Place of supply for goods imports: port of entry and customs clearance

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The place of supply for imported goods and the port of entry have a strong relationship. If any of them gets disapproved, it affects both of them. Similarly, customs is one of the crucial departments where all the goods imported must go through to reach their desired location.

The goods are supposed to be entered into the port so that they can be handed over to the buyer or the supplier, but that doesn’t sound easy.

With several documentation and other methods, the goods, when verified, approved, declared, and accepted by the customs department, are set to be moved forward for shipment through the courier services as per the choice of the importer/exporter.

The whole process comes with difficulties; hence, the best way is to get help from an expert or get yourself a team that excels in the hardships and complexities of the import and export process.

The import and export process dramatically benefits the country by building a channel between the two countries and creating a positive image on the global market.

Let’s get to know what other challenges are faced by the importers, the solution, and other necessary steps that are taken in this entire process of import and export: 

The role of the port of entry in determining the place of supply for goods import

The port of entry for the imported goods plays an important part in the process of importing goods. It’s a gateway that helps connect freight or shipment from one jurisdiction to another.

Customs officials usually use this entry, bringing this port of entry into their usage to regulate and enforce the goods that should be imported into their country.

These ports are limited and are subject to seaports, land points, or airports. All the countries have standards by which they import and send goods to other countries and supposedly take care of compliance. It helps them with trade agreements on an international level.

The port of entry is an essential doorstep for maintaining freight movement and smooth global shipment. There are different categories of ports of entry, such as land-based container ports, airports, and terminals for the shipment.

The land-based container ports are responsible for moving goods in shipping containers. The airports help in the movement of goods through international shipping methods. Lastly, the shipping terminals offer storage, material loading and unloading, and freight handling services.

Therefore, a port of entry has a great role in importing goods and can’t simply be taken quickly. It comes with its own complexities and can be dealt with with relevant data and document verification.

Also Read: Determining Place Of Supply In Intra-State Transactions General Principles

Custom clearance procedures and place of supply 

Following are the steps that are religiously followed at the customs department when there is any good that is being imported and exported:

  1. Examination of the paperwork by the customs officer: At this point, the appointment personnel will go through the documents that the importer has submitted and cross-check if any missing documents need to be submitted. 
  2. Thoroughly check duties and taxes to see if they are paid: The department ensures that the importer has thoroughly checked and paid any taxes or duties and is not set to be delivered to the desired location. 
  3. Request payments (if any): If the import is of any restricted good, there is a fee reduction to ship that particular product. 
  4. Ready to be shipped goods: Once all the documents are submitted and the product is cleared for shipment, the courier service, as per choice, delivers the product to the desired location. Shipments are usually smooth without any delays; even if there are any delays, they are mostly because of unauthorized paperwork.

Also Read: Place of Supply in GST for Goods Exports: Shipping Destination and Customs Clearance

Tax implications of goods import based on place of supply

Tax implication refers to any impact a decision or plan can have on the organization’s tax liability. These evaluations are done to ensure compliance by having the right policies and laws to expose unwanted taxation.

The place of supply for the imports is where the goods are received. For exports, the place of supply is where the goods are dispatched. An example to understand this point is that if any product is imported into India, the location has to be the location of the importer from where he is importing goods.

It’s important to verify the place of supply, as it defines the tax, or IGST, to be paid. The intrastate, interstate, and other import-export have their own taxation methods. 

Documenting imports for compliance with the place of supply rules

Following are the documents that are needed at the time of import compliance:

  1. Port expenditure: It contains information on the port and any costs applied or paid when receiving goods at the port. 
  2. Bill of lading: This contains the history of the goods imported from any vessel, air or via ship. 
  3. Invoice: This helps identify if there is any other cost, payment, or tax levied on the product. 
  4. Certificates (if any): This can be a plus sign, as showing credentials can expedite the process. 
  5. Packing list: It contains information related to the details of the products, such as height, weight, quantity, etc
  6. Transportation invoice: If the goods that are being imported have any transport invoices, that counts. 
  7. Insurance certificate or proof: This can be a helpful document when it comes to justifying the insurance of the goods that are being imported. 
  8. Pre-shipment certificate: If there is any pre-shipment document, it is needed at the time of import compliance. 
  9. Certificate of origin: It helps identify the country and contains all the relevant information about the product that is being imported.

Also Read: Understanding Place of Supply: Import, Export, and Compliance

Mitigating risks of non-compliance with the place of supply rules for imports

The best strategies you can work on to mitigate the risks of non-compliance with the place of supply rules for imports are:

  1. Take help from any professional
  2. Do proper research
  3. Stay up to date
  4. Implement internal controls
  5. Meet with the suppliers
  6. Take proactive compliance measures
  7. Work on business structures and strategies

Compliance violations can lead to loss of goods, fines, interruptions, or sanctions. It’s necessary to have import and export compliance to improve the process.

The importer is responsible for importing goods, and those goods that are being imported need to have accurate information, valuation, and classification. These imported goods should also abide by the rules recently set by the enforcing government.

To cater to all the haphazards of the import process, it’s best to give this responsibility to any agent or team. This way, things can be managed appropriately, and the importer consumes less time and effort.

Once the goods have reached the port, the importer is asked to submit entry documents, pay the duties and taxes, and then receive authorization to move the goods to the destination location. 

Requirements for importing goods

  1. Description and tariff classification: In this department, the tax and tariff are assigned based on the number of goods. The goods are classified correctly in this section.
  2. Valuation: It includes the different categories of payments per product type. Direct or indirect payments are all categorized under this section
  3. Country of origin: The goods that are supposed to be imported should be properly marked with the country of origin. When the country of origin is known, it helps to identify duty taxes, quota, anti-dumping cases, etc
  4. Intellectual property rights: This section ensures that the imported goods are properly packaged without copyright marking. 

Risks of non-compliance with the imports

  1. It can be expensive: The overall process can be heavy on the pockets, considering penalties and fines, labor costs, time-to-market costs, and other costs. 
  2. Delays can occur: The process can be considered time-consuming when it comes to delivery disruptions and clearance. Poor reliability can also lead to unwanted delays. 
  3. Reputation: It can impact the overall standing. The importance of the organization or the importer can be greatly affected by inefficient declarations and filings, security vulnerabilities, criminal proceedings, and sanctions. 


Customs play a pivotal role in the whole process of import and export. The customs department helps identify prohibited products, checks for taxes if they are paid, and thoroughly examines other necessities in the customs department.

It’s undeniable that the stronger the customs department, the better the reputation of that particular country worldwide.


Q1. What is the customs clearance entry?

It’s a series of documents formally presented to the customs authorities for any import or export of goods. This document holds all the details of the goods being exported or imported, such as weight, quality, quantity, etc. 

Q2. What is a customs clearance bill of entry?

Once the imported goods arrive at the destined location, the importer or agent dealing with the matter files a legal document. This document is also known as the Bill of Entry. 

Q3. What are the two types of entry in customs?

The two categories of entry in customs are formal entry and informal entry. Their difference is in the nature and value of the goods being imported.

The formal entry is where the goods being imported are of high value and need to have a surety bond for the goods to be accepted by the respective country. These are goods for commercial purposes worth above Rs 50,000, and those who have bonds with CBP are allowed to take the goods before even paying the duties, taxes, and fees on them.

 On the other hand, an informal entry is for commercial goods below Rs 50,000 that don’t need a surety bond to be accepted but have to clear customs before liquidating them.

Q4. Who is responsible for customs clearance?

The importer is responsible for clearing the customs in India as per the Customs Act of 1962. The importer himself acts as a representative body and deals with the customs authority himself. First, by filing a bill of entry, the importer has to pay the duty and taxes that are applicable and submit it to the port authorities. The authorities will then assess and evaluate the goods to check whether they adhere to the law.

Q5. What is a type 86 entry?

This type of entry and this specific number represent an entry type for the goods imported into the USA. If the shipment value for any imported goods to the USA is less than $800, the import of goods can also be continued without payment. 

Q6. What is the difference between customs clearance and customs declaration?

Customs clearance is any process in which the products are thoroughly checked before being sent out or received within the country. Customs check the goods that are supposed to be imported or exported.

A customs declaration is another process that a document (legal) continues. That document proves that the imported or exported goods are declared okay to be processed further. 

Q7. What is the importance of customs?

Customs play a pivotal role in many different ways for protection purposes. The stronger the businesses of any country, the better the government can protect itself from prohibited products, the more its economy can scale up, and it is beneficial for the environment, the jobs for the employees, and the residents of that country.

It’s because the Department of Customs is responsible for controlling goods flow, including all goods going out or received within the country. 

Q8. What comes after customs clearance?

 Once all duties and taxes are levied and paid in customs, the next step for the goods will be to choose a trusted courier service responsible for transporting the shipment from businesses to the destination. 

Q9. What are the five principles of customs?

The five principles of custom are as follows:

  1. Valuing human resources: it’s an important factor that can’t be neglected in the import and export process. 
  2. Administrative decentralization: It’s mainly because, without this factor, things may get messed up and wouldn’t run smoothly. 
  3. Legality: It’s another important aspect of the import and export process because, whichever product is imported from whichever country, the legitimacy of that particular product is a must. 
  4. Reducing bureaucracy: The reduction in bureaucracy plays a key role in customs. 
  5. Organizational flexibility: It’s important because that particular organization is responsible for importing goods, and its flexibility should be the top priority. 

Q10. What is another name for customs duty?

Another name for customs duty is import tariff or import tax. When goods are imported from a country, the import tax applies to those imported goods.

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Amitha Shet Content Writer
Amitha is a creative enthusiast, which gets her into educating the world about things she comprehends. Finance, business, and digital transformation are the topics that she is profoundly interested in so that she can make things simpler for the audience. She is currently a content strategist for a fintech company. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering, although finance is a niche that piques her interest to not just educate but to invest and gain experience.

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