where she is from? lol)
After a lot of searching, I figured out it this red channel was about THAT shipment that had changed its number. When the logistics operator discovered that the shipment had fallen into the red channel, they didn't think twice, created a new DSE, left the first one open and dispatched the cargo on the same day. They have never presented a document or justification for the income referring to that pending item and they haven't even gave me a decent explanation.
Being a DSE, can you imagine the time has passed, right? In practice, my broker monitored the situation, waiting for some manifestation from the Internal Revenue Service, which should have come within 5 years, and its never came. BUT, in theory, this could have given many problems. Good thing it finished here. 😅
The one from the customer who had UPS delayed bills
I have the habit of being very detailed in my proformas, and I even inform the company that we are going to use to ship the goods, when we pay for the freight.
In this specific case, I indicated on the invoice that goods would be transported by FEDEX, however, at the last moment the exporter changed to UPS and haven't notified anyone (as for this customer, I only take care of the commercial part, nor did I knew about the change).
Well, when the cargo arrived in the country of destination, the importer called me:
Keila, we are in litigation against UPS, and they will hold our cargo, I need it urgently!
(spare part for ventilators during the pandemic, imagine!!).
It was that rush to see the possibility of making a new shipment, of a scarce material, with expensive freight, sent by a different operator, everything for the importer to receive that material urgently.
That discussion, who is right, who is not, who pays what cost, and in the end, everything worked out. But it was far from being a simple courier shipment.
The one of the pandemic boarding problems
Well, so far the logistical problems generated by the pandemic are far from over, but in the beginning, there were many uncertainties, new decrees all of a sudden, scarcity, price hikes, delays, who lived this knows.
However, some logistics operators decided to create barriers higher than those imposed by governments, which made it even more complicated. In China, for example, my clients had stated preferences by some operators, and above all, they refused to ship DHL, said they were being too bureaucratic and that they didn't have time to prepare the amount of documents they requested.
The problem is that importers often have their negotiations with specific operators, and since they are the ones who will pay for the freight, they want to be able to choose which operator to work with, and this complicates the whole negotiation. It becomes an endless arm wrestling, until a winner comes out.
Courier shipments are usually proportionally more expensive, due to the coupled service, the urgency of delivery and the profile of the cargo, so any opportunity to save, or have your cargo 2 days earlier, is a matter of much discussion, even outside of a pandemic scenario.
How to avoid problems in exports via courier
It's like the saying goes: Living and learning.
All the situations I've told you about here were not simple to predict, however, once we've gone through them, we can develop tools to minimize their impacts, for example, with a pre-shipment checklist, with fluid communication, and adequate processes to be able to board with whichever operator is needed.
One of my number one guidelines when the company is going to start exporting is to enable the RADAR and open as many courier accounts as necessary, right away, at least 2. And that goes for importers too. How many times have I had to ship a spare part under warranty and the importer didn't even have an account to fulfill their part of the agreement and pay for shipping? It happens. So, count on us.
Got questions about this topic? Need help performing these types of exports? Get in touch because we can help you!