Customs Import Procedures

Understanding the procedures involved when importing goods and the customs formalities involved.

Import Customs Procedures;

  • Provision of information about the arrival of Goods;
  • The means of Transport;
  • Presentation of Goods;
  • Declaration of Goods;
  • Examination of Goods;
  • Release of Goods;

A person or company importing goods or person responsible for their carriage are require to declare and present the goods to customs. This means that Revenue must be notified that the goods have arrived, and must be presented at the place of unloading. Once the goods are presented to Revenue at the place of landing and are removed to an approved Temporary Storage facility premises, they may be assigned to a customs procedure or remain in a Temporary Storage facility for a maximum duration of 90 days.

Declarations may be made when goods are presented, or within a short time afterward. The importer or his representative - Customs Clearance Agent will make the declaration. Goods will be released once any duties have been paid.

However declarations may be lodged up to 30 days before the goods are shipped. You may obtain a green routing from Revenue message in order for the goods to pass the border without presentation.

The goods have been pre-declared to free movement and duties paid to customs.

Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland, goods will be cleared under the appropriate customs procedure, no general formalities are required.

Goods can only be landed at at place approved by customs, however, unapproved places are exceptionally permitted. The following places are approved in Ireland.

• For goods imported by sea, the approved area within an approved port

• For goods imported by air, an approved customs airport (the only approved customs airports are Dublin, Cork and Shannon)

• For goods that are not cleared by Revenue at a port or airport, an approved temporary storage facility

You can appoint a representative to work on your behalf. The type of representation may be either direct or indirect. Direct representatives act in the name of and on behalf of another person. Indirect representatives act in their own name but on behalf of another person.


Customs Declarations are required on all goods entering the country from the UK by using a SAD (Single Administrative Document), this is presented to customs by the importer or the the representative (Customs Clearance Agent) usually electronically.

Goods imported into the EU must be declared to Revenue electronically through Revenue’s Automated Import System (AIS). This system allows importers or their agents to clear consignments at import by lodging an electronic customs declaration to Revenue. Further information on this system is available in the AIS section on the Revenue website.

A SAD is issued for the placement of any goods whatever mode of transport is used and under any customs procedure.

Goods may be detained

If a SAD has not been issued

If not enough information is furnished and more information is required

If an import license is required but not furnished

If a safety sheet has not been furnished for chemicals or hazardous material.

If fraud has been suspected.

Further information may be obtained my visiting A Traders Guide to Customs Import Procedures (

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