Documents Required for Import-Export Customs Clearance

Any shipment moving from one country to another requires customs clearance. Apart from international laws and regulations, every country has its own set of laws outlined by its government. The shipping companies and other parties involved have to follow these laws. Document handling is one of the most crucial aspects of international trade. In the article below, we shall focus on import-export customs clearance document requirements for smooth trading.

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Documents Required While Importing to India

The process of importing goods is completed only when the buyer or the importer receives the goods. Thus, for customs clearance on imported goods, the importer is required to furnish these documents at the port of entry:

  1. Bill of Entry: Bill of entry is one of the most essential import-export customs clearance documents required for import customs clearance. A bill of entry is a legal document that needs to be filed by importers or agents. The document contains details of the shipment, such as IGST, the shipment quantity, additional duty (if any), and the total customs duty amount.
  2. Commercial invoice cum packing list: This is a document of huge importance. The items in the shipment are then checked and assessed to prevent over or under-invoicing.
  3. Bill of Landing: The exporter needs to share the bill of landing with the importer. In absence of this document, the importer cannot receive the shipment. This document states the carrier details and the terms of delivery.
  4. Import License: The import license may be mandatory when importing certain types of goods. Import of some specific products is regulated by the government, thus import license is necessary for certain goods.
  5. Insurance Certificate: A marine insurance certificate helps customs authorities to verify if the shipment is insured or not. It is also required to find the assessable value of the goods which then determines the import duty applicable. It is always recommended to have adequate marine insurance during the trade.
  6. Purchase Order (PO): This document outlines the terms and conditions of the sale contract. It enables the customs department to confirm value assessment. In case the shipment is on the letter of credit, a copy of the Letter of Credit needs to be submitted for import clearance.

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Documents Required While Exporting from India

Some of the essential import-export customs clearance documents required while exporting goods from India include:

  1. Commercial Invoice: As mentioned above, this is a legal document signed between the exporter and the buyer. It holds the record of the goods and the amount the buyer is liable to pay.
  2. Shipping Bill: This document mentions details of the buyer, the seller, the shipping company, etc.
  3. Customs Declaration Form: It is a type of declaration form that must be duly signed and submitted.
  4. Export License: An export license allows exporters to trade in goods that come under the restricted category. It is required to be produced by the exporter at the time of shipping his first cargo.
  5. Packing List: The packing list is an important document mentioning the details of the various items being exported by the exporter.
  6. Warehouse Receipt: The warehouse receipt acts as proof that the goods approved for sale are available and ready to be shipped.
  7. Dangerous Goods Forms: Certain goods that are considered dangerous require certificates to prove that they have been through mandatory checks. Chemicals, dyes, hazardous solutions, etc. come under this category.

Conclusion

For a successful international shipment, the above are a few import-export customs clearance documents required to be processed and submitted. Buying marine insurance online can help the importer or the exporter with a quick and hassle-free policy with speedy claims.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 28 December 2022