The Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) has launched e- SANCHIT on a pilot basis from 20th October 2017 for paperless processing, uploading of supporting documents, to facilitate the trading across Borders.

The ‘India Customs Single Window’ allows importers & exporters, to lodge their clearance documents online without approaching other regulatory agencies for requisite permissions if any.

The Integrated Declaration compiles the information requirements of Seven governmental agencies, namely,

  1. Customs,
  2. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
  3. Plant Quarantine,
  4. Animal Quarantine,
  5. Drug Controller,
  6. Wild Life Control Bureau (WCCB) and
  7. Textile Committee and Replaces nine different or separate forms required by said different agencies.

The proposed “Single Window Interface for Trade (SWIFT), would reduce interface with Governmental agencies, reduce precious time & the cost of doing business in India.

How New System Works?

 Any registered ICEGATE user can upload documents by following easy steps.

  1. Login into ICEGATE website. ( icegate.gov.in)
  2. Access the e-SANCHIT application as provided in Menu.
  3. Upload document by clicking on Upload Documents button.( Only PDF Version of documents having size lesser than 1MB)
  4. Validate all PDF documents by using valid Digital Signature.

The list of mandatory documents for export/ import of goods from/ into India are –

  1. Bill of Lading / Airway Bill
  2. Commercial Invoice
  3. Packing List or Commercial Invoice cum Packing List
  4. Bill of Entry.

Verification of Documents

Once Bill of Lading or Entry is uploaded, the Customs Officers will be able to access the e-version of uploaded documents.

Post Clearance Compliance Verification (PCCV) also carried out by online based on the e-versions of documents filed.

For Instance,

Under the pilot, Shipping Bills filed online will be forwarded to the concerned agency, namely, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), for a “No Objection Certificate’ (NOC), if any required.

The selection of items to be referred to any agency will be based on criteria specified by the said agencies.

For granting NoC for goods entered for export, the offices of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) are connected to the ICES. The Officers of FSSAI may use the same role in ICES used for import, to process NOC in exports.

Once a Shipping Bill is filed, the system will determine whether the consignment contains items requiring NOC from the agency. The system will then automatically re-route the Shipping Bill to the concerned FSSAI Office for granting NOC.

Based on the list of Shipping Bills marked to the FSSAI, the officer will retrieve the details of the Shipping Bill and record the decision on ICES website. In case, any further documents are required for verification, the Customs Broker or Exporter would have to furnish copies of export licenses and other certificates as required by the agency.

After due diligence, the concerned officer may record the following –

  • Release NoC,
  • Withhold NOC – Temporarily withheld for want of further information or documents
  • Provisional NoC or
  • Reject NoC – Item is not permitted for clearance for exports.

However, the concerned officer may make a suitable recommendation. Customs shall take further necessary action on the Shipping Bill.

Once NOC is obtained from the concerned agency and assessment by Customs, if any, is completed, the exporter may register goods for stuffing into containers (in case of containerized cargo). Since the agency’s officer records the NOC online, Customs shall not insist on the physical copy of the NOC.

In case of rejection of NOC, the concerned officer shall enter his remarks online on ICES, which will include a brief note on the basis for rejection so that the concerned Assistant /Deputy Commissioner of Customs can take further action, including adjudication under the Customs Act, 1962.

Pilot Test will be extended to:

  • Submission of requisite Documents through Service Centers.
  • Record inspection or examination reports by using handheld devices by concerned officers.
  • Usage of Digital Signatures on Out-of Charge Orders or Assessed copies of Bills of Entry of authorised persons.
  • The Single Window is a much-awaited facility to ease goods clearance procedures at the country’s points of entry and exit.

Source: CBEC

The author is a budding Tax Law Professional and may be contacted @atshreetaxchambers@bsnl.in

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