CBIC has taken various steps which have had the impact of reducing the dwell time as well as bringing down the logistics cost of EXIM clearances. One of the flagship initiatives in this regard has been the Direct Port Delivery (DPD) of containers to the importers thus obviating the need of routing the clearance through the Container Freight Stations (CFSs). The initiative was first launched at JNPT and thereafter extended to other ports. The CBIC vide Circular No. 9/2019-Customs dated September 05, 2019 has clarified the eligibility criteria for availing of Direct Port Delivery (“DPD”) Scheme by importers.

Ideally, any fully facilitated Bill of Entry (“BoE”) filed at the gateway port ought to get the DPD benefit. However, feedback from the field has suggested that some of the factors restricting a larger section of importers to opt for DPD benefits are:

1. non-receipt of original documents from abroad and consequent delay in issuance of Delivery Order,

2. financial and credit woes,

3. delay in settlement of dues of shipping lines,

4. opening PD Account with the terminals, etc.

Due to the cited reasons inhibiting a larger section of importers to opt for PDP. CBIC by promoting DPD has raised the bar of efficiency. It is, therefore, but natural that other players in the EXIM logistics chain get their act together so that this successful reform measure could be made even more widespread.

Taking the all the above factors of constraints, following guidelines are being prescribed for implementation of DPD across all the formations

Inclusions: The following categories of importers may opt for facility of DPD:

1. importers who have already been accorded either AEO Tier I, II or III status;

2. importers with a clear track record of compliance and an import volume of 25 Full Container Load (FCL) TEUs through a particular port or otherwise in the preceding financial year;

Importers falling under the said categories shall furnish information prescribed in application for PDP in the Company’s letter head. While the criterion at (b) is desirable, Chief Commissioner may, however, in deserving cases of importers, relax the TEU benchmark. Such importers could be the once whose imports have enjoyed a consistent pattern of customs risk facilitation / who provide an assurance that they would be in a position to pick up containers directly from the terminal. This dispensation may be particularly considered for the MSME sector.

Exclusions: The following categories of importers however would be excluded from facility of DPD: –

1. importers against whom a case of mis-declaration of description of goods or of concealment / diversion of imported goods / evasion of duty has been made in the preceding five years;

2. importers facing prosecution proceedings in a matter under the Customs Act, 1962;

3. those importing goods that are subjected to 100% examination in terms of extant policy;

4. importers importing mostly LCL consignments.

Conditions: The facility of DPD shall be extended only to such consignments

1. which have either been fully facilitated or not subjected to examination; and

2. importers open a PD account with the terminals and arrange for their own transport to take delivery of containers from the terminal; and

3. any other procedural formality prescribed by the zone for better administration of DPD scheme

In view of the above guidelines for availing DPD, Importers, who have so far not availed the benefit of DPD for reasons including lack of awareness, may now join this program with certainty. The prescribed application Form in Annexure-A has been attached to C.B.I.C, Circular No.29/2019-Customs, dated 05-09-2019.

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