Focus: customs declaration

Focus on customs declaration

The complete focus to understand everything about customs declarations of cross-border shipments.
guide complet for customs management

All about the customs declaration

The customs declaration constitutes  the legal act by which a person manifests its intention to assign a customs procedure to goods, for importation or exportation.

The customs declaration calculates duties and taxes, compiles statistics about international trade and organizes targeted controls.

customs management
How does it work ?
customs duties and taxes
Who issues the customs declaration ?

There are three types of customs representations :

– En In one’s own account : he importer or the exporter establishes the customs declaration on its behalf and for its own account..

– In In direct representation : a customs representative, specialized in customs operations, establishes the declaration on behalf of others for their account.

– En In indirect representation : a customs representative establishes the customs declaration in its name, but on behalf of others.

Where to file the customs declaration ?

Nowadays, because of technological advances, many countries have online customs services (for example, DELTA for France), where you can file a dematerialized customs declaration.

Otherwise, and if the concerned customs services have no online infrastructure, lthe declaration must be submitted at the customs office of entry or exit from the concerned customs territory, at the time of the goods’ customs clearance.

The mandatory data

These mandatory data must appear on the customs declaration :

– The name or the business name of the importer / exporter, customs declarant or customs representative (if the latter is different from the importer / exporter),

– The type of declaration, depending of the origin of goods,

The origin of goods,

The nature of goods,

– The value excluding tax of goods.

To find out more about customs clearance systems in the European Union but also worldwide, consult our knowledge base including detailed country sheets here. 

The customs documentation

Specific documents must be provided to the customs authorities, for all customs clearances, regardless to the type of goods involved, plus the necessary permits and authorizations for certain goods (food, hazardous materials,…)

product data ecommerce transiteo
merchandise tariff classification transiteo

– The export declaration,

– A transport document, the «bill of lading» is the one used in most cases,

– The packing list or the manifeste,

– The certificate of origin of the goods,

– The insurance documents, qui indiquent which indicate the coverage conditions and policies of the goods.


– The import declaration,

– The commercial invoice for the transaction,

– A transport document, the “bill of lading” is the one used in most cases,

– The packing list,

– The certificate of origin of the goods.

The specific documents

Certain goods must be accompanied by additional documents for import or export operations :

– The document confirming the sanitary control, DSCE-PV (common sanitary entry document) in Europe, for plant products,

– The document confirming the veterinary control, CVED (common veterinary entry document) in Europe, for live animals or animal products,

– Import authorization for chemicals, REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) in Europe,

– Import authorization (IA) for medicines,

– The accompanying waste document,

– The authorization to import war materials,

– The authorization to import or export explosive products,

– The transport declaration for lithium cells and batteries.

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Please note : This article is updated regularly to comply with applicable regulations and laws. For any comments or suggestions, do not hesitate to write to us at !

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