Import Procedures and Documentation

11/08/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

Import is a very important function of our economy. It is one of the most regulated sectors of our economy.

Import Procedure

  1. The initial step engaged in importing a product is to accumulate information about the nations and firms which send out the item required by the exporter. It can be accumulated from trade directories, trade organizations, and associations. The exporter readies a quotation otherwise called Performa Invoice and sends it to the importer.
  2. The Importer Consults the export-import (EXIM) Policy in power, all together to know whether the merchandise that he/she needs to import are subjected to import licensing or not.
  3. In the situation of an import transaction, the provider resides in a foreign nation and subsequently requests the installment of foreign cash. This includes the trade of Indian Currency into foreign money. The Exchange Control Department of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) manages foreign trade exchange in India. According to rules, each merchant needs to secure the sanction of foreign trade.
  4. The importer puts in an import request or indents with the exporter for the supply of merchandise. The request contains information with respect to cost, quality, quantity, size and grade of goods instructions with respect to packaging, delivery shipping, a method of payment and so on.
  5. At the point when the payment terms concur between the importer and the overseas provider, the importer gets the letter of credit from its banker and forwards it to the overseas provider.
  6. The importer arranges for money in advance to pay the exporter on arrival of goods at the port this empowers the importer to avoid huge penalties on the imported goods lying uncleared at the port for the need of payment.
  7. The overseas supplier after loading the merchandise on the ship dispatches the “Shipment Advice” to the importer. It gives information with respect to the shipment of goods like receipt number, bill of lading/airway bill, the name of the ship with date description of merchandise and amount and so forth.


  1. After dispatching the merchandise, the abroad exporter hands over the different documentation like an invoice, bill of lading, insurance certificate of origin to his banker for their forward transactions to the importer when he receives the bill of exchange drawn by the provider. The acknowledgment of a bill of exchange by the importer to get a confirmation of delivery is known as the retirement of import documents.
  2. At the point when the sent merchandise comes in the importer’s nation, the individual accountable for the merchandise conveys the officer in control at the dock or the airport about it. The individual responsible for the ship or airway gives the report with respect to import.
  3. Imported merchandise are subjected to customs which is an exceptionally extensive process and includes a considerable time to complete. The importer more often than not appoints a C&F operator for completing these customs.

Essentially, the merchant acquires a delivery order which is otherwise called an endorsement for delivery. This order allows the importer to take to take the delivery of merchandise subsequent to pay the cargo charges.

Importer likewise needs to pay dock dues for getting port trust dues receipts for which he submits two duplicates filled in the form is known as “application to import” to the Landing and “Delivering Dues Office”. Subsequent to paying dock dues the importer gets back one copy of the application as a receipt which is called as ‘port trust levy receipts’.

At long last, the importer fills in a frame known as ‘bill of entry’ for appraisal of customs import duty. An inspector inspects the merchandise and gives his report regarding the bill of entry. This bill is then introduced to the port administration which on getting the important charges, issues the discharge arrangements.

Documents Used in an Import Transaction

Common documents required for import customs clearance procedures and formalities in some of the importing countries.

  1. Bill of Entry

Bill of entry is one of the major import document for import customs clearance. As explained previously, Bill of Entry is the legal document to be filed by CHA or Importer duly signed. Bill of Entry is one of the indicators of ‘total outward remittance of country’ regulated by Reserve Bank and Customs department. Bill of entry must be filed within thirty days of arrival of goods at a customs location.

Once after filing bill of entry along with necessary import customs clearance documents, assessment and examination of goods are carried out by concerned customs official. After completion of import customs formalities, a ‘pass out order’ is issued under such bill of entry. Once an importer or his authorized customs house agent obtains ‘pass out order’ from concerned customs official, the imported goods can be moved out of customs. After paying necessary import charges if any to carrier Documents required for import customs clearanceof goods and custodian of cargo, the goods can be taken out of customs area to importer’s place.

  1. Bill of Lading / Airway bill

BL/AWB is one of the documents required for import customs clearance.

Bill of lading under sea shipment or Airway bill under air shipment is carrier’s document required to be submitted with customs for import customs clearance purpose. Bill of lading or Airway bill issued by carrier provides the details of cargo with terms of delivery. I have discussed in detail about Bill of Lading and Airway bill separately in this website. You can go through those articles to have a deep knowledge about documents required for import customs clearance.

  1. Import License

As I have mentioned above, import license may be required as one of the documents for import customs clearance procedures and formalities under specific products. This license may be mandatory for importing specific goods as per guide lines provided by government. Import of such specific products may have been being regulated by government time to time. So government insist an import license as one of the documents required for import customs clearance to bring those materials from foreign countries.

  1. Insurance certificate

Insurance certificate is one of the documents required for import customs clearance procedures. Insurance certificate is a supporting document against importer’s declaration on terms of delivery. Insurance certificate under import shipment helps customs authorities to verify, whether selling price includes insurance or not. This is required to find assessable value which determines import duty amount.

  1. Purchase order/Letter of Credit

Purchase order is one of the documents required for import customs clearance. A purchase order reflects almost all terms and conditions of sale contract which enables the customs official to confirm on value assessment. If an import consignment is under letter of credit basis, the importer can submit a copy of Letter of Credit along with the documents for import clearance.

  1. Technical write up, literature etc. for specific goods if any

Technical write up, literature of imported goods or any other similar documents may be required as one of the documents for import clearance under some specific goods. For example, if a machinery is imported, a technical write up or literature explaining it’s function can be attached along with importing documents. This document helps customs official to derive exact market value of such imported machinery in turn helps for value assessment.

  1. Industrial License if any

An industrial license copy may be required under specific goods importing. If Importer claims any import benefit as per guidelines of government, such Industrial License can be produced to avail the benefit. In such case, Industrial license copy can be submitted with customs authorities as one of the import clearance documents.

  1. RCMC (Registration cum Membership Certificate)

For the purpose of availing import duty exemption from government agencies under specific goods, production of RCMC with customs authorities is one of the requirements for import clearance. In such cases importer needs to submit Registration Cum Membership Certificate along with import customs clearance documents.

  1. Test report if any

The customs officials may not be able to identify the quality of goods imported. In order to assess the value of such goods, customs official may draw sample of such imported goods and arranges to send for testing to government authorized laboratories. The concerned customs officer can complete appraisement of such goods only after obtaining such test report. So test report is one of the documents under import customs clearance and formalities under some of specific goods.

  1. DEEC/DEPB /ECGC or any other documents for duty benefits

If importer avails any duty exemptions against imported goods under different schemes like DEEC/DEPB/ECGC etc., such license is produced along with other import clearance documents.

  1. Central excise document if any

If importer avails any central excise benefit under imported goods, the documents pertaining to the same need to be produced along with other import customs clearance documents.

  1. GATT/DGFT declaration

As per the guidelines of Government of India, every importer needs to file GATT declaration and DGFT declaration along with other import customs clearance documents with customs. GATT declaration has to be filed by Importer as per the terms of General Agreement on Tariff and Trade.

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