Questions and Answers

Many readers send us questions about particular aspects of cargo transport. To answer the questions, we have launched a project where we consult logistics experts about the topics that interest our readers. Send us your questions regarding transport, storage, forwarding, customs and documentation, implementation of customs regulations by customs authorities and customs agents, representation of clients in customs procedures, administrative, misdemeanor, and judicial procedures related to customs matters, insurance of goods in transit, carrier insurance…

We will provide answers from competent experts. We will publish a new question and answer here every week – stay tuned!

Customs and Transport Law

The customs authorities do not have a uniform position on this issue. Our practice is that the customs authorities’ positions are contradictory: in one case the customs authorities state that in the post-clearance audit procedure it is not possible to use evidence from other procedures (e.g., analysis of samples of the composition of goods from customs declarations that are not subject to the same post-clearance audit).

On the other side, we have cases where the customs authorities state that,evidence that was not presented in the specific post-clearance audit procedure, can be used in this the procedure. The answer to this question is essential when evaluating whether importers can be committed to paying customs debts three years back on the basis of evidence from other procedures, i.e., evidences which are not presented in a specific post-clearance audit procedure. To evaluate accuracy of data in customs declarations subject to control in the post clearance procedure, audit team is obliged to determine relevant facts and to present evidence supporting the facts exclusively in the respective post clearance procedure.

Ivan Milošević, Partner

Janez Vončina, Senior Associate

Law Office JPM Janković Popović Mitić

The previous Customs Law stipulated that incorrect tariffing of goods means entering a tariff heading that is different in relation to the data on the nature of the goods (Article 294, paragraph 1, item 5). The new Customs Law prescribes that incorrect tariffing is the presentation of incorrect or untrue data, i.e. acting in any other way (Article 267, paragraph 1, item 2).

The first-instance courts hold the charged legal entities not responsible for misdemeanourbecause the new Customs Law does not incriminate the action the entry of a tariff heading which is different in relation to the data on the nature of the goodsas misdemeanour. The courts refer to the case law of the highest court instance according to which “with the expiration of the law, the possibility of its application for acts undertaken during its validity does not cease if the new law treats the same act as punishable but with stricter penalties so that the law is not more lenient.”

In addition, the courts consider that the legislator, in the transitional provisions of the new Customs Law, was obliged to explicitly indicate that the misdemeanour under Article 267, paragraph 1, item 2 consumes the misdemeanourunder Article 294, paragraph 1, item 5 of the previous Customs Law. The Misdemeanour Court of Appeals does not share the opinion of the first instance misdemeanour courts. We believe that the Constitutional Court should remove this uncertainty and bring legal certainty to the business of importers and freight forwarders.

Ivan Milošević, Partner

Janez Vončina, Senior Associate

Law OfficeJPM Janković Popović Mitić

Recently, misdemeanour courts have been supporting the position that customs agents are responsible for presenting incorrect information, i.e. the accuracy of data in the customs declaration (incorrect tariffing). This position is explained in such a way that the customs agents participated in the customs clearance procedure, i.e. filled in the customs declaration, and that they are thus responsible for entering the tariff heading which was subsequently determined to be untrue.

On the other hand, the judgments of the misdemeanour courts state that importers (recipients of goods) cannot be responsible for the misdemeanour from Article 267, paragraph 2 of the Customs Law, because they were not the ones that entered the data in the customs declaration. At the same time, the courts consider that the fact whether it is a direct or indirect representation is not important for determining the responsibility for entering the data in the customs declaration. Article 12 paragraph 3 of the Customs Law, the violation of which is incriminated by Article 267 paragraph 2 of the Customs Law, prescribes that the declarant is responsible for the accuracy of the data in the customs declaration. The question is who is really responsible for the accuracy of the data in the customs declaration and who is considered to be the declarant referred to in Article 4, paragraph 1, item 15 of the Customs Law.

Ivan Milošević, Partner

Janez Vončina, Senior Associate

Law Office JPM Janković Popović Mitić

Transport and Logistics

Electric cars are flooding cities around the world. Predictions say that the e-vehicle market will grow by 20% per year in the coming period and that by 2030, there will be as many as 130 million such vehicles on the roads. As electric vehicles rely on lithium-ion batteries as a source of energy, the need for specialized logistics solutions in this area is constantly growing.

Why is the transport of batteries, which are one of the key factors in preventing climate change, so complex and even potentially dangerous for the environment? The reason is that lithium – if it is not shipped and stored with appropriate precautions – is highly flammable, and is therefore considered a dangerous commodity.

Service providers in the field of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles are subject to different requirements at each point in the battery life cycle: delivery of materials to production sites (under temperature control), transport of finished batteries, storage as well as return logistics services, such as recycling or disposal of batteries (including damaged or defective batteries).

When transporting batteries, your shipment first and foremost needs an accurate European Waste Code, which provides all participants in the supply chain with the information needed for safe handling. According to ADR (European regulations on the transport of dangerous goods), lithium-ion batteries belong to class 9: Miscellaneous – dangerous materials.

In road, rail and sea transport, the requirements are mostly similar. Temperature control (batteries are very sensitive to temperature and humidity), product stability (batteries must not move inside the packaging) and exposure to conductive surfaces (batteries must not have contact with each other, as well as with conductive surfaces) are the main aspects that must be considered.

Air transport is the fastest way to transport batteries for electric vehicles, and IATA has significantly tightened the rules over the past years. No stand-alone lithium battery may be shipped as cargo in a passenger aircraft. Batteries must be transported packed separately from any other cargo, and it is forbidden to transport damaged, defective or recalled batteries by air.

To ensure the safe transport of batteries, logistics service providers must consider numerous national and international regulations. We recommend choosing a freight forwarder who has guidelines on the delivery method, trained staff, and a clear understanding of ADR regulations. The right company will know exactly what to do, so you can be sure that your batteries will arrive safely.

Get in touch with our experts to find out more!

Best regards,

cargo-partner | transport + iLogistics

E-commerce has been a rapidly growing business segment for years, and COVID-19 has further accelerated this trend. Online retailers can save time and money by choosing a logistics partner who offers not just transport and warehousing, but an all-round service package for their order and fulfillment processes. This includes value added services such as cargo consolidation, order picking, packaging and labeling as well as parcel distribution.

Cargo consolidation means collecting goods from different shippers or at different time intervals and gathering them in one place. By consolidating multiple shipments efficiently, logistics providers can achieve an optimal utilization of cargo space and save time and costs in purchasing and pre-carriage.

Order picking consists of selecting and gathering all items required for a specific customer order – in the right type and quantity – and preparing them for transport. Automation and modern IT systems can greatly enhance picking speed and minimize error rates.

Packaging services can be provided either for transport of individual shipments or for storage purposes. This goes hand in hand with labeling – labels make it easy to identify the goods and provide information about the quantity in the package, the date of production, storage conditions, transport requirements and more.

Parcel distribution is perhaps one of the first aspects that come to mind when talking about e-commerce. A modern logistics provider should not only ensure fast and reliable parcel delivery, but also offer access to online services for shipment booking and tracking.

With cargo-partner’s supply chain management platform SPOT, online vendors can compare the rates of all available parcel service providers in a simple overview and book parcel shipments directly from the system. Invoices, shipment and return labels can also be printed directly from SPOT.

cargo-partner’s IT teams can easily connect any online shop to the cargo-partner warehouse for prompt order handling. Vendors can track their shipments in real time, and end customers receive regular status updates about when their shipment will arrive.

Want to find out more about cargo-partner’s end-to-end e-commerce solutions? Visit the cargo-partner website or contact us for detailed information!

Best regards,

cargo-partner | transport + iLogistics

Depending on the type of goods and the urgency of the shipment, there are a range of possible transport options for importing cargo from China to Serbia.

Sea freight is the most economical choice with the longest transit times. At the moment, there are significant backlogs and container shortages on the global sea freight market due to the after-effects of COVID-19 as well as the Suez Canal blockage. This means that sea freight transports should be planned at least several weeks in advance.

To speed up sea freight transports from Asia, cargo-partner offers FCL and LCL solutions via the Adriatic ports of Koper, Rijeka and Trieste. For shipments to Central and Eastern Europe, transport via the Adriatic ports enables significant time savings compared to routings via northern ports, like Hamburg or Bremerhaven.

For time-critical shipments, airfreight remains the fastest and most reliable option. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the number of passenger flights has been drastically reduced, leading to a lack of available cargo space. To compensate for this lack of capacities and provide a reliable alternative, cargo-partner offers several weekly cargo charter flights from China to Europe and vice versa.

If you are looking for a solution that’s faster than sea freight and less expensive than airfreight, you can make use of weekly FCL and LCL rail transport connections across the Silk Road. Rail transport is on average 50% faster than ocean freight and 60% more cost-efficient than airfreight. The low CO2 footprint is a welcome side-effect.

cargo-partner provides a wide range of transport solutions from China to Serbia by air, sea and rail transport. Our door-to-door service includes pre-carriage, customs clearance and distribution throughout Central and Eastern Europe. With our network of selected road carriers and modern warehouses, we can ensure fast delivery and high-quality storage for your goods.

We will be glad to advise you about which option is best for your shipments!

Best regards,

cargo-partner | transport + iLogistics

First of all, you should have your own warehouse or a signed storage contract with a company that offers warehouse space approved by the veterinary inspection to store this type of goods.

The goods are reported to the Veterinary Inspection at the border crossing and sent to the above-mentioned warehouse, where they will be placed under customs or veterinary supervision until the end of the customs clearance procedure.

If it is a food supplement, i.e. the product is not characterized as medicine, no additional registration is required. However, the goods will still need to be cleared through customs based on the statement of the importer confirming the categorization of the product.

cargo-partner can support you by obtaining the manufacturer’s specification and tariff number (HS code) from the supplier before import. This allows us to confirm whether the given classification requires additional documents for import according to Serbian regulations.

If the product is classified as medicine according to the tariff code, the import procedures will require an additional permission to be obtained from the Medicines and Medical Devices Agency of Serbia.

Our customs experts will be glad to advise you to make your import process run as smoothly as possible.

For more information, visit cargo-partner website or contact us for a detailed consultation!

Best regards,

cargo-partner | transport + iLogistics

 

In addition to direct line haul transport by full (FTL) and part load (LTL) trucks, many logistics providers also offer groupage solutions, making use of various hubs, as well as personalized and express solutions, either by truck or van.

We recommend working with a logistics company who can offer you regular departures via its own network of collection and distribution hubs throughout Europe. Furthermore, companies can save time and costs by choosing a logistics provider who offersend-to-end solutions from a single source, including transport insurance, storage in customs bonded warehousesand dangerous goods transports.

cargo-partner provides a comprehensive portfolio of road transport solutions and makes use of its dense network of own hubs and selected partners to offer frequent departures to and from Austria, Hungary, Germany, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Benelux, Poland, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Turkey, the UK, Scandinavia and other countries.

In addition, all cargo-partner customers have access to the supply chain management platform SPOT, where they can track their shipments in real time, submit transport orders with just a few clicks, benefit from integrated parcel and warehouse management and more.

Get in touch with our road transport experts to find out more!

Best regards,

cargo-partner | transport + iLogistics

You have probably often heard that the import procedure for certain equipment, works of art or musical instruments requiresapplying for an ATA carnet.

What is this about?

An ATA carnet, also called a “passport for goods”, is a customs document which is used to simplify temporary import procedures into a foreign country, with a validity period of one year.

Using an ATA carnet, goods are transferred quickly and easily (without hiring a customs agent and freight forwarder), but certain rules must be followed:

– the goods will be re-exported / imported in the same condition as they were temporarily imported / exported

– the goods will remain the property of a person with residence outside the country of temporary admission

– the goods will be used exclusively by a person visiting the area of the temporary import (not intended for rental)

It is important to mention that ATA carnet cannot be used for the temporary import of food and other perishable goods, and is most commonly used for imports of the following three categories:

– temporary import of samples

– temporary import of professional equipment

– temporary import of goods intended for exhibitions, fairs, congresses and similar events

This includes:

computers, repair tools, musical instruments, sports equipment, scenography, concert sound, medical instruments and more.

What does an ATA carnet look like?

The ATA carnet comes in A4 format and has a green front and back cover, with sheets of different colors in between.This whole kit makes up the ATA carnet.

If you plan to travel with an ATA carnet or would like to find out more about this topic, cargo-partner’s customs experts are at your disposal for any further questions.

Best regards,

cargo-partner | transport + iLogistics

Foodstuffs producers who export their products to Central Europe or the Far East regularly send samples to potential customers. Fruits, vegetables and pastry products can generally be transported fresh, frozen or dry. In the case of fresh or frozen goods, transport has to be arranged under temperature-controlled conditions, using specialized carriers.

While larger quantities of chilled or frozen goods are usually shipped in temperature-controlled containers or “Envirotainers”, smaller shipments are transported in special boxes and cooled with dry ice. Air transport has a clear advantage over sea transport in this case, since it is significantly faster. Dry ice shipments are subject to a number of restrictions, since airlines classify them as dangerous goods (DG). Although dry ice does not cause damage by itself, it is considered a hazardous substance and requires documentation and handling by trained personnel to ensure compliance with IATA restrictions.

Another method of transporting temperature-sensitive goods is with gel packs. These are packages of liquid refrigerant that absorb heat and maintain a constant temperature. In contrast to dry ice, gel packs are not categorized as dangerous goods, but they are more expensive. No matter which method you choose, it is essential to plan ahead and contact your logistics provider early to ensure that the transport can be organized efficiently.

Based on many years of experience in cold chain logistics, cargo-partner can create an all-round solution for the transport of temperature-sensitive fruit, vegetable and pastry samples. Our service includes pickup and delivery in special refrigerated vehicles, temperature-controlled storage at the airport, cross-checking of documents, customs clearance and cold chain monitoring. We will be glad to provide any necessary packaging and cooling equipment such as temperature-controlled containers, dry ice and gel packs.

Fast, reliable service and efficient planning are the key factors to transport temperature-sensitive fruits, vegetables and pastries. If you would like to find out more, our experts will be glad to answer your questions.

Best regards,

cargo-partner | transport + iLogistics

Since January 1, 2021, the United Kingdom is no longer a member of the EU and has “third country status” with a separate customs territory from the EU. Although the EU and UK signed a free trade agreement, there are still significant changes in documentation and processes that must be followed in order for the EU and UK to trade with each other.

All imports and exports of goods between the UK and the EU are now subject to customs procedures. As each EU jurisdiction has its own reporting model, these procedures can differ depending on transport mode and port of exit/entry. Therefore, it is very important to know your cargo flow and route to market as this can affect customs processes.

Importers and exporters have to provide comprehensive documentation for customs clearance. This includes a full and complete commercial invoice containing shipper and consignee details and EORI numbers, Incoterms, HS commodity codes, product description, origin and value of goods, number of packaging units and cargo weight. Depending on the type of cargo, additional documents like a phytosanitary certificate may be required.

Just in time for Brexit, on January 1, 2021, cargo-partner opened its office in Manchester, UK to optimally support its customers with post-Brexit customs processes. Our experts are glad to help prepare the necessary documentation and answer any other questions regarding transport between the EU and UK. As an accredited AEO (Authorized Economic Operator), cargo-partner can ensure speedy customs processes. With our extensive network throughout Europe, we can take over coordination with all involved companies and authorities in the local language. In addition, we provide a range of express transport services by air and road transport.

For more information, visit our website or contact us for a detailed consultation!

Best regards,

cargo-partner | transport + iLogistics

The impacts of the coronavirus have led to capacity shortages in transport between China and Europe. Many companies are looking for alternatives to secure the delivery of important shipments. In contrast to air, road and sea transport, rail transport from China remains a relative “island of stability”, as it has been largely unaffected by anti-epidemiological measures. Moreover, this method of transport provides significantly shorter transit times compared to seafreight.

Rail transport is suitable for a range of products including automotive, fashion and high tech goods, from machines to components and raw materials. There are a few products which cannot be transported by rail, including perishable goods and dangerous goods such as batteries or explosives. Since rail transport is up to 50% faster than seafreight and up to 60% more cost-efficient than airfreight, it is not surprising that an increasing number of companies choose this alternative. The low CO₂ footprint is a welcome side-effect.

cargo-partner offers weekly rail transport solutions for part-load (LCL) shipments with transit times from 18 to 22 days from China to Europe. We have been organizing full and part load container transports between Asia and Europe by rail for over half a decade and have a long-standing reputation as a provider of rail transports across the New Silk Road. In addition, we also have experience with organizing block trains – entire trains dedicated to freight transport.

With our dense network of hubs throughout China as well as Central and Eastern Europe, we can provide a door-to-door solution. Our service includes distribution and storage with a range of value added services such as stuffing, unloading, palletizing and securing of containers as well as comprehensive customs clearance support and expertise in China and Europe. Modern GSM tracking tools ensure transparency throughout the supply chain.

Would you like to know more about how you can save time and costs with rail transport across the New Silk Road? Our rail transport experts look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

cargo-partner | transport + iLogistics

One major concern of pet owners is how to organize transport for their pets when traveling or relocating. If the destination is relatively close, pet owners can bring their dogs, cats or other small pets by car. However, when traveling by plane, they will require the help of a transport and logistics expert to organize air transportation.

The first step is to ensure that all required documents are available. Since the requirements and procedures vary from country to country, we recommend planning early and contacting your logistics provider at least 14 days in advance. The required documents usually include veterinary documents such as a pet passport and current health certificate. Some countries require a rabies blood test, the “titar test”, which has to be taken at least 30 days after rabies vaccination.

As a “pet-friendly forwarder”, cargo-partner has a dedicated team with many years of experience in the transport of live animals. We offer detailed advice and organize the entire transport process to make sure everything goes smooth and hassle-free for the pets and their owners: from booking the flight with the airline to handling the acceptance of the pet in the cargo area, overseeing the boarding process, handling in transit and finally arrival at the destination. On request, we can also provide IATA-compliant travel kennels and trained staff to accompany pets during the flight. We take care to monitor all steps closely, because we know that many of our customers consider their pets to be family members.

For transports of live animals to and from Serbia, customers can visit the website of the relevant ministry to find out about all required documentation or simply get in touch with cargo-partner’s specialized team.

Contact your “pet-friendly forwarder” to find out more!

Best regards,

cargo-partner | transport + iLogistics

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