Customs Formalities & Procedures For Clearance of Goods

  1. 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 (description of goods with specifications such as Model no, Ref no, Brand , Country of origin, etc) and the amount of Customs Duty & taxes (if any) to be paid.

  2. In addition to the BOE (Customs Declaration), trade documents such as invoices, bills of lading (Packing list , Certificate of Origin) , permits or other documents accompanying the import (consignment) should also be scanned and submitted electronically.

  3. Once submitted the customs declaration is validated by customs (Customs Management System and BOE no is allotted to that Declaration) and a message is sent back (a Customs Response is sent to the declarant informing that the Customs Declaration has been accepted at Customs) to the declarant and payment of customs charges (duty & taxes), if any, is effected.

  4. 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 (Put the BOE under query if any additional information is required).

    • Withhold delivery of goods if any until necessary clearance by other Govt agencies e.g Health Dept, M.O.A etc or approval of any exemption is fulfilled

    • Send BOE to Valuation unit for confirmation of declared value.

    • Send the declaration for verification (by an Examining Officer).

    • Send the Consignment for scanning.
  5. If any discrepancy resulting in short payment of C/duty & taxes is noted during review ,the BOE is amended and additional amount of duty and taxes together with applicable penalty brought to account.

  6. Where an importer is not agreeable to pay any additional amount of duty and taxes, he may object to the demand within 28 days of the date of demand.

  7. The consignment may be released automatically by CMS.

  8. Other Units such as BDM or CANS may select the consignment for 100% verification.

  9. An importer can file (process)  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.

  10. Customs may at any time (at Post Control Level) (after checking the documents and/or after verification) require the importer to pay additional customs charges and/or penalties if customs offences are detected (In some cases Customs offences are referred to Police for prosecution). Severe customs offences may even lead to the seizure of the goods.

  11. In case of goods suspected to be proceeds of Money Laundering/ Terrorist Financing, an investigation is carried out prior to referral to competent authorities such as the ICAC and/or the Police Counter Terrorism Unit, as the case may be, for further investigation.

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