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DATE 11.08.2022


Subject: – Jacket with camera for use by the vessel Boarding Officer-pilot at JNCH- procedure -reg.

Internationally, uniform jackets with equipment such as walkie talkie, night binoculars, body worn cameras (BWCs), searchlight caps, has found an increasing use by the law enforcement agencies for specific areas of work, as per the requirement.

2. The use of similar uniform jacket with equipment for Customs has been examined. It is felt that to begin with, this should be prescribed for use by the Boarding Officers at this port on pilot basis.

3. In the seaport, the Boarding officer is the first government official to deal with the foreign vessel on its first arrival to Indian ports and he/she has various responsibilities on his/her shoulders. The Boarding Officers are the face of Indian Customs at the ports. Crisp in their white uniforms, the first to set foot on any vessel entering the Indian frontiers, they are the cutting-edge functionaries of the Service whose visibility extends to the Shipping lines, terminal operators, logistic partners, custom brokers, businessmen and most importantly the common man. Thus, the boarding officer has to act as an ambassador of the country and has to initiate customs formalities and procedure without causing any inconvenience to the trade.

4. As per his/her duties, he/she shall board all the vessels on their first arrival in India and collect the Arrival report consisting of General declaration, Vessel’s stores list, Crew list, private property list of the members of the crew, a detailed list of embarking / disembarking of the passengers/crew, list of same bottom cargo, Vessel Cargo, vessel’s currency declaration, list of arms, ammunition and satellite phones, list of permissible dangerous drugs for the use of vessel or its crew, if any, etc.. He/She shall verify Bond stores and the consumable stores of the vessel with the declaration and shall put the items like liquor, cigarettes, tobacco, arms & ammunition and other such items of the vessel and its crew, under customs seal. He/She shall carry checks of minimum 5% of the property in possession of the crew with their declaration and shall put the excess quantity, if any, under seal.

5. The performance of the above duties and the interaction during the course of his/her duties require maintaining of absolute transparency, legitimacy and accountability. In order to highlight the importance of Customs arid accord it the fitting tag of frontiers of economic borders of the country, the visibility of Customs officers at the port should be enhanced.

6. Keeping the above objective in mind, it has been decided to prescribe and use a jacket with body worn camera for the Boarding officers at this port. This will provide transparency, while carrying on physical check on board and also provide evidence in case of an offence or suspected offence. It will not only add to the visibility of the officer but also has the benefit of increased transparency, legitimacy and accountability for both the citizens and the Customs especially in light of ,enhanced scrutiny of such public interactions.

7. In this regard, the following procedure shall be followed by the boarding officers-

(i) The boarding officer shall wear the jacket with their name and badges before boarding the vessel. The body worn camera shall be placed on the right side at a space specifically designed to hold the body camera. The camera shall be placed upright to capture the image of interaction with vessel’s crew and verification process clearly.

(ii) The recording camera would be positioned in such a manner so that those watching the footage see the situation from the officer’s perspective.

(iii) Officer shall activate their camera at the start of their boarding duty on approaching the gangway and make people aware that they are being recorded. The recording shall be continued uninterrupted until the officer, de-boards the vessel, and reaches back at the end of the gangway.

(iv) At the end of the officer’s shift, the officer shall transfer the recorded data in an internal drive secured with password protection. At the end of every day, a backup copy in hard disk to be sent and kept in safe custody of AC/DC concerned. The recordings shall be retained for minimum 30 days. All the officers shall ensure safe storage of data and access to the same shall be restricted for outside use.

(v) The body camera after transferring all the data shall be handed to next batch officer safely. It needs to be recorded in the register immediately during handover.

(vi) Astt/Deputy Commissioner Boarding shall oversee these recordings on random basis every week and send the details of video reviewed and observations made to Joint/Additional Commissioner Boarding.

(vii) Joint/Additional Commissioner Boarding shall review these recordings and the observations made by the Astt/Deputy Commissioner Boarding every month and submit a monthly report to Commissioner (General).

8. The Standing Order shall come into force with effect from 15.08.2022(10:30AM). Any difficulty faced in implementation of these instructions shall be brought to the notice of the undersigned.

This issues with the approval of Competent Authority.

(Merugu Suresh)
Addl. Commissioner of Customs(General).
JNCH, Mumbai Zone II

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