8.3 Customs and handling

It is recommended to engage a clearing and forwarding agent, or customs brokers, to facilitate any importations. Most countries have a number of clearing and forwarding agents and/or customs brokers who understand all local customs and import procedures. They also have all the necessary documentation needed for imports.

To select the most appropriate clearing and forwarding agent:

  • Check with CARE USA Procurement for any master contracts.
  • Check what companies are used by other humanitarian agencies, and obtain feedback on performance and contact details for reputable companies.
  • Visit the offices of the most reputable agents to discuss requirements.
  • Select a company based on the process outlined in section 6.3.
  • Negotiate a short-term contract for the provision of required services. This could be either for a one-time engagement or a specific period of time, depending on the activities and the items that need to be imported into the country. Short-term contracts are advantageous in the event that the services being provided by the agency are not up to required standards, and provide the freedom to also engage another agency if needed.