Essential things to become a certified Custom House Agent (CHA)

A custom house agent or CHA is a person authorized and licensed to act as an agent for any business transaction related to import and export of goods at the customs. To be accepted as a licensed Custom House Agent, the person has to obtain a valid license issued by the Commissioner of Customs under section 146 of the Customs Act, 1962 as pert Customs House Agents Licensing Regulations, 1984.


To qualify as an applicant for CHA, a person should:

  • Be a Graduate from a recognized university.
  • Possess a pass in Form G for a year as an employee of the firm or company with written authorization from the Commissioner
  • Have 3 years experience in Customs clearance work.
  • Have assets of Rs. 5 lakhs or more certified with the bank.


A CHA license may be temporary or permanent. A temporary license is granted by the commissioner of customs in the month of January every year after scrutinization of the applications for the license. It is the important for the applicant applying for the temporary license to have worked as an employee under a valid CHA and a permanent identity card. Along with the following qualifications, the applicant must have experience in clearing goods through the customs for at least a year or more as a permanent pass-holder. It is initially granted for a year that can be extended to another 6 months and so on.

On the other hand to obtain a permanent or regular CHA license, a temporary licensed applicant has to qualify both written and oral exam within a period of 2 years from the date of issue of temporary license within 3 attempts or chances. After qualifying the exam, the applicant can apply to the commissioner in the prescribed form by making the prescribed fee payment of Rs 5000/-. The regular license granted has a validity of 5 years and can be renewed on application made to the Commissioner before the expiry of the validity period by a renewal fee payment of Rs. 3000/-.

The duties of a CHA involves proper authorization of goods by personally monitoring the process of clearing the goods through an employee designated by the Commissioner. Sourcing from China is a hot demand of many business houses to make outsourcing easy and fast, a certified Custom house agent or custom house agencies required.