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IGM (Import General Manifest)

What is the Difference Between an Import General Manifest (IGM) and a Bill of Entry?

Differentiating between an IGM (Import General Manifest) and a Bill of Entry can be a little difficult.

  • How does an IGM work in imports?
  • How does a Bill of Entry work in imports?

The above-mentioned questions would assist in the differentiation of those two documents.

What is an IGM?

It is legally bound document completed solely by the carrier of the goods at the delivery customs location. It contains the entire information regarding the shipment and commodity travelling across different borders.

What is a Bill of Entry?

Similarly, bill of entry is also a legal document but it is completed by the importer, or by his customs house agent, which is hired by the importer only. The motive behind the filling out the document would be to pass import customs clearance procedures to receive delivery of any imported cargo or commodity dealt in the process of trading.

How does an IGM work in imports?

IGM is a document as mentioned solely prepared by the carrier of the goods with the relevant customs department for the clearance procedure.it is mandatory that the document must contain all the details of the goods arriving at the customs destination otherwise the clearance procedure will be disrupted.

Since there is no way the carrier can get released from the completion of this document because it is a compulsory requirement once products arrive at the destination. Mostly all the governments insist that carriers fill out the Import General Manifest once imports reach the location of the custom.

Import General Manifest should include the following information:

  • IGM number
  • Line number
  • Importer’s name
  • Importer’s address
  • Description of goods
  • Port of loading
  • Various other details of the goods

The above-mentioned points must be contained regarding the imports by each bill of lading/airway bill. In the details serial number that must indicate in the Import General Manifest. The importer needs to file all the documents with customs clearance for the further procedure once the process is entirely done. The entire process is to ensure whether the carrier has all the featured and required information in the form of documents.

Once the details are manually entered into the system since electronic filling machines are merely available customs locations. Instead, the client of the carrier may find a customs agent filling in the details and ensuring that they capture every piece of information required for the IGM, that is why the carrier of the importer needs to consume all sorts of documents and files claiming the transaction.

It is to be noted that the import customs location will not accept the clearance documents if there are any mistakes found while completing the Import General Manifest, The Import Customs Clearance document details must match all the details in the Import General Manifest, the documents and information must match in all.

What is a Bill of Entry in imports?

Similar to IGM, a Bill of Entry is also a legal document but it is filled out by the importer or his customs broker with the relevant customs department, who is in actuality hires the department for effective practice. Ensuring the Bill of Entry prepared by the carrier meets all the necessary import customs clearance formalities is the only way to take the goods out of customs.

Once the documentation is approved by the Customs officer then only the bill of entry is approved for further approval and procedure. The following will tell the documents required in a Bill of Entry.

The Bill of Entry includes:

  • Port code
  • License number
  • Customs house agent code
  • IEC (Import Export Code)
  • Importer’s name
  • Importer’s address

It should be noted that if the importer is a registered taxpayer, the address will be auto-populated. In the documents, two sections give a window two people. One would be the importer, and the other has to be the customs house agent.

Within the stipulated time frame of 30 days after the arrival of goods at a customs location, the importer fails to file the Bill of Entry such goods can be subjected to auctioning by the authorities. The situation will only occur when importer fails to show the documentation of the imported commodity, without that the customs authority has no obligation to put it further auctions without any delegations.

The importer can prevent the auctions of goods by directly submitting the documents required for the release or it can happen by putting up a request for more time from the customs authorities by asking them to extend the date of filling for the Bill of Entry. Although, the request should be made within 30 days only, otherwise destinations customs ports hold no obligation for a statement. But there are cases for example in many special circumstances, customs authorities can permit importers or their customs broker to file the Bill of Entry after 30 days have passed since the goods arrived but as mentioned it could go either way. Hence it is suggested that the documents should be filed.

For effective guidance and proper indulgence of IGM and Bill of entry, clients are supposed to get in contact with the concerned authorities and institutions.