A Bill of Entry is normally filed by an importer or a Custom House Agent. It is filed to undergo necessary import customs clearance formalities to take the goods out of the customs. As per the customs procedure, all materials moved into a country need to be approved by customs officials of each country to move to importer’s location.

The bill of entry is used for the clearance of imported goods. The bill of entry is issued in quadruplicate copies. Two of them are kept with the Customs Department, one is given to the importer and one is used by the bank for remittance purpose.

If the goods are cleared through the EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) system, no formal Bill of Entry is filed as it is generated in the computer system, but the importer is required to file a cargo declaration having prescribed particulars required for processing of the entry for customs clearance.

Contents of Bill of Entry:

The contents of the Bill of entry includes the IEC number, invoice no. & date, description of goods, Customs Tariff Heading, Quantity of goods, Value of goods, relevant notification no & date, if the concessional rate of duty is claimed.

There are three types of bill of entry. These are:

  1. Bill of entry for home consumption

This bill of entry is issued when the goods are to be consumed as it is in India and not to be re-exported. This document is printed on a white colored paper and hence also called “white bill of entry”.

  1. Bill of entry for warehousing

If the imported goods are not to be utilized immediately then the importer can keep the goods in the custody of the Indian Customs Department without the payment of duty. For this, the importer has to sign a bond. This enables the importer to defer the payment of duty until the time the goods are required by him. This type of bill of entry is also called “into bond bill of entry” as a bond is executed for transfer of goods in a warehouse without payment of duty. This document is printed on a yellow colored paper and hence also called as “yellow bill of entry”.

  1. Bill of entry for ex-bond clearance

This type of bill of entry is used for clearance from the warehouse on payment of duty and is printed on green paper.

Advance Noting of Bill of entry:

For faster clearance of the goods, provision has been made to allow the filing of the bill of entry prior to the arrival of goods. This bill of entry is valid if vessel/aircraft carrying the goods arrive within 30 days from the date of presentation of the bill of entry. If the ship doesn’t arrive within 30 days, a new bill of entry needs to be filed.

The objective is to enable the importer to complete the checking and verification of the classification, valuation, and duty beforehand so that the cargo can be cleared immediately after it arrives.

Amendment of Bill of entry:

Whenever mistakes are noticed after submission of documents, amendments to the bill of entry is carried out with the approval of Deputy/Assistant Commissioner.

Green Channel Facility:

Some major importers have been given the green channel clearance facility. It means clearance of goods is done without routine examination of the goods. They have to make a declaration in the declaration form at the time of filing of the bill of entry. The appraisement is done as per normal procedure except that there would be no physical examination of the goods.

Payment of Duty:

Import duty may be paid in the designated banks or through TR-6 challans. Different Custom Houses have authorized different banks for payment of duty and are necessary to check the name of the bank and the branch before depositing the duty.

Specialized Schemes:

Import of goods under a specialized scheme such as DEEC (Duty Exemption Entitlement Certificate) and EOU etc is required to execute bonds with the customs authorities. In case failure of a bond, an importer is required to pay the duty livable on those goods. The amount of bond would be equal to the amount of duty livable on the imported goods. The bank guarantee is also required along with the bond. However, the amount of bank guarantee depends upon the status of the importer like Super Star Trading House/Trading House etc.

Bill of Entry for Bond/Warehousing:

A separate form of bill of entry is used for clearance of goods for warehousing. Assessment of this bill of entry is done in the same manner as the normal bill of entry and then the duty payable is determined.

Import General Manifest (IGM):

Once before the arrival of cargo at the destination port, the carrier has to file the details of cargo arriving at such port of importing country with the Customs. The filing of such details of cargo is called IGM filing (Import General Manifest filing).