F.No. 450/25/2013 – Cus IV (Pt)
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Central Board of Excise & Customs

Date: 01/10/2015

To

(i) All Chief Commissioners of Customs/ Customs (Prey.)

(ii) All Chief Commissioners of Customs and Central Excise

Madam/Sir,

Sub: Reducing/ eliminating printouts in Customs Clearance – Regarding

Government of India has taken-up a number of initiatives for promoting “Ease of Doing business”. One of the ways make cargo clearance easier is to reduce the use of paper and to introduce electronic messaging and paperless processing. The Board is gradually introducing steps to remove or reduce the role of hardcopy of documents printed in the Customs clearance process and to rely upon its electronic equivalent. The Board seeks to ensure that the success achieved over the years in advancing automated clearance processes, EDI messaging and digital signatures translate into a paper-free environment, besides reducing transaction costs. This is proposed to be achieved incrementally by examining different situations where printouts are used.

2. In this connection, the Board has identified the following proposals:

I. GAR 13 forms/TR6 Challans:

On completion of assessment of the BE, the ICES generates a challan message, which is transmitted to the designated bank branches through ICEGATE. At the beginning of the day, a message is generated for those BEs, where duty payment is not done till the previous day. At specific intervals, this message will be generated for BEs assessed during the day. The importer, under ePayment logs on to the ePayment Gateway, selects the list of unpaid challans, selects the bank in which to make the ePayment. The system redirects the importer to his bank for completing the ePayment transaction. The receipt, which is based on payment confirmation by the bank, is generated by application at ICEGATE- and transmitted onward to ICES application.

At present, there are 3 copies of the TR6 Challans that are being generated and printed out along with the assessed copies of the Bill of Entry. Since 95% of the importers pay only through e-Payment, under which the challan information and payment confirmation area received electronically, the printouts are not used by any party.

Since ICEGATE, on its ePayment Gateway provides a list of all unpaid Challans, they can also be viewed, printed out and can support – non-Payment transactions, it is proposed that there is no need for a printout of any Challan to be routinely printed out. Should the importer require copies of receipts of payment, the same could be printed out from ICEGATE. If required by the importer, these copies can be attested at any time by the bank that receives the payment.

II. TP Copy

At present, in ICES, there is a module for processing transhipment cargo from a sea port to ICD/CFS or to another sea port. Such transhipment can be by rail, road or sea. The transhipment permit information is sent electronically to the carrier, the transporter undertaking the transhipment, custodian of the gateway port, and the ICES system at the destination ICD or Port. Transhipment permit can also be printed by the carrier in his office or in the custom house. In view of the above it is submitted that TP Copy may not be printed out when an officer approves the Tranship Permit.

III. Shipping Bill

After the Appraiser grants LEO in the system, printouts of the Shipping Bill is generated by the system in triplicate i.e., (i) Customs copy, (ii) Exporter’s copy, and (iii) Exchange Control Copy. [The fourth copy namely the Export Promotion Copy is generated after submission of EGM]. After obtaining the print out the Appraiser obtains the signatures of the Customs Officer on the examination report and the representative of the CHA on both copies of the shipping bill and examination report. The Appraiser thereafter signs and stamps all copies of the Shipping Bill at the specified place. In respect of the Shipping Bill, the following measures are proposed:

a. The detailed copy of the Shipping Bill is not required by the Authorised Dealer. It is enough if we can print a summary copy. We may therefore eliminate the printout of the full exchange control copy, and instead request the trader to provide a summary copy.

b. Since CBEC provides copies of digitally signed Shipping Bills to DGFT, it is proposed to discontinue the printing of the “Export Promotion Copy”.

3. Under the system of message exchange between Customs and Custodians, the Custodian receives an electronic copy of the LEO, [and this is implemented in several ICES locations]. The Custodian also receives a signed hardcopy of the LEO gate pass in approximately one to two hours. It is proposed that pending the receipt of the hardcopy, the Custodian may proceed with further process of taking over the Cargo based on the electronic LEO. In particular, in air cargo, where the environment is time-sensitive, the Custodian can move the cargo for security screening and building-up of pallets on the basis of electronic LEOs. It is proposed to conduct tests to send digitally signed LEOs to Custodians and to do away altogether with the hardcopy of the LEO gate pass.

4. You are requested to kindly examine the above proposals, consult stakeholders and forwarded comments to the Board by October 19th, 2015. Any other areas in which printing of documents could be eliminated may also be explored, and the same may be included in the report.

Yours faithfully,

(Satya Srinivas) Joint Secretary (Customs)

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