The Process for Clearing Customs and Portugal Importing Goods

tendata blogImport News

ten data blog11-07-2023

In this comprehensive article, Tendata will explore the specific steps and requirements involved in the importation process. Whether you are a seasoned importer or new to the industry, understanding the customs clearance process in Portugal is essential to ensure a smooth and compliant import process.

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Import Declaration:

To initiate the import process, importers must submit an import declaration to the Portuguese customs authorities. Consider the following:

· Required Information: The import declaration should include essential details such as the importer's information, detailed description of the goods, quantity, value, origin, and any applicable licenses or certifications.

· Electronic Submission: Import declarations in Portugal are typically submitted electronically through the Portuguese customs' online system known as "ATLAS."

Customs Valuation:

Customs authorities in Portugal assess the value of the imported goods for the purpose of calculating import duties and taxes. Consider the following:

· Determining the Customs Value: The customs value is determined based on the transaction value of the goods, including the price paid or payable, transportation costs, insurance charges, and any applicable royalties or license fees.

· Documentation to Support Customs Valuation: Importers must provide relevant documents, such as commercial invoices, bills of lading, and insurance certificates, to support the declared customs value.

Payment of Import Duties and Taxes:

Importers are responsible for paying import duties, taxes, and other applicable fees upon the importation of goods into Portugal. Consider the following:

· Tariff Classification: Goods are assigned specific tariff codes based on their nature, composition, and intended use. These codes determine the applicable import duties and taxes.

· VAT and Excise Taxes: In addition to import duties, imported goods may be subject to Value Added Tax (VAT) and excise taxes, depending on the nature of the goods.

· Customs Brokerage Services: Importers can engage the services of a customs broker to assist with the calculation and payment of import duties and taxes, ensuring compliance with Portuguese customs regulations.

Customs Documentation and Procedures:

To clear customs and release the imported goods, specific documentation and procedures must be followed. Consider the following:

· Proof of Customs Clearance: Importers must provide proof of customs clearance, such as the customs release document or the Single Administrative Document (SAD), to claim the imported goods.

· Goods Examination: Customs authorities may conduct physical inspections or document-based checks to ensure compliance with import regulations. It is essential to provide accurate and complete documentation to facilitate the customs clearance process.

Additional Considerations:

In addition to the core customs clearance process, there are other factors to consider when importing goods into Portugal. Consider the following:

· Trade Agreements: Portugal is a member of the European Union (EU), benefiting from preferential trade agreements with various countries. Importers should explore these agreements to potentially reduce or eliminate import duties on eligible goods.

· Import Restrictions and Regulations: Certain goods may be subject to import restrictions, licensing requirements, or specific regulations in Portugal. Importers must research and comply with these regulations to ensure smooth customs clearance.

· Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Status: Obtaining AEO certification can provide importers with certain benefits, such as simplified customs procedures and enhanced trade facilitation. Importers should consider applying for AEO status to streamline their import operations.


Understanding the process for clearing customs and importing goods in Portugal is crucial for successful and compliant import operations. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, importers can navigate the customs clearance process efficiently, ensure accurate customs valuation, and comply with relevant regulations. Additionally, staying updated on trade agreements, import restrictions, and industry-specific regulations will contribute to a smooth and successful import journey in Portugal.

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