prpri Measures for expediting Customs Faceless Assessment & clearance processes Measures for expediting Customs Faceless Assessment & clearance processes

OFFICE OF THE PR.COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS (NS– I),
JAWAHARLAL NEHRU CUSTOM HOUSE,/SHEVA,
TAL/URAN/DISTRICT/RAIGAD/MAHARASHTRA-400707
FN. S/22-Gen-20/2020-21/AM (I)/JNCH Pt-IDated: 14.07.2021

Standing Order No. 18/2021

Sub: Improvements in Faceless Assessment-Measures for expediting Customs Clearances – reg

Attention of all Importers/Exporters, Custom Brokers and other stakeholders is invited to CBIC’s Circular No. 14/2021-Customs, dated 07.07.2021 and Public Notice No. 69/2021 dated 14.07.2021 on the above subject.

2. Board has recently comprehensively reviewed the implementation of Faceless Assessment and deliberated on the further measures required for expediting the pace of assessment and Customs clearance of imported goods.

3. Accordingly, Board has decided to implement the following measures in the Customs Faceless Assessment and clearance processes:

3.1 Enhancement of facilitation levels: Board has earlier reviewed the facilitation levels in imports and vide Circular No. 39/2011-Customs dated 02.09.2011 decided the facilitation targets should be 80% for Aircargo Complexes, 70% for Seaports and 60% for ICDs. Various initiatives have since been taken to leverage technology as well as simplify extant procedures. As a result, the overall average facilitation levels have already exceeded these levels with the All-India average facilitation level across all Customs stations being 77% for May 2021. Board also notes that the use of machine learning and the other state of art technologies now enables RMS to more precisely target the risky consignments thereby enabling more focussed attention on lesser number of Bills of Entry for assessment by the FAGs. Thus, Board has decided that w.e.f. 15.07.2021 the facilitation level across all Customs stations would be increased to 90% relating to RMD. It is clarified that the element of randomness in interdiction of any Bill of Entry would be retained by RMS. This measure is expected to enable faster clearance of non-risky imports with enhanced focus on risky imports, so that revenue remains safeguarded. The aforementioned circular stands modified accordingly.

3.2 Expediting assessment process: With a view to facilitate faster decisions and, in turn, faster verification of self-assessments as well as to promote specialization and enhance uniformity in assessment, Board has decided to implement changes in the assessment procedure, as follows –

(i) The working hours of all FAGs shall be uniform from 10 AM till 8 PM on any working day. However, it will be ensured by staggered timings that no assessing officer is required to work for more than the working hours that are prescribed, as per the existing guidelines of the Government of India. Consequently, in the Standing Order No.15/2021 dated 25.06.2021 in Paras 1, 5 & 6 ‘10 pm’ and ‘8 am’ are amended as ‘8 pm’ and ‘10 am’ respectively. However, in the event of administrative exigencies or local circumstances, the working hours may be prescribed beyond time interval of 10 AM to 8 PM.

(ii) Assessment Groups shall communicate the ‘first decision’ on the Bill of Entry within 3 working hours after its allocation. The first decision could be acceptance of the self-assessment, query to the importer or a First Check, as may be warranted. In this regard, refer to the Standing Order No. 17/2021 dated 13.07.2021 issued by Pr. Chief Commissioner’s office. Also, there shall not be pendency of bills of entry with VAO/VDC in any Assessment Group at the end of day.

(iii) The total number of queries which can be raised by an Appraising Officer in respect of a Bill of Entry would now be restricted to 3 (three). Further, such queries can now be raised without seeking approval of the Addl./Joint Commissioner of Customs. Circular No. 55/2020-Customs dated 17.12.2020 stands suitably modified. In this regard, considering this limit to the number of queries, Board desires that, Appraising Officer raises query in a clear and holistic manner giving reference to supporting details/documents with respect to Valuation/Classification etc., so that the importer does not have any doubt and is in a position to reply categorically for early completion of verification.

(iv) The option to `set-aside` 5 (five) Bills of Entry, which is already available with the Appraiser/ Superintendent would henceforth not require an approval of the Deputy/Assistant Commissioners of Customs. It is expected that the Appraiser/ Superintendent would utilize the facility to set aside certain BEs (upto the limit) to address some genuine issues.

3.3 Re-organisation of FAGs-Specialization: To promote specialization in assessment, it has been decided to create separate FAGs for certain commodities. These new FAGs would become operational from 15.07.202 1, and would be as follows:

Present Assessment Group (CTH) New FAGs (CTH)
1(01-26) 1 (01-15) – Primary Products 1
1B (16-26) – Primary Products 2
4 (72-83) 4 (72-73) – Ferrous Base Metals
4A (74-83) – Non-Ferrous Base Metals
5 (84) 5 (8401-8469) – Mechanical Machinery -I
5E (8470-8473) – Mechanical Machinery -II
5N (8474-8487) – Mechanical Machinery -III
5A (85) 5A (8501-8516) – Electrical Machinery
5C (8517-8531) – Communication & related Equipment
5M (8532-8548) – Micro-Electronics
5B (86-92) 5V(86-87) – Vehicles
5F (88) – Airc rafts
5S (89) – Vessels
5I (90-92) – Instruments & Apparatus

In this connection, JNCH Principal Chief Commissioner’s Office Public Notice no. 66/2021 dated 09.07.2021, issued amending the Public Notice no. 113/2020 dated 10.09.2020, may be referred to wherein the Port Assessment Groups & Faceless Assessment Groups including the new groups created that come under the jurisdiction of NS-I, NS-III & NS-V Import Commissionerates have been specified.

3.4  Automated generation of examination orders: In order to enhance uniformity and streamline the examination orders, Board has decided to introduce RMS generated uniform examination orders at all Customs stations across the country. Further, the imports of items which ordinarily warrant First Check as per para 2.3 of Circular No.45/2020-Customs dated 12.10.2020 would now be directly routed to the shed for First Check examination. Such First Check Bills of Entry will now be referred to the FAG for assessment only after a First Check examination report has been uploaded by the Shed Officers in the Customs system. The detailed implementation advisory on this will be issued shortly.

3.5 Anonymised escalation: To better address the grievances of trade relating largely to delays in assessment, DG Systems shall soon shortly operationalise an Anonymized Escalation Mechanism (AEM) on ICEGATE which would empower importers/Customs Brokers to directly register his/her requirement of expeditious clearance of a delayed Bill of Entry, which may be pending for assessment or examination. The features of the AEM would include, amongst others:

(i) In case of delay of more than 1 working day, an importer/Customs Broker would be able to initiate AEM through ICEGATE or approach TSK for the same.

(ii) The AEM will automatically route the grievance to the concerned FAG/Import Shed, with a notification to Additional/Joint Commissioners of Customs of the concerned FAG and Port of Import.

(iii) The concerned FAG is required to dispose the grievance promptly and same shall be monitored by the concerned Additional/Joint Commissioner of Customs of the concerned FAG/Import Shed.

(iv) The status of the disposal would be updated on the dashboard of ICEGATE, TSK, FAG and to the concerned officers.

4. The changes stipulated in para 3.1 to 3.3 will come into effect from 15.07.2021.

Sd/-
(U. Niranjan)
Pr. Commissioner of Customs

Copy to:

1. The Pr. Chief Commissioner of Customs, Mumbai Zone-II, Nhava Sheva.

2. The Pr. Commissioners/ Commissioners of Customs, NS-I,NS-II,NS-III, NS-V,NS-G and NS-Audit, Nhava Sheva.

3. Additional/Joint/Dy iAsstt. Commissioners of Customs, Nhava Sheva.

4. Sections/Groups/Docks/RMSFC, Nhava Sheva through JNCH website.

5. AC/DC, EDI for uploading on JNCH website.

*****

OFFICE OF THE PR.COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS (NS– I),
JAWAHARLAL NEHRU CUSTOM HOUSE,
SHEVA, TAL/URAN/DISTRICT-RAIGAD,/MAHARASHTRA-400707

FN. S/22-Gen-20/2020-21/AM (I)/JNCH Pt-I

Dated: 14.07.2021

PUBLIC NOTICE NO. 69/2021- JNCH
DIN- 20210778NW000032323D

Sub: Improvements in Faceless Assessment-Measures for expediting Customs Clearances – reg

Attention of all Importers/Exporters, Custom Brokers and other stakeholders is invited to CBIC’s Circular No. 14/2021-Customs, dated 07.07.2021 on the above subject.

2. On comprehensive review of the implementation of Faceless Assessment, with a view to increase in the pace of assessments and Customs clearance, while further enhancing the uniformity in assessments and anonymity, Board has decided to implement the following measures in the Customs Faceless Assessment and clearance processes:

2.1 Enhancement of facilitation levels: With the use of machine learning and the other state of art technologies, the Board has decided to increase the facilitation level to 90% relating to RMD. However, the element of randomness in interdiction of any Bill of Entry would be retained by RMS.

2.2 Expediting assessment process: In order to facilitate faster decisions and, in turn, faster verification of self-assessments, it has been decided to implement changes in the assessment procedure inter-alia as follows –

The total number of queries which can be raised by an Appraising Officer in respect of a Bill of Entry would now be restricted to 3 (three). Further, such queries can now be raised without seeking approval of the Addl./Joint Commissioner of Customs. Circular No. 55/2020-Customs dated 17.12.2020 stands suitably modified. In this regard, considering this limit to the number of queries, it is desired that Appraising Officer raises query in a clear and holistic manner giving reference to supporting details/documents with respect to Valuation/Classification etc., so that the importer does not have any doubt and is in a position to reply categorically for early completion of verification.The Importer/CHA is also advised to ensure that queries are replied giving full and complete relevant information, lest the Assessing Officer should complete the assessment as per the available record/information and as per legal position as understood by him.

2.3 Re-organisation of FAGs-Specialization: To promote specialization in assessment, it has been decided to create separate FAGs for certain commodities. These new FAGs would become operational from 15.07.2021, and would be as follows:

Present Assessment Group (CTH) New FAGs (CTH)
1(01-26) 1 (01-15) – Primary Products 1
1B (16-26) – Primary Products 2
4 (72-83) 4 (72-73) – Ferrous Base Metals
4A (74-83) – Non-Ferrous Base Metals
5 (84) 5 (8401-8469) – Mechanical Machinery -I
5E (8470-8473) – Mechanical Machinery -II
5N (8474-8487) – Mechanical Machinery -III
5A (85) 5A (8501-8516) – Electrical Machinery
5C (8517-8531) – Communication & related Equipment
5M (8532-8548) – Micro-Electronics
5B (86-92) 5V(86-87) – Vehicles
5F (88) – Aircrafts
5S (89) – Vessels
5I (90-92) – Instruments & Apparatus

In this connection, JNCH Principal Chief Commissioner’s Office Public Notice no. 66/2021 dated 09.07.2021, issued amending the Public Notice no. 113/2020 dated 10.09.2020, may be referred to wherein the Port Assessment Groups & Faceless Assessment Groups including the new groups created, that come under the jurisdiction of NS-I, NS-III & NS-V Import Commissionerates have been specified.

2.4 Automated generation of examination orders: In order to enhance uniformity and streamline the examination orders, Board has decided to introduce RMS generated uniform examination orders at all Customs stations across the country. Further, the imports of items which ordinarily warrant First Check as per para 2.3 of Circular No.45/2020-Customs dated 12.10.2020 would now be directly routed to the shed for First Check examination. Such First Check Bills of Entry will now be referred to the FAG for assessment only after a First Check examination report has been uploaded by the Shed Officers in the Customs system. The detailed implementation advisory on this will be issued shortly.

2.5 Anonymised escalation: To better address the grievances of trade relating largely to delays in assessment, DG Systems shall soon shortly operationalize an Anonymized Escalation Mechanism (AEM) on ICEGATE which would empower importers/Customs Brokers to directly register his/her requirement of expeditious clearance of a delayed Bill of Entry, which may be pending for assessment or examination. The features of the AEM would include, amongst others:

(i) In case of delay of more than 1 working day, an importer/Customs Broker would be able to initiate AEM through ICEGATE or approach TSK for the same.

(ii) The AEM will automatically route the grievance to the concerned FAG/Import Shed, with a notification to Additional/Joint Commissioners of Customs of the concerned FAG and Port of Import.

(iii) The concerned FAG is required to dispose the grievance promptly and same shall be monitored by the concerned Additional/Joint Commissioner of Customs of the concerned FAG/Import Shed.

(iv) The status of the disposal would be updated on the dashboard of ICEGATE, TSK, FAG and to the concerned officers.

3. The changes stipulated in paras 2.1 to 2.3 will come into effect from 15.07.2021. Wherever required, DG Systems would shortly be issuing advisories to give effect to these changes.

4. Difficulty, if any, faced in implementation of the said Public Notice may be brought to the notice of the Additional Commissioner (Appraising Main, Import) through email on jnch@gov.in.

Sd/-
( U. Niranjan)
Pr. Commissioner of Customs

Copy to:

1. The Pr. Chief Commissioner of Customs, Mumbai Zone-II, Nhava Sheva.

2. The Pr. Commissioners/Commissioners of Customs, NS-I,NS-II,NS-III,NS-V,NS-G and NS-Audit, Nhava Sheva.

3. Additional/Joint/Dy./Asstt. Commissioners of Customs, Nhava Sheva.

4. Sections/Groups/Docks/RMSFC, Nhava Sheva through JNCH website.

5. Customs Broker Associations- BCBA/WISA.

6. Members of the Trade (MANSA/CFSAI/CSLA etc) as per mailing list.

7. AC/DC, EDI for uploading on JNCH website.

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