Customs Formalities & Procedures For Clearance of Goods
The importation of any goods requires the importer to complete Customs Formalities. These formalities include the submission of a Customs Declaration, commonly known as the Bill of Entry (BOE), electronically through the TradeNet giving all details of the goods imported, such as the quantity, value and precise nature of the goods. In addition to the BOE, trade documents such as invoices, bills of lading, permits or other documents accompanying the import should also be scanned and submitted electronically. Once submitted the customs declaration is validated by customs and a message is sent back to the declarant and payment of customs charges, if any, is effected. The BOE is then processed at the Compliance Section whereby after checking the documents, the compliance officer may:
- release the goods;
- require clarifications about documents submitted; or
- send the declaration for verification.
An importer can file the Customs declaration provided he is registered at Customs as a declarant and is owner of the Front End System of the Trade Net. However, due to the technicalities of the declaration, importers prefer to hire the services of a licensed Customs House Broker or a Freight Forwarding Agent.
Customs may at any time (after checking the documents and/or after verification) require the importer to pay additional customs charges and/or penalties if customs offences are detected. Severe customs offences may even lead to the seizure of the goods.