What is Custom Clearance?
Customs clearance is an act to take goods through the customs authority in order to enable the flow of freight into (import) and beyond (export) countries.
Customs clearance also means a certificate given to a shipper by the customs authority stating that all duties have been paid and the goods of the shipper are cleared for export.
To succeed in today’s global market, you have to master the art of International trade. Importers should have good licensed custom house agent and a strong freight forwarder tie up , but at the same time its very important for importers to have right information about custom compliance ,Documentation understanding and basic information about international shipping.
Today in this post we will be sharing detailed procedure of Import customs clearance and documentations involved.
Procedure for Import customs Clearance:
1. Arrival of Goods and Import general manifest
Import general manifestation happens once shipment arrives to destination port and as per section 30 of the customs Act, 1962, the person in charge of the conveyance (carriers) carrying imported goods is required to deliver a document knows as “Import general manifest” to the proper officer of customs. This is to be submitted within 24 hours of its arrival at point of entry.
Later the imported cargo is transferred to the customs bonded warehouse, attached to port of discharge. Thereafter, the Carrier sends Cargo arrival notice to freight forwarder/consignee with details of Import consignment.
2. Preparing Bill of entry:
The basic document used for obtaining customs clearance is known as “Bill of entry”.
As per latest information about amendment of Section 46 and section 47 of Indian Customs Act Bill of entry should be filed with customs authorities within a working day of its arrival of goods at destination customs location in India or max by 48 hours from the day of arrival , failing which penalty charges is imposed.
To file a Bill of entry below contents should be provided to Indian customs:
(a) Details of importer’s name and address , IEC number , Ad code , CHA code number , port of shipment , particulars of origin of goods and carrier number;
(b) Packing details
(c) Description, classification and value of goods;
(d) Rate and amount of duty payable;
(e) Currency, weight, freight , insurance etc;
(f) Details of exporter;
(g) Deceleration as to correctness of the information recorded.
To facilitate, streamline and expedite customs clearance for import, electronic processing of bill of entry has been introduced. If the goods are cleared through the EDI system, a formal BOE is filled.
Data is fed in the computer of importer or his clearing agent. Separate facility is also made available at service center of customs to facilitate those who do not enjoy computer facility.
Document can also be filed through the remote EDI system. The checklist can be generated electronically in one’s own computer by the CHA for verification. In case of remote electronic data interchange system, the system validates data and if error are found, a message is sent back to party. If the data passes the check, system accepts and an acknowledgment is sent to the importer/CHA.
3. Presentation of BOE for appraisal:
After the BOE is noted in the import department, it is presented to appraising counters along with the following documents :
(a) Bank attested commercial Invoice
(b) Copy of letter of credit
(c) Import license , if required
(d) Bill of lading/Air waybill ( original& nonnegotiable ) along with delivery order from carrier .
(e) Packing list (endorsed)
(f) Insurance copy / certificate
(g) Certificate of origin
(h) Freight certificate (if FOB shipment)
(i) Test report
(j) IEC number, AD code
(k) Weight specification
(l) Technical write up/Customs declaration
(m) Gatt / DGFT
(n) Catalouge/ Drawing for machinery imported.
(o) If 2nd hand machinery is imported , a declaration as per export-import policy 2002–2003 and other relevant documents.
After producing all the requested details and documentation, if the appraiser does not agree with the importer he raises query. The same has to be replied by CHA/importer through the service center no print out of BOE is taken at this stage.
Bill of entry is electronically sent to terminal of the concerned appraiser (chapter wise) for assessment. Thereafter, they are sent to audit section. After both the stages, the assistant collector gives approval for bill of entry in the same system.
4. Custom Duty Payment:
After approval of BOE, Three copies of TR6 challan are generated. The examination order is also printed along with the TR-6 challan .
Once this is done Actual importer can pay the duty from ICEGATE e-payment web portal of customs.
The duty is to be paid through the designated bank. After payment of duty, the bank enters the same into the system at terminal at their end.
5. Shipment Out of charge
The electronically processes bills of entry are sent to the shed superintendent.
The shed superintendent sends the bill of entry to examiner / inspector for physical verification of goods. Then the bill of entry appears on the screen of the appraiser. The CHA presents the checklist /acknowledgment, duty paid challan and other documents including invoice, packing list etc. at the time of examination of goods. The shed appraiser examines the goods and enters the examination report in system. The shed superintendent also endorses the report. After the examination of goods is complete, the appraiser gives “out of charge” order on the system.
This entire process is complex and needs deep study before clearing the goods out of customs. Meanwhile throughout the process importer has to communicate continuously with customs agents over phone and emails, which is a time taking and Job.
Today there are startup who are solving this problem using technology, simplifying communication and documentation by providing webapp which automates their entire process.
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