Posted by: changholt | June 29, 2010

Clearing Customs

So how do you Clear Customs? What is the process?

In some countries, the process usually starts with an application for an import license. For most countries, the process starts when an importer files an entry, i.e. notifies the customs authorities that it will import—or has imported—a particular product. There is usually a paper form that has to be filed and accompany of all the documentation necessary for the import:

a.            Invoice

b.            Certificate of origin

c.            Certificate of inspection (when required)

d.            Certificate of insurance

e.            Other forms as required by the customs rules of the importing country

In most developed countries, the importer is usually responsible for:

a.            Classifying the goods according to the tariff schedule of the importing country

b.            Determining the amount of duty

c.            In many developing countries, this task is still left to the customs authorities, which often delays the process of clearance

In most instances, the goods are not released to the importer cleared until after the duty is paid or after there is evidence from the importer that it will pay, a requirement often met with a customs bond. Customs authorities will usually review a percentage of the entries made by importers after the goods have been cleared and will have a few months to a couple of years to challenge them. If an entry is reviewed satisfactorily, the entry is deemed liquidated. In some countries, such as the United States, an importer dissatisfied with the final decision of customs authorities has a brief period of time to protest a liquidated entry and request a review before it is finally settled.


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