How to minimize import cargo clearance time? An open logic proposal to WTO


The information provided here is part of Online export import training guide 

Why can not a single window system for import cargo clearance worldwide to facilitate importers to pay import duty after delivery of goods at buyer’s place by introducing a post clearance audit.

In most of the countries, procedures and formalities to take delivery of imported goods is a herculean task. Without compromising on economic stability of a country, caliber of department who involves in import clearance to be improved with more liberalization of procedures and formalities worldwide.

How to minimize import cargo clearance time
Why can not a single window system of import cargo clearance be adopted globally. As per my opinion, World Trade Organization need to take initiative and look in to the matter, so as to enable the traders in each country to complete import clearance at minimum period of time, say within three hours of  arrival of goods at destination customs location, importer need to be allowed to take delivery of imported goods.

As per my experience, the major dwell time consumes on assessment procedures and determination of duty amount in each country. Examination of goods can be reduced by installing x ray camera system in each customs location. VACIS exam introduced by US customs (CBP) is a good example of success on this matter.

My question is, why can not customs department release cargo to importers against execution of a running solvency certificate with a running bond and allow to pay import duty after delivery of imported goods.

Importers can be categorized based on their financial status approved by chartered accountant (or government agencies) on the basis of audited balance sheet and financial accounts for the past years on average basis. Such categories of importers can be allowed to take delivery of imported goods on arrival of goods and necessary import duties if any can be paid on post clearance basis.

Ok, I can understand some of the importers who may not have enough fixed assets to obtain solvency certificate against their obligation of duty under imported goods. In such cases, why can not customs accept a running bank guarantee with a running bond to take delivery of imported goods. Let the post  clearance audit procedures be strengthened, as the importers can pay import duty after receiving goods at their place.


In India, introduction of RMS (Risk Management System) is a good movement to reduce dwell time of importers and exporters to customs clear the cargo.

Filing of import documents before arrival of cargo can be adopted worldwide. This advance filing arrangements of import documents can minimize cargo clearance time at import location. Although there is facility to file import bill of entry documents before arrival of cargo, the traders do not utilize such facility widely. Up to some extend, advance filing arrangements can avoid demurrage and detention on imported goods and equipments.

Another threat on import clearance procedures and formalities is the involvement of many government agencies. Under a single window system, such involvement of many government agencies can be reduced.

VACIS exam in US import clearance is a good movement, as the cargo can be examined with x ray gamma rays arrangements. If such facilities can be introduced globally with wide arrangements, that would be a great movement in minimizing cargo clearance time worldwide.

Here the question is whether facility like VACIS exam is affordable for under developed countries and developing countries? As per my opinion “yes”, because such single window clearance system has to be adopted globally under a single agency with funding arrangements globally. Necessary financial assistance has to be provided to under developed countries and developing countries to implement such single window clearance system for import and export cargo.

I suggest, WTO – World Trade Organization can take initiative on this issue.


The above information is a part of Import Export course online


Related post:TRADE FACILITATION AGREEMENT and INDIA click here to read


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 How to minimize import cargo clearance time? An open logic proposal to WTO


S.Barbara: This article is very good. The suggestion is very good, let us hope, this method will be introduced soon by government

can you guide : dear can you guide me what's a document prcidure for import/export. i work as exim executive in ltd company. last 11 year. i need deap knowledge in this field thanks with regards umesh panthri

Dinesh: I'm trying to import a cellphone spare worth ($60 ~ Rs.3700) from Hongkong. Is this product dutiable by customs? I'm importing this for my personal use.

Melody Spencer : I do understand certain factors which you pointed out as causes for delayed cargo clearance and agrees with your suggestion as well. I felt your suggestion of following the process of advance filing of import documents quite sensible. I just wonder why even the modern traders don’t fully adopt such facilities on to their supply chain management system. I referred internet regarding this matter and I found that some international logistics and transportation companies are making good use of such solutions. Here is one such example of a system where the customs clearance for a road freight services provider was automated (  ). The system basically helps shippers and carriers to pre-submit declaration in a highly secure and acceptable format to the customs authorities of several countries through which the logistics transportation is being done. It is also possible to track the status of the submission, do any re-submissions for the rejections as well as cancel any submissions if needed.  The payment management module takes care of processing of declaration submission fee, refundments, payment tracking etc. The guarantee management module deals with all the aspects related to guarantee deposited by the guarantor and its status tracking (whether it’s released back to the guarantor / not) etc. In a nutshell, it was proved that this system implementation could improve transparency of the whole customs procedures, 60% more efficient and speedier doc processing, collection of revenue and goods release. It is also great to see the system has reduced overall transaction costs up to considerable amount. Proper automation of customs clearance can save greater portion processing time and operating costs. Hope at least some got the real essence that I shared here.    

adit: I had ordered by product from US is like to release my order i was told to pay the taxes sir you release my goods and I am ready to pay the taxes but sir I won't my order at my address i will pay the taxes and clearness to the delivery boy.

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