Information and services website for entrepreneurs

Documents in import and export

  • Export

It is not compulsory to produce a commercial invoice at the time of export of goods. In order to make customs clearance, it is sufficient to draw only a pro-forma invoice, a customs invoice or a provisional invoice. These documents, however, are not accounting documents. So, the settlement of accounts and tax for the above activities may take place only after the issuance of the commercial invoice.

In order to account for the income tax return applying the 0% VAT rate, it is necessary to obtain appropriate documents confirming the exit of the goods outside the customs territory of the EU. Usually, it is the IE 599 document generated by the ECS export control system. Other evidence of the above could be:

  • an electronic document obtained from the computerized system used for handling export declarations or a print of this document certified by the customs office;
  • an electronic document derived from the computerized system used for handling of export declarations, obtained outside the system, if its authenticity is ensured;
  • an export declaration filed in paper form, outside the computerized system for operating export declarations, or its copy certified by the customs office.

Currently, clearance operations can be carried out in the country or in another EU country. However, you must remember that the customs clearance can be submitted only by an entity seated in the EU. This means that always the local entity is responsible for the proper execution of the export procedure. This is important for the handling of goods by the foreign purchaser by his own means of transport, where the course of the above procedure and obtaining the previously mentioned documents will depend on the behaviour of others (the driver, the recipient). Therefore, to minimize the risk of violation of the export procedure, it is necessary to design such delivery conditions, including the adoption of such a base price, which will take into account the above assumptions, and will lead to the transfer of ownership of the goods outside the EU. It is also possible to accept a security on property from the counterparty in the amount of VAT payable (national rate) in the event that the goods have not left the customs territory of the EU. The same effect can be obtained by an appropriate safety clause in the contract with the foreign counterpart.

  • Import

For the purpose of an import clearance and determining the customs value as the transaction price, it is necessary to present the commercial invoice. As a result, the invoice should be available at the time of importation of the goods and the check-in for clearance. Its absence does not fully rule out the possibility of releasing the goods on the market. However, it requires the use of the I or II simplification form and filing an incomplete clearance. More on this topic in the article "Simplified procedure - an incomplete clearance"

Nevertheless, it should be pointed out that the effectiveness of an import clearance will also be determined by other documents, including the proof of compliance of the imported goods with the conditions relating to product safety (CE mark) or with health requirements. As a result, it is necessary for the foreign contractor to supply the consignment with documents fulfilling the above requirements.

It is just as important for the entity to provide documents affecting the level of import duties to be paid. As a result, the entity should provide such documents as certificates of origin and certificates stating the chemical composition of the imported goods.