Importing Procedures

How can I clear a barrel from the Port?

In carrying out this activity, one has to be mindful that different organizations play significant roles in the process and they are separate and apart from the Customs & Excise Division.

SHIPPING AGENTS – Firstly, the shipping agents are responsible for transporting the barrel from the foreign country to Trinidad & Tobago. As such, they will inform you that the barrel has arrived in the country and they will furnish you with two (2) documents for presentation to the Customs & Excise Division, a Bill of Lading and a Bill of Sight.

The Bill of Lading gives title of ownership of the barrel. In the event that the person with the title cannot go to clear the barrel through Customs, he or she must give a signed letter of authorization to the person chosen to complete the task together with a copy of a picture form of Identification. A fee may be required for this service.

THE PORT - Secondly, the recipient of the barrel has to take the Bill of Lading to the Port’s Barrel Shed 10, where the attending Port clerks will search for the location of the barrel.
The barrel will be processed by the Port Authority and all fees due to the Port for example, handling fee, rent, etc. The Port staff will then submit to Customs the Delivery Note, Location Slip and the Port Receipt showing that all Port fees have been paid and the Bill of Sight.

The Bill of Sight is basically a document with the name and address of the owner of the packages/barrel/s, the quantity of packages/barrels, the name of the vessel on which the packages/barrel/s were imported and a declaration by the owner that the contents of the barrel described on it are true and correct.

The Port staff will then bring the barrel to the Customs examination area where the Port officials will inform you that the barrel is ready to be examined by the Customs & Excise officers.

THE CUSTOMS & EXCISE DIVISION – At this stage, the Customs & Excise Officer will request that you produce:

  1. A picture Identification Card or
  2. A Letter authorizing you to transact business on behalf of the owner with a copy of the picture Identification Card of the owner and your picture Identification Card


The officer will then ask you to declare what articles you have imported in the barrel. After this, you will be requested to open the barrel so that your declaration can be verified and a value applied. 

Original receipts should be provided to the Officer to assist in assessing the value of the goods. In the absence of original receipts, the Customs Officer will assess a value based on the value of identical or similar goods in accordance with the Sixth Schedule of the Customs Act, Chap. 78.01

The assessment will be recorded on the Bill of Sight and you will be informed of the duties and taxes that are due to the State, if any.

The Customs Officer will complete the None Trade Duty Entry (NTDE) or Free Entry (NTFE) where applicable and pass the document to the cashier together with the Bill of Sight and the other Port documents.

The Customs cashier will call your name on the public address system and you join the line to effect payment of duties where this is necessary.

Lastly, when all duties and taxes have been paid to the State, the Cashier will give you the delivery receipt and the original NTDE or NTFE. You will take the documents to the delivery area and present them to the Port’s personnel who would proceed to deliver the barrel out of the shed and into your possession.

It is important to know that the Port Authority opens the Shed at 7:00am and closes the Shed at 4:00pm with a lunch hour closing time of 11:00am to 12:00noon. The Customs cashier closes at 2:00 pm.


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