Immediate Release Guidelines

The WCO developed a set of release/clearance procedures in early 1990 to assist both Customs and trade with expediting the clearance of large number of small or negligible value goods across borders that were primarily being carried by courier and express mail services. These Guidelines operated on the principle of information being provided by the operator to Customs in advance of the arrival of the goods. The Guidelines also provided categorization of goods. It also identified a set of data that was to be provided for grant of release of goods under these categories, as well as procedures to be followed, including the conclusion of MOU's between the Customs and trade for the implementation of these Guidelines and the procedures contained in them.

Subsequent to the revision of the Kyoto Convention and other developments such as the Data Model and taking into account other issues of concern to both the Customs and trade the original Guidelines were revised and updated in 2014.

In 2018, the Guidelines were further updated to provide specific guidance to both Customs and Trade on expediting the release/clearance of increasing volumes of low-value and small E-Commerce shipments/parcels. The updated Guidelines also provide examples of Members’ practices and reference other relevant international standards and tools.