International Shipping Terms Analyze | Ultimate Guide

International shipping will often encounter these shipping terms: customs clearance, cut-off, cut-off port, customs clearance, customs declaration, these terms seem to make people feel very similar, in practice how to distinguish?

Shipping terms

Shipping terms:Cut-off

Cut-off refers to the point in time when the shipping company cuts off the submission or modification of the sample bill of lading, which also includes AMS, ENS, VGM and so on, and there is a late cut-off fee or modification fee beyond this time.

Each shipping company is likely to be different for each route. There are also many shipping lines that have a one-time replenishment and any subsequent changes are subject to charges.


Shipping terms


Shipping terms:Port Cut-off

The port cut-off is the time when the terminal cuts off the receipt of containers. Before this time, loaded containers are allowed to enter the terminal, while after that the cargo is no longer allowed to enter the terminal. All containers are managed by the container terminal yard.

Before loading the container, the forwarder forwarding companies needs to book the cabin to the transportation company, after the transportation company puts the warehouse space, there will be a bill of lading to the logistics provider, the logistics provider will go into the container yard of the terminal to pick up the empty containers with the bill of lading, and then go to the loading point for loading the containers, and then return the containers to the terminal yard after the completion of the process, and then go on board the vessel after the customs clearance and release.

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Shipping terms:Customs clearance

Customs cut-off is the time to cut off the time to accept the information of customs clearance, which is also commonly known as the time to cut off the time to release the goods. Cargoes must be cleared before this time by submitting a customs release note (yard receipt, also known as an off-loading paper) to the transportation company. If the Customs release note is submitted after this time, the shipping company will regard the cargo as failed to be cleared and released, and will not be allowed to board the ship.

Note: Each shipping company has different cut-off time, some shipping companies cut off the customs 7 hours before the ship docking, and some are cut off 2 days before the ETD. It is easy for the general forwarder to encounter more than the cut-off time before release, it is recommended to call in advance to ask, to avoid the drop box.

More details about Customs clearance here:

Customs Clearance | China to USA

LCL customs Inspectio


Shipping terms:Customs declaration

Customs declaration is a specific behavior, usually exporters or agents to the customs declaration of specific export goods information. The corresponding agent is a customs broker. The declaration process must be completed before the customs clearance, and the goods will be released by the customs before they can be transported on board the ship.

More details about Customs declaration here:

Import And Export Declaration | Ultimate Guide

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Shipping terms:Customs clearance

Customs clearance that is, customs clearance, customs clearance of a series of actions collectively, refers to the import and export of goods and transshipment of goods, into and out of a country’s customs border or the national border must be handled by the Customs regulations, only after the customs declaration, inspection, taxation, release and other formalities, the goods can be released, processing trade mode of late write-offs are completed, the completion of this series of actions is called customs clearance.

U.S. Customs
China Customs

Difference Analysis for shipping terms

# Customs clearance and customs clearance are different:

Customs clearance is to say that the import and export of goods customs procedures have been completed, the customs clearance, no longer on the goods under supervision. The usual cut-off date refers to the latest time for customs clearance.



#What is the difference between “Documentary Release” and “Released” and “Customs Clearance”?

Documentary release refers to the release of customs declaration, has been released refers to the release of goods, has been cleared means that the Customs and Excise Department has been for the bill of goods for customs clearance hand procedures.

Customs clearance after the release, customs clearance will send electronic data to the electronic port of entry, if only in the released single, that is not yet customs clearance, general goods exported within 5 working days after the Customs will be for the goods for customs clearance procedures.


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