There are a lot of steps involved in the customs clearance procedure when importing goods to India. To gather a basic understanding of the process, look at the simplified stages of clearance as given below.  

Bill of Entry – Cargo Declaration 

The first thing you have to do when you get your imports is to declare them in your customs form. They need to be cleared by the officials for you to receive a formal Bill of Entry into the country.  

However, if you clear your goods through the EDI system, you don’t need a Bill of Entry. But do note that you need to file a cargo declaration in all instances.  

You also need to file a host of documents for the clearance process. These include: the signed invoice, packing list, import license, letter of credit etc.  

EDI Assessment 

The EDI system of customs declaration only slightly varies from the regular procedure in assessing officers transfer the cargo declaration electronically instead of manually. In this system, all the calculations the computer does the calculations instead.  


Once you’ve filled in all the necessary forms, you will find an assessing officer examining these documents. They take note of the legitimacy of the exemptions or benefits you’ve claimed under export promotion schemes. They also assess if there any restrictions on imported goods, and invoices of goods and determine if they can clear these goods are not.  

Examination of Goods 

It is the responsibility of the assessing officers to examine the imported goods against its description in the Bill of Entry to see if they match. The officials conduct these appraisements in two stages to be thorough.  

Green Channel Facility  

A lot of major importers have a green channel clearance facility. Here, officials declare the clearance of goods without routine physical examination. They usually only check numbers to see if everything is as stated in the forms. 

Execution of Bonds 

If you want to opt for duty-free assessment or concessional assessment under different schemes, you need to submit forms for the execution of bonds.  

Payment of Duty 

You can pay the import duty through a bank or TR- 6 challans. Different custom offices have authorised different banks for the payment of their duty, so do check that before you start this process.  

Amendment of Bill of Entry 

If there are mistakes in the documents you’ve provided, you can make amendments to the forms. However, these changes can only go through with the approval of the Deputy or Assistant commissioner.  

These are the steps usually taken for clearance of imports. Some slight variations can occur depending on the size or nature of your consignments and how they arrive in the country.