Importers shall use a customs broker (a private-sector provider of services) of choice to obtain release of the merchandise. The customs agent shall provide to importers all necessary information relating to applicable duties and non-tariff regulations. The customs entry shall be accompanied by: the commercial invoice when the customs value of the merchandise is determined in accordance with transaction value and exceeds US$300, or the equivalent in another foreign currency.
The invoice shall be prepared in Spanish. In cases where it is not, a translation may be prepared on the reverse or in the body of the invoice; the bill of lading or airway bill of lading, endorsed by the transport company; documents evidencing compliance with requirements relating to restrictions and non-tariff regulations applicable to the importation; proof of the country of origin, and country of export, as appropriate; the document demonstrating guarantee for the payment of additional amounts that may arise if the declared value is less than the estimated price established by the Secretary of the Treasury and Public Credit for the merchandise which has been undervalued; Commercial invoices are not required for imports and exports made by foreign embassies and consulates or by their officials and employees; those relating to electric energy, crude petroleum, natural gas and their derivatives when made by pipeline; nor for personal effects. The importer shall present a declaration in writing and under oath for the customs officials, with those elements that permit determination of the customs value of the merchandise. A copy of this declaration shall be given to the customs broker or attorney for use in determining the customs value on the entry.
The customs agent prepares the import entry using information provided by the importer and pays monies owed to the private bank located within Customs. The customs broker then presents the merchandise, accompanied by the previously paid customs entry, to the mechanism for random selection for examination.
The customs official activates the mechanism for random selection, which determines whether or not the shipment will be examined. If the shipment is designated for review, the examination shall be accomplished within three hours. This period may be greater when discrepancies are discovered. If the shipment is not designated for review, it will be released immediately so that it may proceed to its destination. Importers shall retain documentation that proves the legal importation of the merchandise, in case the fiscal authorities require clarification after customs clearance.