F. No.450/95/2012-Cus.IV, New Delhi, dated 20th November, 2012           

Subject:  Measures for promoting cost efficiency of imports by Indian Trade and Industry regarding.

Trade has represented that with the growing container traffic in India, allowing the importers to transfer the goods from foreign containers to domestic shipping containers under Customs supervision in respect of imported goods lying uncleared for more than five days in a Customs area (CFSs / ICDs), can prove beneficial in reducing outflow on account of foreign exchange payments for foreign shipping containers and help Indian trade and industry to become more cost effective.

2. The matter has been examined in the Board. In this regard, Section 49 of the Customs Act, 1962 provides facility of storing goods in warehouses pending clearance in case where goods cannot be cleared within a reasonable time. Moreover, even presently an importer may de-stuff and release a foreign container immediately on arrival in the CFS / ICD. Generally this option is not utilized by importers who have preference to clear goods at their premises as well as to avoid additional handling charges incurred on account of de-stuffing of the containers. It is also possible that some importers may not be aware of this option.

3. In the aforestated circumstances, Board reiterates that importers have the option to avail of the facility under Section 49 of the Customs Act, 1962. Further, importer may exercise the option to de-stuff goods from foreign containers and keep the same in the CFS / ICD including in empty domestic containers therein, under Customs supervision, for subsequent clearance as per law.

4. These instructions may be brought to the notice of all the officers concerned by issuing suitable Standing Orders/instructions/Public Notices.

Yours faithfully,

(G. S. Sinha),

OSD (Customs IV)

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