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Import General Manifest (IGM)


Import General Manifest (IGM)


In the intricate world of international shipping, the Import General Manifest (IGM) stands as a pivotal document, steering the course of how goods move across borders. This crucial document not only ensures regulatory compliance but also aids in the smooth facilitation of global trade. But what exactly is IGM, and why is it so important in international logistics?

What is Import General Manifest (IGM)?

The IGM is a comprehensive document filed by the carrier or the agent representing the vessel. It details every piece of cargo onboard, destined for a specific port. This declaration is submitted to the customs authorities of the destination country prior to the vessel’s arrival. It serves as a preliminary check, allowing customs officials to assess the cargo, plan for inspections if needed, and expedite the clearance process.

Importance of IGM in International Trade

The significance of IGM in global commerce cannot be overstated. It’s not just a document but a crucial cog in the wheel of international trade. By providing a detailed snapshot of the cargo, it helps customs authorities in effective planning and allocation of resources for cargo inspection. Moreover, it ensures that all goods entering a country comply with its regulations, thus maintaining the integrity and safety of international trade.

Components of IGM

A standard IGM includes critical information such as:

Bill of Lading numbers

Detailed description of the cargo

Shipper and consignee details

Weight and volume of the cargo

Port of loading and discharge

Specifics about the vessel carrying the cargo

This data is essential for customs to identify, assess, and process the incoming goods appropriately.

Process of Filing IGM

Typically, the responsibility of filing the IGM falls on the carrier or their agent. It is a time-sensitive document and must be submitted well before the vessel docks at the destination port. The advent of digital technology has streamlined this process, allowing for electronic submissions, thereby reducing paperwork and the likelihood of errors.

Implications of Incorrect or Late IGM Filing

Non-compliance, errors, or delays in filing the IGM can lead to serious repercussions. These include hefty fines, delays in cargo clearance, and additional costs. In severe cases, it may even lead to the confiscation of cargo. Thus, accuracy and timeliness in IGM filing are paramount.


The Import General Manifest is more than just a formality; it is a critical component that underpins the efficiency and legality of international shipping. As global trade continues to evolve, understanding and adhering to the requirements of IGM remains a key responsibility for carriers and agents alike. Ensuring its accurate and timely submission is not just about compliance; it’s about contributing to the seamless flow of global commerce.