Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs
North Block, New Delhi-110 001
Tel. : +91-11-23092849, Fax : +91-11-23092890
E-mail : [email protected]
DO No. 25/CH(IC)/2022
23rd May, 2022
It is a landscape like none other. Seemingly endless ‘Sundae forests emerge straight out of the sea. The air is often damp and heavy; the stillness interrupted by birdsong and rhythmic lapping of waves that keep changing the boundaries between land, river and sea. Inside the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest, creeks and tributaries intersect and wander off only to meet again, forming an intricate network of waterways.
Unknown to those looking out from boats frequenting the waterways, falcons, kingfishers, saltwater crocodiles, freshwater dolphins as well as the forest’s many big cats observe you at all times, watching every step you take. Also keeping an eagle eye on the trade flowing through is the Hemnagar Land Customs Station.
Cargo for which the Let Export Order (LEO) is given at Kolkata, a riverine port, travels almost 100 kms. downstream to enter the Bay of Bengal and finally leave the shores of the country at Hemnagar. Due to its remote location, connectivity has been a challenge. Last week, Hemnagar LCS was EDI enabled, bringing online the entire workflow, right upto crossing the border. This will help improve compliance while simultaneously enhancing facilitation. My sincere congratulations to the Pr. Director General, Directorate General of Systems F. Data Management and the Chief Commissioner of Customs, Kolkata and their respective teams for their dynamism and dedication.
In a move to further facilitate trade from our eastern borders, it has been decided that empty containers returning from Bangladesh via the rail route, may be utilized to carry export goods of Bangladesh to India through the Petrapole-Benapole and the Gede-Darshana Land Customs Stations.
On the anti-smuggling front, in a joint operation of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), codenamed Operation Khojbeen, two suspicious boats were interdicted in rough seas off the coast of the Lakshadweep Islands. Thorough search of the boats resulted in the recovery of 218 kg. of high-grade heroin. This is yet another instance of Indian Customs being at the forefront of securing our maritime routes. Kudos to the officers for their meticulous hard work.
Last week, on the sidelines of the World Customs Organisation Regional Heads of Customs Administrations meet of the Asia/Pacific Region at Bali, Indonesia, I had an opportunity to meet and compare notes with my counterparts from several Customs administrations. The conference deliberated on several important issues including the Regional Strategic Plan and the Strategic Plan for WCO for the coming years.
There was a lively discussion and exchange of ideas on how to inculcate and institutionalize data culture in Customs administrations with members making presentations on their respective approach/strategy. There is so much that unites us in this common purpose! With stupendous work that Team CBIC has done, there is also so much we can contribute. I urge you to seek WCO accreditation as experts in different areas of Customs work; to actively use electronic resources on the WCO website; contribute write-ups and articles for their publications & use the WCO CLiKC! platform.
Till next week!
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes 86 Customs