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Custom entry is a declaration of goods entering or leaving the country that is processed legally in accordance with the laws and regulations. In the whole process of customs clearance, customs entry plays a major role in clearing the cargo on time. Customs clearance in short is a necessary procedure for permitting goods that are transported to a country.

Customs entry documents provide details about the shipment such as value and description of goods, country of origin, commercial invoice, packing lists and etc.

A good customs entry procedure can benefit the business in many ways like saving them from paying extra fines and clearing their goods on time.

Types of documents used in Customs Entry

There are various documents you might need to provide for customs clearance when importing or exporting goods. It’s crucial to understand what documents you require and why you need them.

The main reason why you need these documents to proceed the import or export of goods is to prevent illegal or prohibited cargo from entering or leaving a country.

The kind of documentation you require for importing and exporting your items will depend on the type of goods you have. Types of documents can differ depending on the country of origin or destination. But let’s look into some common documents needed for customs entry:

  1. Commercial Invoice – A legal document of sales transactions between the buyers and the sellers
  2. Packing Lists – A list that is used to identify the packages being shipped with the help of coding and details of the packages’ weight, volume, or number of packages.
  3. Country of Origin – The country from where the goods have been sent.
  4. Description of the goods – This includes all the quantity, and unit of the measure invoice number, date of issue, and total item value.
  5. Cost, insurance, and Freight (CIF)
  6. Customs Clarification Number.
  7. Approximate Number of Duties you may expect to pay on the goods.

Apart from the above-mentioned documents, there are two types of entries. They are formal entries and informal entries.

Formal Entries

The goods valued at $2500 or more must be covered by an entry or surety bond to bring them into a country. These kinds of goods require a formal entry. Since these goods have a high value, they are assumed as commercial goods.

Informal Entries

The goods that are valued below $2500. Since these goods are assumed they are not used for commercial purposes, there’s no entry or surety bond in order to bring them into a country.


  1. Time-consuming

The declaration of goods and manual customs entry documents is very time-consuming. Coping up with the expansion of international trade with a limited number of laborers can lead to an excessive workload which can be stressful.

  1. Prone to errors

There are high chances of human errors while handling the customs entry process manually. For example, a slight error in an invoice number can lead to misdeclarations and more errors and delays in updating documents. 

  1. Additional expenses

Manually entering the customs entry process can be highly error-prone. Rectifying these errors can incur additional expenses as employees have to work overtime. 

  1. Causes delayed arrivals

Due to errors in the customs entry process, customs clearance can get delayed resulting in a setback in arrivals of goods to the destination. This can lead to extra penalties for anchoring the ship and also affect the relationships with stakeholders.

  1. Seasonal Variations 

During special seasonal times, more goods come into a country compared to other times of the year. At the same time, regular workers take leaves during special seasonal times of the year. In order to continue the operational activities in the customs, managers hire temporary workers as a replacement. Due to the unfamiliarity with the data entry process, these workers can cause more errors in data entry which costs additional expenses to rectify.


With all the drawbacks of a complete manual customs entry system we discussed above, shifting to a data entry automation is the best decision for a business. Data entry automation makes sure all your data is entered efficiently and effectively.

Go paperless – Manual data entry operators have to go through thousands of paperwork on a daily basis. By adopting a paperless approach and storing data in the cloud, data entry operators can easily access documents anytime anywhere.

Enhance customer relationships with advanced workflows – Standardize businesses’ workflows to identify risks, make quick decisions, and get approvals on time. This will help the goods to be delivered on time to the end destination. As a result, a good and healthy relationship can be maintained with the customer.

Free from extra penalties – Customers can be freed from paying extra penalties for anchorage by entering data accurately in the customs entry process.

All these challenges can be met by shifting to customs entry automation. By doing this, businesses can save time, increase efficiency, enter accurate data, and gain more control of the business all while being cost-effective.


PaperEntry by Deep Cognition is an AI software solution created to provide many automated services. PaperEntry is a Customs Entry Automation solution that helps businesses successfully clear customs at affordable prices.

You can get a clear vision of the whole process of Paper Entry in the solution section of Deep Cognition.

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