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Customs manifest

What is a customs manifest in shipping?

In international container shipping, a customs manifest serves as a crucial document that lists in detail all the bills of lading issued by a carrier, its agent or master for a specific voyage and port call. It is a detailed summary of the total cargo of a vessel and is used principally for customs purposes. It acts as a declaration to customs authorities, ensuring compliance with regulations and facilitating smooth movement of goods through ports and checkpoints.

What is included in a customs manifest?

A customs manifest typically includes a description of the goods being shipped along with quantities, weights, values, origins, destinations, and relevant identifying numbers like container numbers and seal numbers. This comprehensive information enables customs officials to assess duties and taxes, verify compliance with import/export restrictions, and mitigate security risks by scrutinizing the contents of shipments.

How are customs manifests used?

The customs manifest plays a vital role in facilitating global trade by streamlining customs clearance processes. By providing complete and transparent information about cargo, it enhances security measures, enabling authorities to identify and intercept illicit or prohibited goods, thus safeguarding national interests and international supply chains.

Are customs manifests a legal requirement?

Yes, customs manifests are a legal requirement in shipping when cargo is being transported across international borders.