Customs clearance is needed for every commercial cargo, import, or export. Simply stated, businesses exporting and importing products into and out of the country must overcome specific government-imposed customs problems.
In the customs clearance procedure, documents are prepared and submitted online or physically with the shipment; This assists the concerned authorities in calculating the cargo’s taxes and duties.
The documents needed for customs clearance are typically determined by the type of goods shipped. It may also differ based on the cargo’s country of origin and destination. However, as a rule of thumb, most businesses must comply with general paperwork when importing or exporting goods.
A List of Documents Needed for Import Customs Clearance
Here, we’ll look at some of the most typical documents that importers need to clear their goods with customs throughout the shipping process.
- Bill of Entry
A bill of entry is a legal document that an importer, CHA, or carrier must fill up and sign. Following submission of a bill of entry and other required documents, the goods are assessed and examined by the authorities in charge. An importer can claim ITC on products after the process is completed.
- Import License
It specifies the maximum quantity that can be imported and, depending on the goods, is generally valid for 18 months to a year. In some countries, the majority of goods are freely importable. Importers of regulated commodities, such as chemicals, medicines, precious stones, plants, and animals, must get an import license and submit it at customs clearance time.
- Insurance Certificate
This certificate, given by an insurance company, verifies that the products are insured against loss or damage when in transit. It supports the importer’s delivery terms declaration and aids customs in calculating the duties of the commodities.
- Purchase Order & the Credit Letter
A purchase order is a contract that confirms the purchase of goods between the buyer (importer) and the seller (exporter). It includes information on the goods, including their amount and price, as well as payment and delivery terms. Following the completion of the purchase order, the importer contacts a bank (known as the issuing bank) to get a letter of credit, which is a promise by the bank to pay the exporter the agreed-upon money on behalf of the importer.
- Literature (Technical Write-up)
A technical write-up is a document only necessary for specific products like machinery. It outlines the product’s features, functions, and uses, usually prepared to facilitate goods management. This aids authorities in adequately defining the product and comprehending its value-added cost.
- Test Report (If Needed)
When customs officials cannot determine the quality and value of a product, they may send a sample to a government-approved laboratory for testing. The lab examines the product and issues a test report, which is used to clear the cargo.
- Industrial License
Importing certain goods may need an industrial license. If an importer wants to take advantage of import duty benefits, an industrial license can be used as proof. A copy of the industrial license is also one of the customs clearance documents necessary for importing the products in this case.
- GATT/DGFT Declaration
While completing customs clearance processes for imports, the importer must file a GATT and DGFT declaration. It must be filed by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade requirements. Some of the requirements for submitting this document are listed below:
- Customs Valuation
- Three copies of the declaration to keep to yourself
- Two copies of the declaration to hand into the customs administration
- One copy of the declaration to hand into the declarant
The form shall be retained with the detailed customs declaration for three years.
The declarant is required to fill out the form completely and correctly.
The Final Word
The abovementioned list is not a comprehensive list of what documents are needed to clear customs for international shipment. Individuals and businesses may be asked to prepare additional documents required for customs clearance. To ensure a smooth shipping experience, exporters and importers should verify with their agents or shipping lines for any country- or product-specific paperwork requirements. You can contact our team of experts to find out more about any documents needed and to ease customs clearance.
The blog content reference and credit go to FedEx Shipping Channel.
What documents are needed for customs clearance in UAE?
The commercial invoice, bill of lading or airway bill, packing list, insurance paperwork, and, if necessary, specific certificates of origin, sanitation, phytosanitary, etc., are all required for imported and exported shipments. Read here to find more.
Can I clear my cargo through customs myself?
You have two options: either make the declaration yourself or choose someone to do it for you.
What are the UAE’s top freight forwarders handling customs clearance?
Read our latest blog post on “Top Shipping Companies in UAE” and learn more about freight forwarders handling customs clearance.
What are the most common issues faced by customs clearing agents in Dubai?
Common issues faced by customs clearing agents in Dubai include delays in the clearance process due to incorrect or incomplete documents, incorrect classification of goods, and a lack of knowledge of Dubai’s customs laws and regulations.