Procedures for Import

Goods should arrive at customs port/airport only.

• Person in charge of conveyance is required to submit Import Manifest or Export Manifest.

• Goods can be unloaded only after grant of ‘Entry Inwards’.

• Importer has to submit Bill of Entry giving details of goods being imported, along with required documents.
Electronic submission of documents is to be done in many ports.

• Goods are assessed to duty, examined and customs duty is paid. Bond is executed if required.

• Goods can be cleared from port after ‘Out of Customs Charge’ order is issued by customs officer.

• Self Assessment on basis of ‘Risk Management System’ (RNS) has been introduced in some ports in respect of specified goods and importers.

• Demurrage is payable if goods are not cleared within three days from port. Goods can be disposed of if not cleared within 30 days.

Overview of procedures for import –

The broad procedures to be followed for assessment and clearance of imported goods are as follows –

• Importer to submit Bill of Entry giving details of goods to be cleared from customs

• Bill of Entry can be for home consumption (i.e. clearance after payment of duty) (white colour) or for warehousing (keeping in warehouse without payment of duty and later clearing on payment of duty when required) (yellow  colour)

• Importer to submit other documents like Invoices, contracts, product literature, packing lists, import license etc. so that customs officer can assess the imported goods under clearance

• Noting of Bill of Entry by customs officer

• Examination of goods and assessment by customs officer (if first appraisement system) or assessment of goods on basis of documents (if second appraisement system)

• Pre-audit by customs department

• Customs Officer to approve assessment (valuation of goods) on the Bill of Entry and return to importer

• Importer to execute bond if clearance at concessional rate of duty subject to some conditions or clearance is under provisional assessment

• Importer to pay duty, if clearance is for home consumption or execute bond, if clearance is for warehousing

• Inspection of goods (if assessment was under second appraisement system)

• Out of customs charge order by customs officer

• Pay dues of port trust, pay demurrage (if applicable), pay other dues

• Transport the goods from customs

These procedures are for import by ship/air/road. There is separate procedure for goods imported as a baggage or by post.

Submission of Bill of Entry – Bill of Entry is a very vital and important document which every importer has
to submit to customs officer in respect of imported goods other than goods intended for transit or transhipment.
Bill of Entry should be in prescribed form. It can be either for home consumption or for warehousing [section
46(1)]. It should include all goods mentioned in Bill of Lading or other receipt given by carrier to consignor
[section 46(2)]. Importer has to declare that c ontents of Bill of Entry are true [section 46(4)]

• White Bill of Entry is for home consumption. Imported goods are cleared on payment of customs duty.

• Yellow Bill of Entry is for warehousing. It is also termed as ‘into bond Bill of Entry’ as bond is executed. Duty is not paid and imported goods are transferred to warehouse where these are stored.

• Green Bill of Entry is for clearance from warehouse on payment of customs duty. It is for ex-bond

Documents to be submitted by Importer – Documents required by customs authorities are required to be
submitted to enable them to (a) check the goods (b) decide value and classification of goods and (c) to ensure
that the import is legally permitted. The documents that are essentially required are :

(i) Invoice

(ii) Packing List

(iii) Bill of Lading / Delivery Order

(iv) GATT declaration form duly filled in

(v) Importers / CHAs declaration duly signed

(vi) Import License or attested photocopy when clearance is under license

(vii) Letter of Credit / Bank Draft wherever necessary

(vii-a) Insurance memo or insurance policy

(viii) Industrial License if required

(ix) Certificate of country of origin, if preferential rate is claimed.

(x) Technical literature.

(xi) Test report in case of chemicals

(xii) Advance License / DEPB in original, where applicable

(xiii) Split up of value of spares, components and machinery

(xiv) No commission declaration. – A declaration in prescribed form about correctness of information should be submitted. – Chapter 3 Paras 6 and 7 of CBE&C’s Customs Manual, 2001.

Electronic submission under EDI system – Customs work at many ports has been computerised. In that case,
the Bill of Entry has to be filed electronically, i.e. through Customs EDI system through computerisation of work.
Procedure for the same has been prescribed vide Bill of Entry (Electronic Declaration) Regulations, 1995.
The broad procedures to be followed for exports are as follows –
• Submit Shipping Bill for export to customs authorities
• Submit invoice, packing lists, contracts, export license (if applicable) and other related documents
• Submit necessary declarations for export. Submit * GR/SDF/SOFTEX form as required under FEMA *
Excise ARE-1 form
• Noting of Shipping Bill by customs officer
• Assessment i.e. valuation and classification of goods. Checking of Advance License, if applicable
• Custom check whether export is restricted/prohibited
• Examination of goods by customs officer
• Pay export duty, if applicable
• Stuffing of container, if not already done
• ‘Let export’ Order by customs officer
• Obtain ARE-1 form duly signed by customs officer. Obtain Bill of Lading from shipping company. Submit
proof of export to excise authorities.
• Complete formalities relating to claim of duty drawback.

Prior submission of Bill of Entry – After the goods are unloaded, these have to be cleared within stipulated
time – usually three working days. If these are not so removed, demurrage is charged by port trust/airport
authorities, which is very high. Hence, importer wants to complete as many formalities as possible before ship
arives. Proviso to section 46(3) of Customs Act allows importer to present bill of entry upto 30 days before
expected date of arrival of vessel. In such case, duty will be payable at the rate applicable on the date on which
‘Entry Inward’ is granted to vessel and not the date of presentation of Bill of Entry, but rate of exchange will be as
prevalent on date of submission of bill of entry. – confirmed in CC, New Delhi circular No 64/96 dated 10.12.1996 and CBE&C circular No. 22/97-Cus dated 4.7.1997.
Department has clarified that if vessel does not arrive within 30 days, filing of fresh bill of entry will be necessary
and in such cases, date of filing fresh Bill of Entry will be considered for calculating rate of exchange.

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