A number of documents are required for carrying out any type of business. And when it comes to business trade done across the national borders then the number of documents required only increases. Importing and exporting have been a major part of trade since ancient times. While the reasons for import or export of goods remain the same, the process has only become more complex over the years. The number of documents required in overseas trade has also increased over time.
Before you initiate an import in India from any foreign land, you need to know about all the documents required for import trade. While some of the documents may be required for personal and quality assurance, others may be required for import customs clearance procedures. Enlisted below are some of the important documents used in import trade in India. Ensure that you have all the documents at hand before starting an import.
A commercial invoice is required for any type of business transaction and when it is an import trade then the invoice becomes an important document for customs clearance. It contains all the details of the order you have placed including the quantity, price, weight, packaging etc. The customs official matches the delivered order with the invoice while examining your import. If there is any mismatch in the invoice and the order delivered then you may not get the customs clearance.
2. Bill Of Lading
This is the bill that you get from the carrier; bill of lading for ships and airway bill for flights. The importer needs to show a copy of this bill in order to get clearance from the shipping or airway authority. It has a detail of all the products and the terms on which the delivery is being made.
3. Bill Of Entry
The bill of entry contains all the details of the goods, the importer and the carrier. The importer needs to fill this document and it should be duly signed by him/her. The customs clearance in India starts the assessment of the order only after you have filed for the bill of entry. You need to get a pass out order from them after thorough inspection and then only can you take the goods.
4. Bill Of Sight
If the importer does not have all the required documents and information that is needed in bill of entry then he/she can apply for a bill of sight. You need to enter all the information that you have on this bill along with a letter. This enables you to get the goods cleared from customs after arrival in case you do not have the bill of entry.
5. Letter Of Credit
The exporter gets a letter of credit from the importer’s bank stating that the importer would pay the exporter the specified sum to close the transaction. The exporter dispatches the order once he/she has received this letter of credit.
6. Import License
Depending on the type of import you are making, you would be required to show an import license. In order to get the license, you need to fill an application to the licensing authority. Once done with that you can get your import license from the Chief Controller of Exports and Imports. Read the Red Book in order to know the type of good for which you require an import license and which can be imported without it.
7. Warehouse Receipt
Once your goods have arrived at the dockyard, they are kept at the warehouse. If the import customs clearance is done and you have paid all the import dues for import as well as freight then you get a ‘warehouse receipt’. This receipt means that you can take the goods which are kept separately. Sometimes when the customs duties are unpaid or the imports customs clearance procedure is not completed then your goods are kept safely in the warehouse and you are given a ‘dock warrant’.
These were some of the main documents for customs clearance. Other documents like insurance certificate, industrial license, registration cum membership certificate, test report, GATT declaration, documents for duty benefits or central excise documents can be required for some specific types of import. Get these documents to experience a glitch-free customs clearance certificate for any type of import in India.