Recent Trade Facilitation & Regulations Measures undertaken by Indian Customs

Dated 14th October 2011

 Self-Assessment in Customs :

Vide Finance Act, 2011, ‘Self-Assessment’ has been introduced under the Customs Act.  Under ‘self-assessment’, responsibility of filing correct declaration lies with the importer or exporter.  The declaration filed by the importer or exporter may be verified by the proper officer when so interdicted by the Risk Management Systems (RMS).

Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programme:

CBEC has finalized the ‘Authorized Economic Operators’ (AEO) programme for implementation to secure supply chain of imported and export goods.  This programme has been developed pursuant to guidelines of WCO adopted in SAFE FoS (Framework of Standard) in 2005.

The AEO Programme envisages various benefits to different categories of economic operators such as importers, exporters, Customs House Agents, etc. The intention is to give AEO certified operators preferential treatment in terms of less Customs examination, relaxed procedural requirements etc. This is subject to the authorized operators maintaining security standards and compliance requirements .

 – Structured improvement in Tax Payer Service:

As a further improvement in system for Tax  Payer-Services, CBEC is implementing SEVOTTAM project to deliver excellence in service delivery. SEVOTTAM is IS 15700: 2005 certifiable standard.

SEVOTTAM is a Service Delivery Excellence Model which provides an aframework to bring about excellence in public service delivery. The model works as an evaluation mechanism to assess the quality of internal processes and their impact on the quality of service delivery.

Automation :

The implementation of ICEGATE as the e-commerce portal, followed by implementation of the Risk Management System, were measures taken to further enhance the utility of automation in Customs. A new version of EDI known as Ver 1.5 has recently been launched. On the Central Excise & Service Tax front ACES(Automation of Central Excise &Service Tax) has been rolled out through out the country.ACES is the e-commerce portal for Central Excise & Service Tax  assessee.

-Accredited Client Programme:

Accredited Client Programme facilitation has been  introduced  by Central Board of Excise & Customs(CBEC). The defining feature of Accredited Clients Programme (ACP) is assured facilitation. This means that in most cases, except in a small number of occasions when the consignments will be randomly selected for checks by Customs officers, the Indian Customs EDI System would accept the declared classification and valuation and assess duty on the basis of importer’s self-declaration; implying thereby that the import consignments of ACP clients will not be subjected to regular and routine examination.

-Single Factory Stuffing Bond Facility:

To reduce transaction cost involved in exports It has been decided by CBEC to provide for the grant of a single factory stuffing permission valid for all the customs stations instead of customs station wise permission. The facility will be subject to certain safeguards.

-Post Clearance Audit i.e. On-Site Audit scheme has been introduced:

The “Know Your Customer (KYC)” guidelines for Custom House Agents (CHAs):

The “Know Your Customer (KYC)” guidelines for Custom House Agents (CHAs) so that they are not used intentionally or unintentionally by importers / exporters who indulge in fraudulent activities. Accordingly, CHALR, 2004 has been suitably amended to provide that certain obligations on the CHAs to verify the antecedent, correctness of Import Export Code (IEC) Number, identify of his client and the functioning of his client in the declared address by using reliable, independent, authentic documents, data or information.

-The Handling of Cargo in Customs Areas Regulations, 2009:

Which in essence makes its mandatory for The Customs Cargo Service provider to provide:

Infrastructure, equipment and adequate manpower for loading, unloading, stacking, handling, stuffing and de-stuffing of containers, storage, dispatch and delivery of containers and cargo etc.

Also specifying the Responsibilities of Customs Cargo Service provider to:

-Keep a record of each activity or action taken in relation to the movement or handling of imported or export goods and goods brought for transshipment.

-Display or make available in any other manner, information of process or movement or handling of imported or export goods and goods brought for transshipment.

-Be responsible for the safety and security of import and export goods under its custody.

-The Customs Cargo Service provider shall publish and display the schedule of charges for the various services provided by him in relation to the imported goods or export goods in the Customs area.



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