Import customs clearance step by step

Import customs clearance step by step

If you import your goods to Poland or other European Union countries, import customs clearance is essential. How to prepare for it, what documents are necessary, what does it look like and what should you pay special attention to? Let’s read the article.


Import customs clearance applies to every company or person who imports their goods from third countries, i.e. outside the European Union.

Before you approach it, you must prepare a customs declaration. We wrote more about this in our article with a similar title “Customs declaration – what it is and how to submit it”.

In short. In the case of import customs clearance, information regarding the type, quantity and value of the goods as well as the sender and recipient will be required. Importantly, it can be submitted in various forms, including: paper, electronic or oral.

Let us also remind you that every importer must have an EORI number.

A correctly completed customs declaration is very important because it is used to determine customs and tax liabilities and is necessary for inspections. But that’s not all!


In addition to the completed customs declaration, you must submit specific documents to pass customs clearance.

These should include:

  • commercial invoice
  • transport documents – a delivery note
  • certificate of origin of the goods
  • other documents required for a given type of goods, i.e. certificates and permits (if these are required by law)

IMPORTANT! The lack of specific documents may result in the need to complete them, and thus the goods may be detained at the border. It is not only time, but also additional and specific amounts of money. Therefore, you better make sure you have complete documentation for import customs clearance.

If you are not sure what documents are necessary or how to complete the customs declaration, contact us. We will answer all your questions or take care of all formalities on behalf of your company, including contacting customs officers in case of any questions or ambiguities.


The next step in import customs clearance is to pay customs duties and VAT.

How high they will be will depend on the type of your goods, their value and their country of origin.

You can pay customs and tax liabilities immediately, i.e. at the time of customs clearance. You can also use the article mode 33a of the Act on Tax on Goods and Services, which allows for the settlement of VAT in the tax return in the JPK file.

If you import a larger amount of goods, bonded warehouses are also a good solution. These are warehouses supervised by customs and tax authorities that allow you to store goods from outside the EU. You do not have to pay customs duties or VAT during the entire storage period. Moreover, you can pay these fees for specific batches of goods introduced to the market.

If you are interested in this solution, please visit our “bonded warehouses” tab or contact us.


Import customs clearance involves officers checking the documentation and goods and checking whether customs and tax liabilities have been paid. If everything is consistent with the actual situation, the goods receive marketing authorisation.

Although the processes related to import customs clearance are not simple, they can be simplified according to certain patterns. These include: centralized customs clearance, simplified declaration or possession of an AEO certificate by the company (or the agency representing it). We wrote more about the status of an authorized AEO entrepreneur and its benefits in our article “AEO certificate – what is it and how to obtain it”.

We hope that we have introduced the topic of import customs clearance. However, if you have additional questions or want to outsource this process to a professional agency, please get in touch us. We have been supporting importers for over 30 years, and our licensed customs agents are ready to provide all information and assistance throughout the entire process.