What is the Customs Clearance Fee?

Customs Clearance Fees & Charges

Who Charges the Customs Clearance Fee: Forwarder or Customs Broker

Charge At: Origin/Destination

Looking for live quotes from vetted providers?

Compare rates in seconds

Customs Brokers & Customs Clearance Agents

Customs brokers or clearance agents are licensed through CBP to act on behalf of importers. They may be independent or may also operate as a freight forwarder. When you book your shipment, ask your logistics provider if they provide additional services such as customs brokerage.

Customs brokers or customs clearance agents help importers get their freight through customs as quickly and smoothly as possible. Without correct documentation, details, and payment, your goods could get held up, be liable for additional fees or penalties, or even get sent back to their origin.

A skilled, licenses customs broker will help lower the cost of duties and taxes while ensuring regulatory compliance.

Customs Clearance Charge Description

The customs clearance charge covers the process of preparing and submitting Customs Entry documentation to the CBP.

This is also known as Customs Brokerage.

customs clearance fee

How To Pay The Custom Clearance Fee

The customs clearance fee is paid directly to the customs broker or customs clearance agent to cover the cost of submitting documentation and processing duties payment.

Customs Clearance Fee Tips

The standard rate for Customs Clearance is roughly around $50 for clearance with China’s Customs and an additional $100-$120 for clearance with CBP.

While customs clearance fees cannot be anticipated when you first get your freight quote, you can estimate your duties using this calculator:

You should also be aware that CBP may (at their discretion) conduct an examination, accruing higher total costs for you (refer ISF Filing, above).

Examination is almost guaranteed when shipping some products, e.g. food, drugs, animal goods, and in these cases your documentation is also supplied to other government agencies (OGA) concerned with threats to national health, safety, and security.

Want to avoid potential customs clearance delays and fees? Check out our recent guide to ‘Understanding Customs Clearance Procedures’. 


Check out our guide to all common freight charges, surcharges, and fees.