What is Custom Clearance?
The business of importing and exporting goods is a lucrative one but involves multiple compliances. There are multiple documentations and procedural aspects that are involved when it comes to importing and exporting of goods and services.
In India, the custom authorities are responsible for regulating the imports and exports. The government has assigned the Custom Department as the designated authority for implementing the policies that are related to import and export of goods/services, collection of customs duties and facilitating the movement of goods, people, and cargo in and out of the country.
The offices of the customs department are located at all the airports, seaports and border gateways. Hence, the customs offices are located at the exit and entry points for movements of people and the commodities/cargo, in and outside of the country.
The customs authorities have been given the powers similar to that of police departments and include confiscation of goods and making arrests.
Customs Clearance means that the goods have been legally granted entry into the country or exit from the country, after due payment of the customs duty.
Trade Logistics and Customs
All countries release their foreign trade policies every year, under which the stipulated conditions of export and import are mentioned.
These provisions of the foreign trade policy are implemented by the Customs department in the form of customs rules, regulations and tariffs.
A lot many countries allow import freely, with restrictions on certain categories of imports. Also, there are certain items that are completely banned for import into countries.
It is necessary that all the goods entering into the country from another country, including personal effects, are cleared by the customs.
Prior to entry of goods into the country, necessary amount of custom duty has to be paid and only then the customs authorities release the goods.
Types of Custom Clearance
Custom Clearance is of three types:
- International Custom Clearance
- Import Custom Clearance
- Export Custom Clearance
International Custom Clearance
This refers to custom clearance of goods in countries, other than India. Shipments from all countries are included under the purview of the international custom clearance.
We provide the following international customs clearance services:
- Complete customs clearance services in any country
- Processing of temporary imports and cargo, bonded shipments and other related clearances.
- Shipment clearance with fulfillment of all the formalities of the particular country.
Import Custom Clearance
Importing of goods in India requires proper documentation with customs authorities. The importer and exporter of goods need to submit valid documents to the customs authorities to clear the process.
The major steps of custom clearance procedure in India have been discussed henceforth.
Calling of vessel
When the vessel carrying goods reaches the Indian Territory, it is the duty of the vessel carrier to ensure that the calling of the vessel is done at the customs port.
For instance, it is the responsibility of a pilot to call the vessels at the customs airport, in case the goods are imported via the aircraft. The importer need not get involved in this procedure as it is taken care of by the airline/shipping line.
Filing of IGM (Import General Manifest)
The IGM has to be filed electronically by the person-in-charge of the vehicle prior to the arrival of the goods. The IGM would include the details of the goods that are being imported via the vessel.
Post Verification Operation
Once the IGM has been reviewed and the documents have been verified, the vessel will be granted entry inwards by the customs authorities.
An IGM number would be assigned and the master of the vessel shall be granted permission for unloading.
Till the time the entire customs process is cleared, the goods are under the custody of the Custodian.
Filing Bill of Entry
To get the clearance of the goods, the importer has to file a bill of entry electronically, prior or upon the arrival of shipment.
The bill of entry shall explicitly mention the duty to be paid by the importer that has been self-assessed by him.
Once the bill of entry has been approved, the importer will be required to pay the duty and the GST, which shall be entered in the ICEDIS (Indian Customs Electronic Data Interchange System).
Delivery of Goods
The importer will be allowed delivery of his goods once he has showed the customs clearance to the authorities.
Export Custom Clearance
Export custom clearance includes all the formalities and processes that are necessary to be followed for exporting any product from a country to another country.
This is not limited to obtaining export license and other authorizations. The exporters are under constant pressure for completing the production and delivery of orders on time.
The exporters require services mostly in all aspects of export which include:
- Packaging of goods for making them export-ready
- Booking of containers, etc., for shipment of goods
- Transporting the container via a domestic carriage to the factory from where the goods shall be loaded. The goods can also be straightaway delivered to the port from where they would be loaded.
- Preparing the necessary documents as per the laws of the exporting country
- Declaration of customs for the shipment through the accepted channel
- Inspection of the goods being exported by the customs authorities
- Departing of the goods
- Closing of the export customs declaration
What is meant by Provisional Assessment and under what circumstances is it resorted to? Which authority makes this assessment?
An importer or exporter can request for provisional assessment of goods when he is unable to produce the documents necessary for the computation of duty on the goods imported/exported.
Also, in case an officer feels that even after submission of all the documents, further enquiry is required in goods imported/exported, provisional assessment of goods can be made till the time the enquiry is pending.
For provisional assessment, the importer/exporter has to execute a bond for the differential amount between the duty that has been assessed provisionally and the duty that would be assessed at the final stage of duty assessment.
Importing and Exporting of goods is a legally complicated process and needs compliances with various rules and regulations of the customs.
It is, therefore, necessary that the whole procedure is done under the eyes of professionals who are well-versed with all such procedures so that the business operations do not get hindered.
In fact, customs clearance is the most crucial part of the entire logistics process. Our team of professionals can help with your import-export business and all the formalities attached with it.
For more information on registration of an import-export business or assistance in the procedures of import and export, contact us.