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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Learn more about Marine Insurance

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.

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.


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: 16 November 2023
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Policybazaar for Business - Marine Insurance - Customer Reviews
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3.8 April 20, 2023
Great Experience
I recently purchased Marine insurance from Policybazaar for my shipping business and I must say I am thoroughly impressed with their service and coverage. From start to finish, the experience has been smooth and hassle-free.Thankyou.
4.3 April 03, 2023
Provides Comprehensive Protection
When it comes to coverage, Marine insurance that i bought from PolicyBazaar has exceeded my expectations. It provides comprehensive protection for my cargo and vessels during transit, ensuring I can focus on my business operations with peace of mind. Thankyou.
4.3 March 17, 2023
Excellent Services
I highly recommend Marine insurance from PolicyBazaar website to anyone in the shipping or logistics industry. Their user-friendly website, comprehensive coverage, and excellent customer service make them stand out from the competition. With Policybazaar, I feel confident in navigating the high seas, knowing that my business is well-protected. Thank you, Policybazaar.
4.3 February 28, 2023
User Friendly Interface
The website's user-friendly interface made it easy to compare different plans and find the perfect fit for my business needs.Thanks
4.3 February 11, 2023
Prompt Services
I appreciate the transparency and honesty with which Policybazaar handled my claims. They were prompt in processing my claim and their claim settlement process was hassle-free.Thanks PolicyBazaar.
3.8 February 10, 2023
Exceeds Expectations
I recently had the pleasure of purchsing marine insurance from Policy bazaar website and I must say it has been an outstnding experience from start to finish. I am thrilled to share my positive customer review, as this truly exceeded my expectations. Thanks PB.
3.8 January 31, 2023
Easy Navigation
The ease of navigating the Policy bazaar website and finding the right marine insurance policy was impressive. The website's user-friendly interface and intuitive design made it incredibly simple to compare various options, understand the coverage details and make an informed decision. I appreciated the transparency provided throughout the process. Thanks.
3.8 January 21, 2023
Excellent Support
The customer service provided by Policy bazaar was decent. Their team was responsive, knowledgeable and went above and beyond to assist me at every step. Their professionalism and commitment to customer satisfaction were truly commendable.Thankyou.
4.3 January 11, 2023
Sanjeev Rathor
Efficient Process
When it came to claims processing, Policy bazaar demonstrated remarkable eficiency and effectivenes. I had an unfortunate incident during the coverage period and filing a claim was a breeze. The entire process was streamlined and their team guided me throuugh every necssary step, making it hassle-free. The promptness with which my claim was setled reflected their commitment to their customers' well-being and peace of mind. Thankyou.
3.8 January 01, 2023
Comprehensive Coverage
I must mention the comprehensive coverage provided by the marine insurance policy I purchasd through Policy bazaar. It offered me the necesary protection and peace of mind. Thankyou PolicyBazaar.