Of the various activities carried out during the customs clearance phase, sampling, inspection, and examination are key. Sampling is carried out by customs in the case of both exports and imports.
Once the sample is collected, the same is sent to designated testing agencies for testing and analysis purposes. Sampling may be required when customs wants to confirm that the composition of the item is acceptable, and no prohibited materials are used. Sampling may also be asked for if there is suspicion over the valuation of the goods and customs believe that possible overvaluation or undervaluation of the goods may have been attempted.
In this infographic, we have showcased the process followed by the Customs authorities in carrying out the sampling exercise and steps that are taken once the sampling results are reported. The process generally starts with an order for sampling, after which the samples are drawn and sent to the testing agency or laboratory. Based on the findings of the sample testing, the required action is taken by customs.
Parallel to the sampling, testing and reporting exercise, a trail of paperwork is also carried out. The paperwork strengthens the documentation process and also adds transparency to it. For example, the test memo generated during the drawing of samples is shared with the testing agency. This helps them understand the purpose of the sampling and the approach that they need to take. There is utmost security maintained around the process of sampling too. The sample can be transported and handled only by designated customs officials, and the results are directly fed into the electronic system. The Let Export Order can be generated only after the testing is done, and the findings of the report are fed into the system.