Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
(Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs)
Room No. 227B, North Block,
New Delhi 28th February 2019
All Principal Chief Commissioners/ Chief Commissioners of Customs / Customs (Prev.)
All Principal Chief Commissioners/ Chief Commissioners of Customs & GST
All Principal Commissioners/ Commissioners of Customs / Customs (Prev.)
All Principal Commissioners/ Commissioners of Customs & GST
All Principal Directors General/ Directors General under CBIC
Sir / Madam,
A critical component of The World Bank`s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Index rankings 2019 is its `Trading Across Borders` category in which India now stands at rank 80, a huge jump of 66 ranks from 146 in 2018. This was made possible largely due to several reform measures initiated and implemented by the CBIC, which inter alia include SWIFT, e-Sanchit, DPD, revised AEO programme, RFID e-seal programme etc. which combined to reduce the time and cost of clearance of goods in the various Customs ports. The next target of Government is to be in the top 50 of the EODB ranking in this category and the efforts in this direction are being spearheaded by the CBIC by the introduction of the next generation reform aptly named Turant Customs. This reform is a comprehensive package of various elements that would be implemented from time to time in the next few months.
2. In this regard your attention is drawn to the Bill of Entry (Electronic Integrated Declaration and Paperless Processing) Regulations, 2018 which require the importers or their authorised persons to enter the electronic integrated declaration (Bill of Entry) and the supporting documents in the Customs Automated System by affixing a digital signature. Accordingly, the supporting documents are presently uploaded using e–Sanchit from the ICEGATE web portal (refer Circular No. 40/2017-Customs dated 13.10.2017 and Instruction No. 02/2018 Customs dated 07.02.2018). Now, in furtherance of these regulations, the importers or their authorised persons would be able to themselves register the goods online on the ICEGATE web portal after the goods have arrived (and not after payment of duty, as at present). This self-registration would further reduce the time of clearance besides freeing the Customs officers for handling other important items of work.
3. A further trade facilitation initiative being introduced in the Customs clearance process is that of Customs Compliance Verification (CCV) which would operate after an importer registers the imported goods even while duty has not been paid or its payment is in process. Once the goods are registered, the proper officer would do all necessary verifications as per Sections 17/18 and Section 47(1) of the Customs Act, 1962. On satisfaction that the goods are ready for clearance, but for the payment of duties, the proper officer would confirm the completion of the CCV for the particular Bill of Entry in the System. Thereafter, on payment of duty by the importer, the Customs Automated System would electronically give clearance to the Bill of Entry, as provided for in the 1st proviso to Section 47(1) of the Customs Act, 1962.
4. It is to be noted that the above new features in ICES 1.5 of granting clearance post CCV will continue to be subject to the interdictions from the RMS, alerts from agencies such as Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), and other local contingencies which are already part of the inbuilt checks in ICES. Considering that the OOC would normally be given by the System and not by an officer, the interdicted Bills of Entry will be removed from the queue for electronic clearance by System mentioned in para 3 above.
5. Further, significant changes have been made in the ICES 1.5 for clearance of imported goods after finalisation of assessment and payment of duty under Section 47(1) of the Customs Act, 1962. The proper officer will now have access to a fully automated queue of Bills of Entry ready for the grant of clearance in the ICES 1.5 which obviates the present necessity of the importer/authorised person having to present the Bill of Entry number and date to this officer for seeking clearance. Based upon the Bills of Entry which are ready for clearance in this automated queue the proper officer would be able to directly and immediately grant clearance on the System. Besides greatly reducing the dwell time of the goods that are pending only for the grant of such clearance, this will reduce the interface of the trade with the department personnel to the advantage of both.
6. The Bills of Entry which are fully facilitated by the Risk Management System will also be automatically routed to the proper officer for giving clearance after registration has been completed by the importer, as explained in the para 2 above. The field formations would be required to map officers especially for this purpose. The detailed requirements from ICES shall be separately circulated by DG Systems as an ICES advisory.
7. Suitable trade notice / standing order may be issued to guide the trade and industry. Difficulty, if any, faced in implementation of these instructions may be brought to the notice of the Board immediately.