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When commercial goods enter Timor-Leste, they do so by air, by sea, or via a land border. Following arrival, there is a legal requirement for those goods to be placed under a “customs treatment” within a specified time frame. This simply means that the goods have to be declared to us as an import, re-exported, or placed in an approved bonded warehouse facility. Importantly, this must be completed within a strict timeframe, as failure to do so will result in us automatically applying a financial penalty: Arrival by sea is 30 business days; Arrival by air or land is 20 business days.

When commercial goods enter Timor-Leste, they do so by air, by sea, or via a land border. Following arrival, there is a legal requirement for those goods to be placed under a “customs treatment” within a specified time frame. For goods arriving by sea this is 30 business days, and for goods arriving by air or land, this is 20 business days. Failure to do so will result in us automatically applying a financial penalty under Article 142 of the Customs Code (Decree Law 14/2017).

Yes, under Article 164 of the Customs Code (Decree Law 14/2017), you can be present when we inspect your goods. We will generally notify you or your customs broker agent when we are ready to complete the inspection so you can attend if you want to.

To export goods you need:

  1. An electronic Export Declaration DAU EX1
  2. A Commercial Invoice
  3. A Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  4. Other permit(s) as necessary

The Declaracao Aduaneira Unica (DAU) is the term used in Timor-Leste for the import or export declaration.

The Exit Note is an official notification from Customs, either printed or in electronic format, indicating that you have completed the clearance procedure and that your goods are allowed to leave the Customs controlled area (such as the port). To obtain the Exit Note, you or your broker must present your payment receipt to Customs. Once your payment has been confirmed, along with other charges such as APORTIL storage fees, Customs will issue your Exit Note. When leaving the port, Customs will check this Exit Note and electronically validate it within the ASYCUDA system.

Once Customs has finalized processing your goods, you or your broker will be issued with an ASYCUDA Assessment Notice which identifies how much needs to be paid. Once received, you or your broker can then chose to pay by:

  1. Using a Debit or Credit Card: Some Customs locations accept electronic payments. Your bank may charge you a fee for using this service.
  2. Visiting the Bank: You or your broker can pay at any BNU Bank branch. You will need to present the assessment notice which includes the Customs bank details, and the bank will then issue a payment receipt. You or your broker will then need to take to that receipt to Customs so they can confirm payment within the ASUCIDA system.

Either process above will allow Customs cashiers to update the ASYCUDA system to confirm the payment has been made.

Yes: Any person or company importing or exporting goods must have a Tax Identification Number (TIN).

To make an Import declaration for commercial goods, you need:

  1. Be an authorized person to use the Customs System ASYCUDA World, or use the services of a Customs broker
  2. To have the supporting documentation on which to base the declaration
  3. Be in possession of a valid Tax Identification Number (TIN) issued in Timor-Leste.
  4. Be in possession of a Debts Certificate (Certificate of Dividas) and;
  5. Be in possession of a Business Registration Certificate.

We use the term Less than Container Load (LCL) to describe the transportation of small ocean freight shipments which are not requiring the full capacity of a container. In some countries, LCL is also often referred to as consolidated goods or groupage. The use of LCL provides shippers and customers with a flexible and cost-effective option for transporting smaller, less time-critical shipments. The main advantage is that you can get your goods on their way as soon as they are ready, instead of having to wait until your goods fill a complete container.

Full Container Load “FCL” in shipping terms means that a shipment occupies the entire space of a container without having to share it with other shippers. In an FCL cargo, the complete goods in the said container are owned by one shipper. Shipping lines offer a variety of containers that differ in size and function: standard dry containers, refrigerated containers, tank containers, flat rack containers, collapsible flat rack containers. The average length of any of these containers is either 20-feet or 40-feet.

Shipping containers are not generally manufactured in Timor Leste. In most cases, containers are simply used to import and export goods, so they are rarely imported into Timor-Leste on a permanent bases. In other words, the container itself has not been declared to us, and the associated duties and taxes have not been paid. If you have declared the actual container to us, and paid the associated duty and tax then you can sell your container in Timor-Leste. If not, you must declare the container to us as an import first.

In international trade, a “manifest” is a listing of all cargo transported on a particular marine voyage or flight. The manifest is also known as “cargo declaration”. The manifest provides information on the physical aspects of the cargo, such as description, weight and/or size. When the cargo is being shipped by several different shipping companies on the same vessel, there will usually be separate bills of lading for each company, but only a single consolidated cargo manifest.

The bill of lading is a legal document issued by a carrier to a shipper that details the type, quantity and destination of the goods being carried. The bill of lading also serves as a shipment receipt when the carrier delivers the goods at a predetermined destination. This document must accompany the shipped products, no matter the form of transportation, and must be signed by an authorized representative from the carrier, shipper and receiver.

An air waybill is a document that accompanies goods shipped by an international air courier to provide detailed information about the shipment and allow it to be tracked. The bill has multiple copies so that each party involved in the shipment can document it. An air waybill, which can also known as an air consignment note, is a type of bill of lading.

Under Article 18 of the Customs Code (Decree Law 14/2017), you must keep your import and export documents for a minimum of five years (paper or electronic), and you must make them available to Customs upon request.

No: Goods are declared in accordance with the “unit of quantity” which can be found within the Timor-Leste Customs Tariff.

Even though we are the agency responsible for the cross-border movement of goods in Timor-Leste, other government agencies may also have their own specific requirements. For example, if you are importing or exporting foodstuffs, you may need a permit from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. In most cases, the type of goods will determine whether other government agencies will be involved. Agencies may include: Autoridade Portuáriu Timor-Leste (APORTIL); Ministry of Health; Ministry of Transport and Communications; Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry; Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste; Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.

No, you do not need a permit, but you may need to pay for storage or handling costs for any goods you have imported or exported through Dili Seaport.

In some cases, you may need an import or export permit from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), but this will depend on the type of goods. For example, you need a permit to import or export live animals and other foodstuffs.

In some cases, you may need an import or export permit from the Ministry of Health (MOH), but this will depend on the type of goods. For example, you need a permit to import or export certain medications.

Yes – Article 2 of the Conditions and Procedures to Observe Regarding the Importation of MotornProhibitions (Decree law 30/2011) prohibits the importation of vehicles over five years old. This includes: light passenger and mixed-use cars; recreational vehicles; vans or minivans; microlets; passenger vehicles with 20 or less seats; and light commercial vehicles and trucks with a capacity load of less than four (4) tonnes.

In some cases, you may need an import or export permit from the Ministry of Transport and Communications, but this will depend on the type of goods. For example, you need a permit to import a vehicle that is older than 5 years old.

In some cases, you may need an import or export permit from the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry (MTTI), but this will depend on the type of goods. For example, you may need a permit to export scrap metal.

In some cases, you may need an import or export permit from the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources (MPMR), but this will depend on the type of goods. For example, you need a permit to import commercial quantities of petroleum or oils.

The “consignee” is the intended receiver of a cargo shipment. This is usually the importer or the named person or legal entity having the right to claim the merchandise from the carrier at destination. The consignee is generally recognized as the legal owner of the goods for customs purposes.

The “declarant” is the natural or legal person authorized by Customs to comply with tax obligations related to the declared customs regime. In practical terms, the declarant is authorized to upload the declaration and supporting documentation into ASYCUDA World for imports and exports. The declarant is legally responsible for the accuracy and veracity of the information provided. The declarant may be the importer or exporter, or someone acting on their behalf, such as a registered Customs Broker.

In some cases, you may need an import or export permit from the Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste, but this will depend on the type of goods. For example, you need a permit to import firearms, ammunition and explosive materials.

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