A Customs declaration is a form that lists the details of goods that are being imported or exported when a citizen or visitor enters a customs territory (country's borders). Most countries require travellers to complete a customs declaration form when bringing notified goods (alcoholic drinks, tobacco products, animals, fresh food, plant material, seeds, soils, meats, and animal products) across international borders. Posting items via international mail also requires the sending party to complete a customs declaration form.
The declaration form helps the customs to control the goods that entered the country, which can affect the country's economy, security or environment. A levy duty may be applied.
Travellers have to declare everything they acquired abroad and possibly pay customs duty tax on goods. Some countries offer a duty-free allowance of certain products which may not need to be declared explicitly.
Types of forms
- When an individual is transporting the goods, the form is called a customs arrival card, or a landing card, or an entry voucher. The traveller is required to fill out the form, sign and submit to the customs or border protection officer before entering the country.
- When an individual or an organization ships goods across the borders, one must use other customs declaration forms, such as a commercial invoice, or a proforma invoice, an import declaration form, an ATA Carnet, or a re-export declaration. Incoterms on these forms define the shipment and customs declaration. A Harmonized System Code (Hs code or harmonized code) might be required to define the type of goods and their associated tax rate. The importer is usually required to provide information about the goods' country of origin and the certificate of origin. Errors on the forms can cause delays or confiscation of the goods. For that reason, importers often use a customs brokerage to clear goods through customs.
Some nations require a customs declaration form from each person crossing the border, while other nations require one form per family traveling together. A family is usually defined as family members residing in the same household, who are related by marriage, adoption, blood, or domestic relationship.
The Kuwait Customs
- Alcohol of all kinds is forbidden to enter.
- Materials containing packaging. In quantities. Will be considered commercial and require a temporary import license
- Fees for commercial materials 5%
- Customs Broker http://www.eqab.net
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection handles the customs imports and exports of Australia. Incoming passengers are required to declare for inspection all food, plant material and animal products on arrival in Australia.
Customs declaration managed by the Canada Border Services Agency:
- Each Canadian resident returning to Canada can have a personal exception on goods and gifts purchased or received in another country. Personal exceptions are based on the length of the absence from the country. 24 hours, 48 hours, or 7 days.
- Alcohol limitations: 1.5 L of wine or 1.14 L of liquor or 24 x 355 mL cans or bottles (8.5 L) of beer or ale. (Must be of legal age in the province of importation.) Tobacco limitations, 200 cigarettes, 200 tobacco sticks, 50 cigars or cigarillos and 200 grams of manufactured tobacco (Special Duty may apply).
- Each individual must declare travelling with $10,000 or more in cash.
The European Union has a European Commission for Taxation and Customs Union. The European Union Customs Union sets trade in the EU. The European Customs Information Portal is an importing and exporting service provided by the EU. Some territories within the EU do not participate in the customs union, usually as a result of their geographic circumstances. Through agreements, the EU has customs unions with Andorra, San Marino, and Turkey respectively, with the exceptions of certain goods.
Items prohibited for import:
- Maps and literature where Indian external boundaries have been shown incorrectly
- Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
- Goods violating any of the legally enforceable intellectual property rights
- Wildlife products
- Counterfeit currency notes/coin or fake currency notes
- Specified Live Birds and animals
The UK Border Agency handles customs in the United Kingdom. The UK Border Agency works with HM Revenue and Customs. HMRC's Customs Declaration Service (CDS) is replacing the long-standing CHIEF system of customs declaration.
When the Northern Ireland Protocol comes into effect on 1 January 2021, the Customs Declaration Service will also be used for declarations on goods movements to or from Northern Ireland, including goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, but other customs declarations will continue to use CHIEF pending a longer-term move to the CDS. HMRC explains that "CHIEF is a reliable and robust platform" but "its age means it can’t easily keep pace with new technology".
- U.S. Customs asks the Head of a household to complete the form (CBP Form 6059B as of July 2016[update]). Family members residing in the same household, who are related by marriage, adoption, blood, or domestic relationship, can use one form.
- For returning U.S. residents: The personal duty exemption for each family member is $800.00. For example, a family of five members returning is allowed a combined personal duty exemption of $4,000 (calculated as $800 for each family member multiplied by 5).
- For international visitors: US laws allow visitors some exemptions, like tobacco, gifts, personal effects, etc. The head of a household can complete a form for a family. It is good to check the current duties and exemptions to avoid tax or loss of goods.
- Anyone travelling with more than $10,000 must declare it.
- At some international airports, the US operates United States border preclearance stations, where U.S. Customs and Border Protection is done before boarding the international flight.
- If exporting goods that are valued more than $2,500, an extra form is required: the Electronic Export Information (EEI) form. The Automated Export System (AES) is the system used by U.S. exporters to electronically declare their international exports. This information is used by the Census Bureau to help compile U.S. export and trade statistics.
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Customs control at Sheremetyevo-2 international airport