Customs regime


The customs regime is the destination of foreign trade merchandise that is subject to customs control.

The customs regime determines the necessary legal steps to be fulfilled by the exporter or importer in the international commercialization of goods.

Likewise, these determine the responsibilities and obligations of customs agents with the treatment of cargo.

Importance of customs regimes

The existence of customs regimes allows a greater organization of the merchandise subject to customs control. In this way, the flow of merchandise becomes more efficient.

Likewise, these regimes make it possible to standardize special treatment for certain charges or organizations. Therefore, these benefits are not at the discretion of customs agents. Finally, these special and differentiated deals improve trade and stimulate private investment.

Types of customs regimes

Customs regimes depend on the legislation of each country. However, there is an effort to standardize customs regimes, although it is not binding or limiting for countries. These general regimes are presented below.

Import for consumption

It allows the circulation of imported merchandise through customs territory. This, when import duties and compliance with legal formalities have been canceled.

Reimportation in the same state

The goods, in principle exported, may be re-imported as long as they have not undergone any transformation. In this way, the payment of obligations is exonerated if it had been paid at the time of export.

Definitive export

Export product merchandise destined to remain outside customs territory permanently.

Customs warehouse regime

The goods can be transported to a warehouse under customs control with exemption from payment of duties and taxes. This, while they remain in customs territory.

Customs transit

Transfer of goods to different offices under customs control.


It refers to the transfer of the merchandise from an import transport to an export transport. This transfer is made under the jurisdiction of customs.

Transportation of merchandise by cabotage

All merchandise of free circulation and with permission to transfer from one ship to another. However, only when the merchandise is destined for another office under customs control.

Active improvement

It allows the entry of merchandise with suspension of payment of import duties and taxes. In addition, they must submit them to some transformation, preparation or repair for export.

Passive improvement

Merchandise temporarily exported for transformation, preparation or repair abroad. Subsequently, this merchandise will be re-imported with partial or total exemption from import duties.

Drawback regime

When exporting, it allows the restitution of duties and taxes on the import of its parts or raw materials.

Transformation of merchandise destined for importation for consumption

Imported merchandise that is transformed or repaired in customs territory before entering the local market. This merchandise receives discounts on import duties and taxes.

Temporary admission

Merchandise with suspension of payment of import duties or taxes.Subsequently, the merchandise must be re-exported in a defined time without undergoing any transformation or repair.

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