Why dual use goods are so heavily scrutinized

Anything that could potentially pose a threat to public health or safety is treated with great caution at the borders of most countries. It’s the job of customs personnel to keep their population’s wellbeing a top priority; how quickly businesses receive packages is not their concern. Good intentions on the part of the exporter make little difference if the correct paperwork is not presented along with the shipment.

Some examples of dual-use goods include computer software, hardware, and IT equipment; these technologies can serve both civilian and military initiatives and therefore must be thoroughly checked before they’re awarded clearance.

dual use goods

Technologies have grown so sophisticated and their impact can be so great that often they’re treated as sensitively as other controlled use materials like missiles, chemicals, nuclear items, biological items, as well as materials used to provide night vision and thermal imaging. This is because a single encoded malicious message in the technology can do great harm, shut down power systems and leave countries vulnerable. While most of the equipment coming in is perfectly safe, the authorities must always make sure.

Typically, technologies are shipped to special data centres (which can be far from their intended destinations) so they may be processed and cleared. Shipments of equipment must be accompanied by customs support documentation including permits, licences, certifications, a commercial invoice, a freight delivery waybill, and other specific pieces each individual country requires. It can be a challenge for exporters to ensure they’re preparing everything correctly. This is where the help of a global importer of record can be useful.

Global importers of record like TecEx for example have a point of presence in over 120 countries across the globe, allowing you to seamlessly import into any country the sensitive control- or dual-use goods that can often be so challenging to move across borders. They can take responsibility for technologies entering each country as not-for-sale transactions like in the case of a lease, and direct them correctly post-clearance. Clearance only takes them 10 days from the moment they accept their client’s quote and they even help the client with securing all the correct documents they need. Once the shipment is cleared, they liaise with the client’s (in this case the reseller’s) preferred freight service or forwarder ensuring equipment doesn’t lose its way.

They even obtain import taxes back for their clients just 6 months post-clearance including value-added tax which can cost up to 25% of the goods’ total commercial value. This is an incredible help to small or medium-sized resellers especially when import taxes can make up as much as 90% of shipping costs.

Authorities safeguarding a country’s border do not take the arrival of dual-use goods lightly, some can delay the equipment’s clearance for weeks and others can deny its entry altogether if insufficient support in its favour is not provided from the start. It’s recommended that when shipping technologies, exporters utilize the services of a global distributions partner, an importer of record familiar with the ins and outs of cross border transactions. This way no matter how strict personnel are at customs, the shipment is guarantees to go through without hassle or issue.