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  • Writer's pictureLeylek Express Danışmanlık

What is Customs? What are the Customs Clearance Procedures?

In this article, we will focus on customs and customs clearance, which is one of the most important concepts for companies that import or export. In our article, you can find answers to questions such as what is customs, what is customs clearance, what are the stages of customs clearance.

What is Customs?

It is a tax, duty or charge taken from any goods exported or imported from a country, in accordance with the applicable Customs Laws. The concept of customs is also used for the region where all these transactions are made. Customs institution in Turkey works under the supervision and responsibility of the Ministry of Customs and Trade. Therefore, the current customs laws in force are supervised by this ministry.

What is Customs Clearance?

Without exception, all states have their own independent customs zones. Of course, in these customs zones, the entry and exit processes of goods and goods in circulation for both import and export are kept under control. If necessary, various actions are taken at this point. These practices are carried out by all states and these practices are carried out according to various international rules. Thus, in these transactions, states fulfill their responsibilities towards each other.

What Does Customs Clearance Do?

With the customs clearance process, the entry of the products subject to the trade between the states into the borders is inspected, regulated and recorded. No stakeholder will be able to profit from the imported products and trade goods that will enter the relevant country in the absence of customs clearance.

In addition, security vulnerabilities will be minimized, as it is possible to track every product entering the country through customs clearance. Inspection of goods entering the country is of great importance for the peace and tranquility of the country and society.

Customs also specifies a border line for each country and contributes to the international prestige of the countries.

What are the Customs Clearance Procedures?

Almost all products entering countries from abroad are subjected to a "customs-approved treatment or use" in customs laws. These transactions are;

- subject to a customs regime

- put in a free zone

- destruction

- re-export

- or it is left to customs.

What are the Stages of Customs Clearance?

Customs consultants generally assist customers in order to successfully carry out the necessary procedures at the customs clearance stage. But if it is necessary to explain in a simple way, the customs clearance stages can be listed as follows.

- Completion of the production of the relevant goods, packaging and making them suitable for shipping

- Providing logistics organization. (We recommend you to read our What is Logistics article)

- Loading the containers and transporting the goods to the loading port or customs gates

- Correct preparation of all necessary documents in accordance with the customs legislation of the exporting country

- Complete and genuine filling of the customs declaration for shipment

- Inspection of the goods before the customs office of the exporting country

- The goods leave the customs territory of the exporting country and end the transactions with the export customs declaration.

What are the Documents Used in Customs Clearance?

In the customs clearance process, there are many documents that can vary according to the type of transaction and the transported goods, and the way of transport. These documents are listed below.

- Customs Declaration: It is the document submitted to the customs administration after the approval of the relevant exporter's union, after being filled in accordance with the Customs Legislation. It is essential to have a declaration in all customs clearance procedures. The declaration is the identity of the relevant transaction.

- A.T.A Carnet: It is the document that allows the temporary acceptance of the products without any customs tax and can be used instead of the national customs document.

- Analysis Report: It is a “safe” report that requires biochemical analyzes, especially for food and chemical substances.

- A.TR. Certificate of Movement: It is the document issued by the authorized institutions of the exporting countries in order for the goods in free circulation in Turkey and the European Union to benefit from the preferential regime stipulated in the Additional Protocol.

- Phytosanitary Certificate: It is the document showing that the plant or plant products do not contain dangerous diseases, harmful substances, drug residues and that they are protected from pests. It is one of the mandatory documents in agricultural export and import transactions.

- Packing List: It is the list of values in which the weight of each unit, package, container is shown in detail by the vehicles on which the goods are loaded.

- Box/Packaging List: It is a list containing numerical information such as the packaging of the products to be exported, the detailed content of each box, bale or sack, and the dimensions and weight of the parcels to be loaded.

- EUR.1 Circulation: It is a document regulated in the trade of EFTA Countries (Iceland. Liechtenstein. Norway, Switzerland), trade with other countries that have signed a Free Trade Agreement with Turkey, and in the trade of products within the scope of the agreement signed by Turkey with the European Union in iron and steel products, and providing privileges in transitions. .

- Commercial Invoice: It is the document issued on the spot, showing the information specific to the goods such as the type, name, quantity, unit sales price and total price of the goods sold. It can be called the final invoice of the import transaction.

- Proforma Invoice: It is a price offer or preliminary invoice submitted by the seller to the buyer. It serves as a confirmation for goods whose payment transaction has not yet been completed.

- Consular Invoice: Invoices approved by the consulate by filling in the blank invoice form that the exporter company will obtain from the consulate of the country to which it will export its goods.

- Certified Invoice: After the commercial invoice issued by the seller to the foreign buyer is approved by the consulate of the importing country, a certified invoice is issued.

- Freight Invoice: It is the invoice including the transportation fee, which is issued when the freight is paid by the seller. The freight amount can be shown in the cost of the goods or it can be shown as a separate item. It can be called the logistics invoice in the import process.

- Inspection Document: It is a document generally prepared by an impartial surveillance company to show whether the traded goods comply with the conditions specified in the sales contract.

- Halal Certificate: It is the document that Islamic countries demand for purchasing meat and animals from outside, and that the slaughter or rearing is in accordance with Islamic rules.

- Shipment Document (Bill of Lading): It is the transportation contract between the exporter and the logistics company or team that will transport the goods subject to transportation from a certain point to another.

- Sea Bill of Lading: It is the document proving that the relevant goods have been received or loaded for transport in maritime transport.

- Road Transport Document: It is a document showing that the customs goods have been received by the shipping company or the independent person doing the transport, in order to provide the logistics to the desired location.

- Mixed Transport Document: It is the document given to the shipper by the carrier when more than one means of transport is required for the transport of the related goods, showing that the goods will be transported from the place of receipt to the destination.

- Certificate of Origin: It is the document showing the country of origin of the goods subject to foreign trade, that is, the country of production.

- Special Certificate of Origin (Form AU): It is the certificate of origin issued for exports to countries that give preference to benefit from the concessional customs rates provided by the General Preferences system.

- Radiation Analysis Document: It is the document that proves that agricultural products do not contain more radiation than the acceptable rate, and that the natural ways in production are not left more than the condition.

- Insurance Policy: It is the document showing that the goods subject to insurance are insured against risks, and the rights and responsibilities of the parties, pursuant to the contract made between the insured and the insurance company.

- Truck Carnet: It is the document used for vehicles making international transportation between countries that are members of the TIR Convention (Transit International Routier) signed in Geneva in 1959.

- Airway Bill of Lading (Air Bill of Lading): It is the document showing that the goods issued by the airline companies have been received for transportation.

What is Customs Duty?

Article 3/8 as defined in the Customs Law No. 4458; The phrase "customs duties" refers to all of the import and export taxes applied to the goods in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations, or the taxes levied by the customs administrations due to the importation of the goods into or exportation from Turkey.

How Long Does Customs Clearance Take?

It is not possible to give a clear time on the duration of customs clearance procedures. This period varies according to the intensity of the transactions at the customs, the nature of the goods or products to be sent, as well as various factors. In general, the answer to the question of how long the customs clearance process will take is that this period will not exceed 10 days. However, it is possible for different scenarios to occur depending on the policies between the countries in the shipments made for import and export. In Turkey, the way has been opened for the rapid completion of customs clearance as required by law. However, document, document or various file deficiencies can be seen very often and these transitions can be delayed. As a result, it is very important for the customs clearance process to complete the necessary documents and files correctly.

Who Can Follow Customs Transactions?

Customs procedures; Direct representatives acting on behalf of someone else and indirect representatives acting on their own behalf but on behalf of someone else, namely customs consultants, can follow up and finalize the process. Customs brokers provide various services while performing customs clearance procedures.

Except for the people who make transit transportation or make a request as a supply, the person called the representative is the people residing in the Customs Territory of Turkey. Land, maritime and airline companies and representatives of shipping companies have the right to follow up the customs procedures directly only if they receive authorization and power of attorney.

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