Customs Record Keeping Requirements
When it comes to record keeping requirements, the following can differ between country to country:
- Which records to keep
- How long to keep
- In what format to keep
The penalties for not meeting record keeping requirements vary from country to country. It is generally a good idea for traders to keep all documents archived for at least 10 years in all countries (unless retention standards are longer).
Record keeping requirements between Tax and Customs authorities may overlap. Within companies, these departments will have to work together to streamline resources.
When it comes to record keeping requirements of Customs authorities, the legal requirements usually stipulates that all documents related to the imported or exported goods must be archived.
Even insignificant documents such as quotes by the courier of freight charges and volumetric weight calculation should be retained.
Hence, it could include the following:
- Import or Export declaration or entry – can be known as cargo clearance permit, import permit, bill of entry, administrative document etc.
- Transport Documents: Bills of Lading or Air Waybill
- Pre-import approval
- Sales contracts
- Purchase orders
- Pro Forma invoices
- Commercial invoices
- Tax invoices
- Packing lists
- Certificate of Analysis
- Certificates of Origin
- Material Safety Data Sheet
- Freight invoice
- Customs invoice
- Physio-sanitary certificate
- Dangerous Goods declaration
- Manufacturer’s declarations
- Other Governmental Agency (OGA) import/export approval documentation
- Any documents submitted to OGA in order to get approval documentation
- ATA Carnets (if used)
- End-use declaration
- Shipper’s letter of instruction
- All proof of payments made
- All proof of payments received
- Letters of credit
- Email communication related to each shipment
- Free Sale Certificates
- Insurance certification
- Surveyor reports (if applicable)
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