Knowledge Base – Food logistics

Customs clearance of food: Three things to know

10.01.2020

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Led by globalization, people today want to enjoy a wider variety of food products. This places very high challenges on the supply chain. Food is directly related to us humans and our health and is therefore under special protection and control. The transport of food is subject to correspondingly high requirements. In this article I would like to mention three important aspects, including trends and how we can best support customers.

1. National and EU-wide restrictions on food related items

Where for usual commercial goods the value and the origin of the goods are relevant, imported foodstuffs must in addition comply with European and German food legislation. Certain foodstuffs even require a license for import into the EU.

It should also be considered that, particularly in the case of land transport of certain foodstuffs, there is a need to declare and check them at certain authorized customs offices.

At DHL Freight Customs and Gerlach, we are always up to date with the latest developments in food legislation and can advise our customers accordingly.

"We follow a holistic approach in FoodLogistics to allow our customers a smooth but at the same time fast transport of their foodstuff."

2. Bio – a trend with high demands

There is no doubt that we are experiencing a strong trend towards bio in the food sector. German consumers are buying more and more bio products. The bio market in Germany grew by 5.5 % in 2018.

Imports are subject to special controls by the customs administration. Bio products must be certified by official control bodies and tracking is secured via the recently implemented control-system named TRACES.

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3. Speed, safety and sustainability @FoodLogistics

We follow a holistic approach in FoodLogistics to allow our customers a smooth but at the same time fast transport of their foodstuff. The duration of the transport has a significant influence on the quality of perishable products. The better we plan the logistics the lower are the transport times, less delays occur at borders, the goods arrive faster at the shelf, and thus less waste is produced.

We have therefore developed a systematic four-step approach for our customers:

  • Product knowledge: We have built a very comprehensive knowledge about the foodstuff. It is important to know the characteristics of food and how it should be best transported.
  • Transport routes: We plan the transport to the last detail, e.g. the shipping quantity and the transport space play an important role in this matter.
  • Customs: With our customs knowledge on EU regulations and restrictions we can advise the customer and allow a smooth cross border transfer.
  • Bio-Certificate: Even higher requirements are placed on the import and export of bio products. Also in this are we have built our expertise and can best advise our customers.

 Because of the many regularities involved in the transport of food, you need a competent partner at your side. We at DHL Freight Customs and Gerlach can support you with our network and expertise.

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Andreas Lenz, Managing Director DHL FoodLogistics

After graduating in Transport-Economics at the University of Giessen, Andreas Lenz started his career in logistics and held various positions in various fields of the sector, in cluding customer support, quality management and finance, as well as project management during mergers and reorganizations. In 2010, Andreas was appointed Finance Director – Freight Specialties at the DHL Freight subsidiaries Trade Fairs & Events, FoodLogistics and Gerlach. Since 2014, he has been Managing Director DHL FoodLogistics at DHL Freight.

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