Customs Procedures

Customs Procedures. Release for Free Circulation. Import. Transit. Export. Temporary Import. Temporary Export. Customs Declaration.

Romans AntonovsRomans Antonovs

If a person wishes to apply a certain customs procedure to the goods, this must be indicated in the Customs Declaration. This document may be a standard Declaration (in electronic form), a simplified Declaration, an entry in the declarant's register, an oral Declaration or an act considered as a Customs Declaration. A person can choose different customs procedures.

Types of Customs Procedures

When a certain customs procedure is to be applied to the goods, it is necessary to inform about it by means of a Customs Declaration. Customs procedures are divided into the following types:

Release into Free Circulation (Import)

This customs procedure allows you to obtain the status of EU goods for goods imported into the EU from abroad. During this procedure, not only import duties are levied, but also other charges such as VAT or excise duty, depending on the circumstances and nature of the goods. Prohibitions or restrictions, including a license or permission, may apply in the same way. If necessary, the procedure also includes various formalities, such as sanitary control or food safety control. Release into free circulation happens after successful completion of a relevant customs procedure and provides for the free movement of goods within the European Union (EU).


This customs procedure applies to situations where a permit is issued for the export of certain goods outside the territory of the European Union. Typically, a Declaration is submitted to a customs office in accordance with the customs procedure a merchant’s country of registration, loading or packing the goods. Once this is completed, the customs responsible for the export will send all the necessary information in the electronic form to the customs office of the place of export.

Export of goods to areas with a special tax regime is considered to be very important. Such areas include, for example, the Aland and Canary Islands, the French overseas departments, Mount Athos, the Channel Islands. Goods destined for export from the European Union are subject to customs supervision and, if necessary, customs control. It is important for the goods to be in the same condition at the time of export as they were at the time of filing and clearing of the customs Declaration.

Special Customs Procedures - Transit (External or Internal)

This procedure permits the movement of goods imported from abroad into the territory of the European Union. This is usually considered external transit. In turn, internal transit is characterized by a process that allows EU goods to move through the territory of the Union through a third country. The application of the transit customs procedure is determined by the General Commission of the tax and Customs Union of the European Union, which summarized this information in the guide. This document is not legally binding, but it provides useful information. 

Special Customs Procedures - Temporary Import

This includes the import of goods into the territory of the European Union, as well as the temporary use of these goods. This applies to goods imported into the EU from non-EU countries and destined for re-export in the same form, except for depreciation that may occur during use. These goods can be fully or partially exempted from various tax payments and trade policy measures.

Special Customs Procedures - Import for Processing

Procedures that allow goods imported from outside the EU to be processed and later withdrawn from the EU. It also does not apply import duties, other fees and trade policy measures.

Special Customs Procedures - Export for Processing

Under this procedure, the goods of the Union may temporarily leave the territory of the EU for processing and release for the free circulation of the products received. Full or partial exemption from import duties may be granted.

Special Customs Procedures - Storage in A Free Zone

The free zone was created to facilitate Latvia's participation in international trade, as well as to promote manufacturing and create new jobs. If the goods are stored in a free zone, there is no need to file a customs Declaration or use a guarantee. EU goods in the free zone can be used, processed, stored and moved.

Special Customs Procedures - Storage

This procedure permits the storage of goods imported into the EU from non-EU countries in a customs warehouse under customs control. Customs warehouses can store, for example, goods from outside the EU, and goods will not be subject to import duties, VAT and other customs duties, as well as trade policy measures-licenses or quotas.

Similarly, goods of the Union may also be stored in a customs warehouse, provided that the activity is economic in nature and that customs supervision is not affected.

Customs warehouses can be both public and private. A public warehouse is an area or room where goods can be placed by anyone. In this case, the procedure of customs warehousing is applied. In turn, a private customs warehouse is a room or territory where goods can be placed only by the owner of a customs warehouse. In this case, the holder of the customs procedure and the holder of the customs warehouse permit are the same people.

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