Circular No. 1/2008-Customs

F.No.401/2/2008-Cus.III

Government of India

Ministry of Finance

Department of Revenue,

Central Board of Excise & Customs

159-A, North Block, New Delhi-1.

Dated 9th January, 2008

To

All Chief Commissioner of Customs & Central Excise.

All Directorates General/ Directorates- Customs and Central Excise.

All Commissioners of Customs and Central Excise.

Sir / Madam,

Subject: Allocation of work relating to Trade Facilitation.

I am directed to invite your attention to Order F.No.A-11019/34/2001-Ad.IV dated 27.6.2002 of the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance and Board”s Order F.No.401/129/05-Cus.III dated 11.8.05 regarding setting up of the Directorate General of Export Promotion (DGEP) and allocation of work thereto.

2. With a view to assist the Board in enabling more focused and timely attention in matters relating to trade facilitation, it has now been decided by the Board to entrust the work relating to Trade Facilitation to DGEP.

3. Therefore, in modification of the aforesaid orders, the DGEP will now look after the following items of work:

(I) Work relating to the following Export Promotion Schemes (both Customs and Central Excise).

(i) 100% Export Oriented Units
(ii) Special Economic Zones ( including work relating to erstwhile Free Trade Zones and Export Processing Zones)
(iii) Special Jewellery Complexes and Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Schemes
(iv) Software Technology Park and Electronic Hardware Technology Park Schemes

(II) Monitoring of the Export Promotion Schemes as at Item No.(I), analysis of periodical reports/returns/statistics, and legislative work relating to the above schemes (both Customs and Central Excise).

(III) Meetings of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), Boards of Approval (BOA) for EOU/SEZ, Inter-Ministerial Standing Committee (IMSC) in the Department of Information Technology etc., meetings with DGFT / Ministry of Commerce on matters relating to above Export Promotion Schemes and interaction with Trade including Export Promotion Councils.

(IV) Act as a central consultative body with the trade and other stakeholders (Trade Associations and Chambers of Commerce such as FlEO, Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations of India, Air Cargo Agents Association of India, National Association of Container Freight Stations, Export Promotion Councils, Indian Ports Association etc.) and suggest changes in Customs clearance procedures with a view to facilitate international trade, wherever necessary.

(V) Review Customs trade facilitation measures from time to time with a view to evaluate their efficacy and suggest further improvements.

(VI) Study the best international practices concerning Customs clearance procedures for their adoption.

(VII) Over-see and analyze the dwell time for clearance of import/export cargo at various major ports, airports, ICDs etc. and, as appropriate, make recommendations relating to clearance procedures followed by Customs and other agencies, with a view to reduce dwell time.

(VIII) Review the trade facilitation initiatives of the Custom Houses and other field formations e.g.

Review the working of the Drawback Committees/Regional Advisory Committees/ED! Committees/Watch Dog Committees etc. in the various customs field formations for any modification in law and procedures.

Monitor the maintenance and updating of the websites of the Customs Commissionerates / Customs Houses.

(IX) Work relating to WTO Negotiations on Trade Facilitation; matters relating to Trade Facilitation under various Trade Agreements.

(X) Matters related to recommendations of WCO on trade facilitation.

4. For performing the above functions, DGEP is empowered to seek and obtain information from all customs field formations. DGEP”s function would be limited to policy level issues and it would not address individual grievances relating to customs Trade Facilitation (like delays in assessment of Bill of Entry, grant of refund, etc).

Where the issue under consideration also impinges on the functioning of other wings such as the Directorate of Systems, Directorate General of Inspection, Directorate of Drawback or the relevant sections of the Board”s office, DGEP will function in consultation with these relevant Sections/Directorates. In all such matters, DGEP would function as a coordinator to address the issue(s) at hand.

5. The work relating to Draft Audit Paragraphs, Action Taken Notes(DAPs/ATNs) and reports of C&AG and PAC; follow up action with C&AG, on Customs matters, excluding drawback would, for the time being, continue to be handled by DGEP.

6. The following work, which was hitherto being looked after by DGEP as per Board”s Order F.No.A-11019/3412001-Ad.lV dated 27.6.2002, now stands transferred to the Directorate of Drawback:

(i) To conduct the post-audit of the Brand Rates fixed by the Central Excise field formations and carry out physical verification of selected cases independently or with the help of the Central Excise formations.
(ii) To conduct the post-audit of the select cases of duty free imports allowed under various export promotion schemes in the Customs/Central Excise formations.

7. This issues with the approval of Member (Customs & EP).

Yours faithfully,

(M.M. Parthiban)

Director (Customs)

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