Bill of Entry in GST - Meaning, Payment and Filing Procedure

Bill of Entry in GST - Meaning, Importance, Types, Payment & Filing Procedure

The Bill of Entry (BOE) is a legal document for customs clearance of imports. Creating and verifying a BOE is time-consuming and requires precise documentation and information sharing. Therefore, importers and exporters must be familiar with BOEs for successful business management.

The Bill of Entry is the main document that deals with the import and export of goods under the GST. The Bill of Entry fills a valuable need in the global world by simplifying and securing the intricate Goods and Services Tax (GST) system in India.

What is Bill of Entry?

A Bill of Entry (BOE) is a legal document filed by the importers or customs clearance agents upon the arrival of perishable goods .

The BOE facilitates the import cargo's easy customs clearance. The BOE is a vital component of the customs clearance procedure as it enables the government to keep track of the movement of goods and services into and out of the nation.

Why is the bill of entry important?

The Bill of Entry(BOE) is highly important in the import and export process.

The importance of Bill of Entry are as follows:

  • Legal Needs: An importer must have a bill of entry to allow the imported goods to go through hassle-free customs clearance.
  • Facilitates Customs Clearance: The BOE fulfills the role of providing the official documentation required for the clearance of products through customs, ensuring that import laws are followed.
  • Records of the Movement of Goods: Governments are able to keep precise records of the movement of goods into and out of the nation with the help of a bill of entry.
  • Analyzing Trade Activities: In the import and export sectors, the government utilizes the information mentioned in the Bill of Entry to keep an eye on trade activities.
  • Ensures Compliance: The Bill of Entry aids in ensuring adherence to trade laws and customs policies by recording information about imported items.
  • Determines Duties and Taxes: The applicable duties, taxes, and tariffs on imported products are computed and levied using the data included in the Bill of Entry.
  • Prevents Unlawful Imports: Clear trading transactions are ensured by the right information provided by the Bill of Entry, which helps to stop illicit imports and smuggling.  
  • Supports Trade Statistics: Information gathered from Bill of Entry documents is used to compile trade statistics, which is helpful for economic research and the formulation of public policy.
  • Makes Trade Documentation Easier: The Bill of Entry, which serves as evidence of legitimate imports for commercial transactions, is a crucial part of trade documentation.
  • Accountability and Transparency: The Bill of Entry is required, and customs officers make sure that goods are imported and processed legally, allowing trade between countries.

What are the different types of bills of entry?

In India, several bills of entry are utilized based on the goods and nature of the transaction. These are the primary categories:

  • Regular Bill of Entry: This standard document covers a broad variety of imports subject to different customs duties and levies and is used for goods imported for domestic consumption.
  • Warehouse Bill of Entry: This document is used when merchandise is imported and held in a warehouse secured by customs until it is cleared for domestic use. As a result, importers are able to postpone paying tariffs until the products are taken out of storage.
  • Ex-bond Bill of Entry: When goods kept in bonded warehouses are prepared for export or domestic usage, an ex-bond bill of entry is filed.  
  • High-Sea Sales: When items are sold while they are in transit or in a bonded warehouse, this kind of bill of entry is used to approve the sale of the goods for domestic use. 
  • Re-import Bill of Entry: This document is used when re-importing goods into the nation after they have been exported. It permits refunds or tariff exemptions under specific circumstances.
  • Project Import Bill of Entry: Designed especially for products imported for projects, including building or developing infrastructure, and subject to certain customs duty rates and guidelines.
  • Transshipment Bill of Entry: When goods are transferred inside the same port from one mode of transportation to another for delivery to a different place, this bill of entry is filed.
  • Postal Bill of Entry: Useful for goods imported by postal services, postal bills of entry are subject to particular customs processes and duties that are typically used for personal or small-scale commercial shipments.

Who issues a Bill of Entry?

Businesses that import goods from other nations or sell goods acquired from Special Economic Zones within India must issue a Bill of Entry (BOE). This document is necessary for customs clearing procedures to claim the input tax credit (ITC) on imported goods. The importer is responsible for paying all applicable taxes, such as GST, IGST, and customs duty, following the submission of the BOE and inspections by a customs officer to confirm the goods.

Through the ITC, importers can then pursue reimbursement for IGST and GST, but not for customs duty. To ensure compliance with customs laws and facilitate the seamless transfer of goods across borders, the BOE is an essential document in the importation process.

What does the Bill of Entry include?

  • License number and port code
  • Name and address of the importer
  • House agent code for customs
  • Code for Import-Export (IEC)
  • Origin nation and its code
  • Consignment's country and code
  • Shipment port
  • Name of the vessel
  • All of the important details regarding the imported goods, such as their description and monetary value

What is the process to file for a Bill of Entry(BOE)?

Filing a Bill of Entry (BOE) can be done both online and offline. The digital method is becoming more popular due to the streamlined process to avoid hassle with officials. The process has been made much simpler by the availability of online portals from most customs offices and gateways that allow shipping service companies to submit BOEs.

There are mainly two ways to file for a Bill of Entry online:

  • Indian Customs Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
  • Customs House Agent Server

Indian Customs Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Customs house agents (CHAs) and importers can utilize an online portal called an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) gateway following the submission of the BOE. One can visit the EDI website to become a certified importer and electronically submit the BOE with all other necessary paperwork.

This gateway is particularly useful for importers who are just starting out in the world of international trade and haven't yet developed a bond with reliable logistics service providers.

Customs House Agent Server

The Indian Customs Electronic Commerce/Electronic Data Interchange (EC/EDI) Gateway, or ICEGATE for short, is an online gateway that makes it easier to file the Bill of Entry and other customs-related paperwork electronically.

ICEGATE streamlines the procedure as follows

  • Online Filing: ICEGATE makes the customs process more effective and paperless by enabling importers and exporters to file the Bill of Entry and other necessary papers online.
  • Real-time tracking: Users have the ability to track the real-time status of their Bill of Entry submissions, which increases openness and reduces the possibility of delays.
  • Digital Signatures: ICEGATE offers legally recognized electronic signatures that replace paper signatures on documents.
  • Integration with the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN): The Bill of Entry data ensures entry into the GST system to enable accurate tax computations using ICEGATE's simple connection to the GSN.

The documents required to file for the Bill of Entry (BOE)

  • The license number and port code
  • Name and address of the importer
  • House agent code for customs
  • Code for Import-Export (IEC)
  • Name and address of the importer (the address will automatically show if the importer is a registered taxpayer)
  • Name of the vessel
  • Shipment port
  • Origin nation and its code
  • Only if the nation of consignment differs from the country of origin should the code be used
  • The bill of lading's issuing date
  • Information regarding the goods and their value in money

Quantity and packages

  • Unit code, description, and serial number of the product
  • The volume, weight, and quantity of packages
  • Heading for customs tariffs, together with the year and notification of exemption
  • Product specifications (information will be sent to each class separately)

Customs charges

  • Nature of the code
  • The base rate and total amount of imposed customs duty
  • Particular Extra Responsibility
  • The amount, rate, and sum of the extra duty
  • Extra responsibility Central Excise Tariff (CET) determined by year and exemption notification


  • IGST rate, and IGST code
  • The total number of containers in words and the total amount of duty (assessable value, customs duty, and other charges) in words
  • The compensating cess amount
  • Notice of exemption for requesting a GST exemption
  • Notice of exemption to be granted relief from the GST compensation cess

Additional Documents

Procedure for Bill of Entry in GST

Understanding how to submit a bill of entry under the GST system is crucial for importers and exporters. Here's a brief synopsis:

  • Registration: To electronically file the Bill of Entry, importers and exporters need to register on the ICEGATE portal.
  • Preparing the Necessary Documents: Gather the supporting documentation, invoices, and packing lists.
  • Filling out the Bill of Entry form: Access the ICEGATE site and enter precise information about the imported products in the form.
  • Duties and taxes must be paid: Make payments online or through approved banks for the necessary taxes, customs charges, and GST.
  • Inspection by Customs: The goods may be inspected by customs officers to make sure they comply with regulations.
  • Clearance: Depending on the type of bill of entry lodged, the customs officials release the items for home use or warehousing once all formalities are finished.
  • GST Compliance: The GSTN automatically receives the Bill of Entry data for computation and compliance.

The effect on stakeholders and taxpayers owing to the GST Bill of Entry

A number of parties, including taxpayers, customs officers, and government bodies, have been highly benefited by the implementation of the Bill of Entry in GST. These stakeholders have experienced the following effects as a result of the Bill of Entry's implementation:

  • Taxpayers: The use of the bill of entry has increased compliance with GST requirements, reduced paperwork, and improved the transparency and efficiency of the import process. The accurate ITC claims that taxpayers can now reduce their tax obligations.
  • Customs Authorities: The electronic Bill of Entry filing has lessened the burden for the customs officers, enabling them to concentrate on other crucial duties, including enforcement and inspection.
  • Governmental Bodies: Integrating the Bill of Entry with GST has enhanced import tracking and revenue collection, streamlined processes, reduced delays, and promoted ease of doing business.

To sum up, the Bill of Entry serves as the cargo’s entry point into the country and is an integral document in the customs clearance process for India. It ensures that the right amount of GST, customs charges, and taxes are applied to imported goods. If importers, exporters, and customs officers have a comprehensive understanding of the BOE, they may all effectively navigate the intricate customs procedures.