F. No. 450/148/2014-Cus.IV

Government of India

Ministry of Finance

Department of Revenue

Central Board of Excise and Customs

229-B, North Block,

New Delhi, the 19th September, 2014

Subject: Passengers Facilitation at International Airports – Reg.

         The Board attaches great importance to facilitation of passengers at international airports.  It is also well known that international passengers form an opinion of our country from the way they are treated by the Customs officers.  Therefore, there needs to be a renewed emphasis on improving the efficiency of our Customs officers as well as their behavior towards international passengers Considering all these aspects, the following instructions are issued:-

(i)     Training and exposure to modern methods of developing soft skills would certainly improve the manner in which a Customs officer interacts with international passengers.  This would ensure a higher level of passenger facilitation as well as create a good image of the Department and of our country.  Therefore, besides close monitoring by the supervisory officers, training of the Customs officers posted at international airports has to be given importance.  Hence, the Board has decided that the Chief Commissioners of Customs with international airports in their charge shall ensure that every Customs officer newly posted at the international airports mandatorily undergoes a training in the relevant rules and regulations as well as in the manner of dealing with international passengers.  The emphasis should be on sensitizing the Customs officers to deal with all arriving passengers and especially international passengers in a polite, professional and pro-active facilitative manner.  These training programmes should be repeated on 6-monthly intervals.  Since multiple agencies function at international airports, it would also be useful to coordinate interactive sessions involving officials of other agencies so that collectively a good impression is made on international passengers.  The Chief Commissioner of Customs should coordinate these training programmes with NACEN, but should also take initiative to organize in-house programmes.

(ii)     Another measure that would assist international passengers and in turn create a good image of the Department and our country would be through “Help Desks”.  Admittedly, PROs perform this function today, but it is important to publicize this facility.  Since the public is largely attuned to “Help Desks” we need to use this term.  Thus, the Board desires that the Customs should set up a “Help Desk” in a prominent place immediately after immigration in the arrival hall and similarly in the departure hall of international airports.  There should also be a signboard to guide the international passengers to the “Help Desk”.  Needless to state, the Customs officers(s) manning the “Help Desk” should be properly selected and must have in his/her possession required forms and information to guide international passengers.

2.   The Board desires that immediate action may be taken on institutionalizing the aforementioned training programmes as well as establishing the “Help Desk”.  The Board expected that these steps would enhance passenger facilitation as well as create a good image of the Department and our country.  A compliance report would be appreciated.  Difficulty in this regard, if any, may be informed though Board expects the Chief Commissioners of Customs would smoothly implement these instructions.

Yours faithfully,

(P. K.  Khetan)

OSD Customs (PAC)

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