#4: What should you do when you receive a product provided with Cites certification?

In our previous article, we tried to explain you more in detail what a Cites certificate is and why this document is so important for us, as producers and exporters of exotic leather goods, but, above all, for the environment surrounding us.

Making sure that an exotic leather product is certified by Cites means not only having the certainty of purchasing an exclusive item made of quality and fine leathers, but also safeguarding Nature and the continuation of many otherwise endangered animal species.

Requesting 100% certified Cites leather when ordering or buying a certain item in exotic leather means fighting poaching and illegal hunting, thus ensuring a slow but gradual repopulation of many species, still protected because threatened with extinction within their natural habitat.

Now that we have raised awareness of this theme and made you more conscious of how our business works, what rules we must follow and how much effort we put into our work every day, it is time to understand how the Cites certificate can affect the timing and methods of receiving the product by the end customer.

Let’s start, first of all, from the delivery time of an item provided with Cites. While a normal product can be shipped from one country to another in the world without any problem and reach the place of destiny within a few days, a Cites product takes a little extra time to be delivered to the destination, since when it arrives to the Customs, it is often submitted to customs inspection by Cites officials to verify the congruence of the information indicated in the certificate.

This operation can also take a few days to be completed and therefore, do not worry if you monitor the status of your package on the shipping company’s website, and you see it is blocked at the customs for some days, but nothing is still indicated about the delivery date. It is simply awaiting a customs inspection.

But when the customs inspection is over and the parcel is ready to be delivered to the final customer, what happens? Does the customer receive the parcel safely at home or must he show some documents to the Customs to collect the package?

In this regard it is good to make a distinction between private customer and wholesaler because the documentation asked by the Customs to the wholesaler, that means the person buying goods for the resale, is more articulated than the one asked to the private customer buying exotic leather products for a personal use.

Are you a private customer?

In this case, subject to very rare exceptions, the goods, after the customs clearance and the related checks by the Cites officials, will be delivered to you at home or at the address you indicated at the time of purchase. It will be the courier to bring the package home and deliver it to you after verifying your data. It could therefore happen that the courier asks you to show him an identity document or fill out some forms with your data confirming the receipt of the package, but it is still very rare.

It is not rare, however, that at the time of delivery of the package, you are asked to pay an amount for customs duties. Customs charges unfortunately depend on the country of destination and may vary from one country to another depending on the value of the product purchased. Our duty is to inform the customer of the possibility of payment of these customs duties but then it is the customer himself who, by contacting the customs, can know the amount of customs duties based on the amount he spends on the purchase of the exotic leather product.

What happens if you are a wholesaler instead?

If you are a wholesaler and you have purchased goods subjected to Cites controls for a possible resale in your store or your online boutique, the procedure for collecting the package usually takes place at the customs office of competence upon delivery of the “import licence”. We use the term “usually” because the normal procedure is this one but there are some Customs that, for some years, no longer require this document to the buyer and recipient of goods. We therefore advice you to get more detailed information at the customs office of your country to find out if this licence is necessary or not.

What is the import licence? We’ll explain it to you right away.

It is a certificate that the owner of the shop or of the business where genuine exotic leather products will go needs to ask to the Cites officers of his country and then exhibit at the Customs.

It is an ordinary Cites certificate (very similar to the Cites documents we prepare when we have to ship exotic leather goods outside the European Union). This document includes the data of the exporting company, of the importer (in this case you) and all the data concerning the exotic leather used for the realization of the bags purchased, that is the common and scientific name of the species, serial number, Cites appendix, source and attachment of every leather.

But how can you, importer, acquire all this data? Who provides them to you?

The exporting company must provide you with all the data concerning the leather used so that you can request this import licence a few days of advance on the shipping time and already own the certificate upon arrival of the goods in customs.

Here at Gleni, as soon as we have received our export Cites certificate, we usually scan a copy and send it to you by e-mail so that, having all the necessary data available, you can proceed with the preparation of the import licence.

It is very important for you to receive this data on the leather as soon as possible, as the request for an import licence implies a rather long wait, even for a few weeks.

However, if the goods reach the Customs, pass the Cites controls and are ready to be delivered but you have not yet received your import licence from the Cites office, don’t worry! The goods will certainly not come back but will remain at customs until your certificate is ready. However, we recommend to inform the Customs that the certificate has already been requested and that you are waiting for its reception, so that the customs officials are aware of any development.

The request and subsequent drafting of the document obviously have a cost that that can vary from a country to country, from a State to State and therefore cannot be quantified in a specific amount.

At the time of the request of the import licence, we warmly suggest you ask for the cost to draw up this certificate and the payment methods allowed, in addition to the necessary waiting time for its receipt.

Once you have received your import licence, simply show it to customs. If the customs office is near you, you can go directly and bring the documents that will allow the customs clearance of the package; if not, you can instruct a courier to bring the envelope containing the required documentation to customs. The customs office will check all the documents and then give the ok to the customs clearance of the package that will be delivered directly to your home or to the address indicated by you within a few days.

Also for the import licence, as for all other documents required by the customs to clear and receive your goods, we suggest you make a copy and keep it in the shop, as long as you will not be directly receive the original import licence and its yellow copy from the customs.

Owning the import licence and keeping it always within reach is very important. In fact, in addition to having a bureaucratic value for customs purposes, it can always be useful to testify to the legality of your import and show your customers that each step of your purchase has been scrupulously monitored and tracked and that everything was done in the most complete respect for the laws.

The import licence then, as mentioned above, has value for customs purposes because, if in the control phase you are devoid of it, then you will certainly be fined and unfortunately the fines imposed by customs are not so mild.

The import licence, once authenticated by the Customs, will be sent back to you by the Customs some weeks after the Customs clearance of your goods.

If, after some weeks of receiving the goods, you have not received any import licence yet, we suggest you contact the Customs and ask for more detailed information because the Customs MUST OBLIGATORILY send you this document within a certain period of time.

Now that you know the role and the importance of the Cites document and you know how to behave in case of receipt of goods submitted to Cites, you can finally enter the delicate world of exotic leather and be guided by Gleni towards a responsible and aware purchase of one among our Made in Italy products.

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