Imported goods are transported by land, air, and sea. When goods arrive in any country, certain procedures are followed in receiving them. Customs procedures are the sequence of formalities that are filled when specific merchandise is imported or exported to a customs destination. Please find the Import General Manifest (IGM in customs), and the Bill of Entry explained below.
Did you know? In special cases, even after 30 days have passed since the shipment's arrival, customs permits filing a bill of entry.
What is Import General Manifest?
IGM's full form is Import General Manifest. It is a legal document filed by the carrier of the goods at the destination customs location. It contains detailed information about any goods arriving at that location. The IGM is regarded as confirmation that the cargo has successfully arrived at its destination. This document is a mandatory requirement when goods arrive at a destination. Once imports arrive at the location, each country's government requires carriers to complete the Import General Manifest.
Bill of Entry
A bill of entry is a required legal document that importers and customs brokers must submit before or at the same time as the arrival of imported goods as a part of the customs clearance process. The importer will then be able to submit an International Trade Commission (ITC)claim for the items after this is finished. The term "bill of entry" is used to describe an electronic integrated declaration that has been approved and given a unique number by the Indian Customs Electronic Data Interchange System, as well as any electronic records or print-outs associated with it.
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What Is an Import General Manifest?
The Import General Manifest is a legal document required at the destination port before the cargo arrives. IGM is filed by the carrier of the goods. It contains all the relevant information about the shipment, such as
- The IGM number
- A detailed description of the goods
- The name and address of the importer
- Line number
- The Name of the Port
The carrier is required to notify Customs of the specifics of the shipment's arrival at the port of the destination country before the cargo reaches the port. This cargo information is submitted through an Import General Manifest. The transporter of the goods or his broker is in charge of submitting the IGM. The airway bill or bill of lading issued by the carrier is frequently used to submit the IGM. It contains facts about the shipper, the consignee, the total number of packages, the types of packages, the description of the goods, and bill details, among other things. The customs authorities carry out an IGM enquiry to confirm the data listed in the document.
After the Import General Manifest is filed, the importer or his broker hands over the document to customs along with the imported goods. These are thoroughly checked for any discrepancies.
Above given is an example of an IGM issued under the company name ‘WinPos Cargo Demo V8.’ This IGM contains all the required information about the shipment being transferred. The IGM has a file name “103798” and includes the names of the shipping company & the consignee. It also includes the dates of transfers, place & destination of pickup or discharge, any middle agent names & the total amount.
Also Read: How to Master the Export-Import Business as an Agent/Broker in India?
What Is a Bill of Entry?
A Bill of Entry is an important and legally binding document. This document must be submitted by the importer or his customs broker to the authorised customs department. The carrier's bill of entry must be in accordance with all the import clearance requirements so that the customs clearance process is completed successfully. The goods can be transported to the intended location if this process is cleared.
The Bill of Entry includes the mentioned documents:
- Port Number
- License Number
- Brokers code
- Import Export Code
- The Name of the Importer
- The address of the importer
The address will be filled in automatically if the importer is a registered taxpayer. The document is formatted clearly and precisely, and it is signed by both parties and ends with a declaration. One is set aside for the importer and the other for the internal broker. The commodities may be put up for auction by the authorities if the importer fails to submit the Bill of Entry within 30 days of the goods arrival at the customs station for any reason. When the importer refuses to communicate with the authorities, claim ownership, or provide the necessary paperwork, this may happen. By delaying the date of filling out the Bill of Entry, the importer can ask for more time from the customs officials to prevent having their goods put up for auction.
IGM vs Bill of Entry: What’s the Difference?
Now that we know these two documents, we need to distinguish them by looking at how they work in imports.
The IGM import general manifest is a legal document filed by the carrier of goods at the destination customs location containing information about the arrival of goods at that destination customs location. The legal document filed by the importer or his customs house agent to complete import customs clearance procedures in order to take delivery of imported cargo is known as a "bill of entry."
The importer files the necessary Bill of Entry based on the Import General Manifest to complete customs clearance procedures and formalities. When there is no electronic filing system available at a customs location, the Import General Manifest is filed manually.
Also Read: Import and Export Procedures & Documentation Followed in India
The Process of Customs Clearance
- Filing an Import General Manifest happens before the goods arrive. The person in charge of the vehicle should electronically file an Import General Manifest. If it is not available electronically, they should file it manually. This file would contain detailed information about all of the products imported by the vessel.
- Following a review of the Import General Manifest and document verification, the customs authorities will grant the vessel entry into the country, assign an IGM number to the manifest, and allow the vessel's master to land and unload the cargo.
- Once the vessel arrives, the goods are handed over to the custodian until they clear customs. A custodian may be a person authorised for this purpose by the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner of Customs. The goods are unloaded if the manifest report includes a note to unload the goods. Only approved areas in the customs port are to be used for unloading. The unloading will be done under the strict monitoring of authorised officials only.
- Once the documentation is completed, the importer must file the Bill of Entry in accordance with the Import General manifest. This document is filed in an electronic format. The importer needs to do a self-assessment of the taxes to be paid. Once the document is filed and the duty and taxes are paid, keep in mind the applicable exchange rate and the import duty rate.
- Once the Bill of entry is submitted along with the taxes and duty, the importer will receive a copy of the e-duty- Paid challan and other supporting documents, which can be submitted to the port authorities for clearance. The authorities will then issue a clearance order. This ensures that the carrier has completed all import customs clearance formalities.
Key Points to Remember
- Because the filing processes differ, carriers must be familiar with the filing rules of the associated destination or country. However, there are some general considerations.
- Before arriving at the port, carriers must complete the IGM form and provide information about the freight shipment.
- The document must be submitted to the respective country's customs department.
- Customs authorities will ask you to provide supporting documents after you have filed the document. These will validate the information in the IGM form.
- Carriers must ensure that the information on the IGM form and the related documents is correct.
- The cargo is free to move once the customs department verifies all the shipment details.
Also read: Import Export Business - Step By Step Guide for Starting An Import Export Business in India
Irrespective of how the items are transported, the IGM affirms that the carrier has complied with all relevant legal requirements. The process for submitting the IGM may vary based on where you are in relation to each customs department.
It is crucial to complete and submit the IGM in order to carry freight properly. It is crucial to enter the IGM document's details carefully to prevent issues onwards. Carriers should also become familiar with the destination country's customs procedures. They can get in touch with the customs department to confirm all the documents required for filing the IGM and other information regarding the procedure.
When commodities are imported, the importer or a customs broker files a legal document upon the arrival of the products. This document is called the "Bill of entry." The bill of entry is delivered to the customs department and plays a significant role in the customs clearance process. The importer’s details, such as the name and address, the customs house agent code, the importer's export code, the country of origin and its code, the country of consignment and its code, the port of shipment, the name of the vessel, and some important information about the goods are all included in the bill of entry in a very clear format. A bill of entry validates that the imported goods have been billed and classified for the purpose of duty assessment. Following that, the duty amount is paid, and the goods are cleared through customs.
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