Customs Clearance: What Are Required Documents?

Customs clearance is an integral part of import and export. So, if international trade is part of your business, you should be familiar with customs clearance. If you are exporting or importing, you will need various documents for customs clearance. These documents must be complete for the process to run smoothly. In this article, we have explained in detail the documents required for customs clearance.

What is Customs Clearance?

Before detailing the required documents, it is useful to explain what customs clearance is. Customs clearance is the process of bringing items through the customs authorities. The purpose of customs clearance is to ease the transportation of the shipment. Information about the parties and consignments for import and export are necessary for customs clearance. All commercial shipments require customs clearance. Thus, customs clearance is necessary regardless of whether you are exporting or importing.

Customs clearance is a necessary procedure for imports and exports. After the clearance of the shipment, the sender needs to provide certain documents. After the shipment's approval, the shipper provides documents about the payment of customs duties and processing confirmation of the shipment. There are electronic or physical documents in the customs clearance process. This process enables the determination of taxes and duties. Customs clearance becomes simpler if a customs broker is involved. A customs broker is an intermediary for importers. He helps importers with their customs business transactions.

Required Documents

The documents required for customs clearance may vary depending on the type of goods. Also, documents may vary depending on the country of origin and the destination of the cargo. Yet, there are some general documents that the parties must prepare. These documents differ in export and import processes.

Export License

Governments provide export licenses to exporters. This document is an approval for the export of a certain quantity of products to a particular country.

Import License

Governments provide import licenses to importers. With this document, the government allows certain items to enter its territory.

Packing List

The packing list details the contents of each package. Packages can be in the form of boxes or pallets. The list contains details about the weights and dimensions of the items in the packages. The packing list can be inside or outside the package.

Pro Forma Invoice

A proforma invoice is an invoice that reaches the buyers before the shipment or delivery of the goods. It provides information on products, weight, and shipping costs.

Commercial Invoice

A commercial invoice is a legal document that the exporter transmits to the importer. This document is a contract between the buyer and the seller. Also, it acts as proof of sale. The commercial invoice gives information about the prices, value, and quantity of the items. Also, it specifies the terms of trade and sale. The parties agree upon these terms.

COO, or Country of Origin Certificate

The exporter provides the COO certificate. This document indicates that the production and processing of the goods take place in the agreed country.

Bill of Lading

The carrier provides the bill of lading to the shipper. This document serves as proof of the contract for the movement of goods. Information such as the quantity, type, and destination of the goods are also on the bill of lading. Moreover, the bill of lading functions as a shipping receipt at the port of destination.

Shipping Bill

The shipping bill is the main document that the customs office gives export permits. This bill shows details such as goods information, ship's name, unloading port, final destination, and exporter's address.

Health Certificate

Health certificates are only necessary for the import of food products. This certificate indicates that the food in the shipment is safe and suitable for consumption. Authorized state institutions issue the health certificate. The items should meet the standards of the destination country.

Letter of Credit

The importer's bank issues the letter of credit. This document states that the importer or buyer will pay the specified amount to the exporter.

Bill of Sight

A bill of sight is a declaration document. The supplier or exporter makes this declaration to the customs department. A bill of sight is necessary when the buyer is unsure of the type of goods. Thanks to this document, the buyer inspects the goods before paying customs duties. Thus, the exporter must provide a letter with the bill of sight. So, customs can clear the items with this document.

Air Waybill (AWB)

Air Waybill is proof of the contract of carriage between the sender and the carrier's company. You can provide a single air waybill for multiple shipments.

Road Waybill (CIM)

This document contains details on the international carriage of goods by road. Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road determined these details. With a road waybill, the seller places the goods at his disposal during transport.

Customs Declaration

A customs declaration is a document showing lists and detailed descriptions of goods. This document allows customs authorities to control imported or exported goods.

Why Are Customs Clearance Documents Important?

If you do not want to experience delays in customs procedures, you should fully prepare the customs clearance documents.

Documents must be complete to avoid problems between countries in import and export. Besides, preparing the customs clearance documents accurately ensures an ethical trade. Thus, you must be sure that you have prepared all the documents correctly. Because wrong or missing documents can cause big problems. For example, the delivery of goods may be very delayed. Moreover, the products may not reach the buyer. Also, sometimes providing false information can lead to legal penalties. As a result, you could face a fine or criminal investigation.

We Aim for Perfection in Trade

Turkish Goods successfully manages every process to offer buyers a perfect trading experience during the export process. We pay attention to every detail in the customs clearance process. We fully prepare the necessary documents. Importing is smooth and perfect with Turkish Goods. You can click here to get answers to your questions.