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Introduction: The latest news from the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) unveils key developments, including insights from the Conference of Chief Commissioners of Customs, international collaborations fostering trade, GST advancements, and commendable efforts in preventing smuggling.

Detailed Analysis: The Conference of (Pr.) Chief Commissioners of Customs took center stage, focusing on practical considerations rather than top-driven discussions. The emphasis on engagement with Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) signifies a collaborative effort for efficient customs clearance processes. The push towards standardization in Customs processes emerged as a major takeaway, aligning with the CBIC’s goal of uniform implementation of Indian Customs initiatives.

A notable meeting between CBIC and Ms. Christine Stevenson of New Zealand Customs highlighted cooperation on enforcement, capacity-building, trade boost measures, and potential future engagements. The collaboration underscores the global approach CBIC is taking to enhance Customs practices.

The CBIC also spotlighted the success stories of collaborative efforts within India. Partnerships with state tax administrations, such as the MoU with the Excise and Taxation Department, Government of Haryana, and training programs like those conducted by NACIN Palasamudram for Andhra Pradesh State GST officers, contribute to improved taxpayer services and cooperative federalism.

In a commendable display of vigilance, the Nagpur Customs Commissionerate foiled an attempt to illegally export onions, prohibited by the Government of India. Smugglers had mis-declared the goods as ‘tomatoes’. Another significant case involved the Motihari Division of Patna Customs intercepting a substantial quantity of Chinese garlic, a health hazard, at the Bihar-Nepal Border. The interception, worth Rs. 1.3 crores, showcased the effectiveness of intelligence-based operations with the assistance of SSB.

Conclusion: The CBIC’s commitment to collaboration, standardization, and vigilance is evident in recent developments. The news highlights the board’s proactive approach to enhance Customs processes, strengthen international ties, and combat illegal activities. Stay tuned for more updates from CBIC.

***

Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs

19th February, 2024

DO No. 08/News Letter/CH(IC)/2024

Dear Colleague,

“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us. It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it”

Weekly newsletter from Chairman on Newspaper

The above lines by Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher , emphasize the importance of intellectual flexibility, open-mindedness, and critical thinking and simultaneously urge us to engage with different perspectives and ideas.

I believe that the confluence of ideas provides the necessary oxygen to innovation as well as systemic improvements. In this spirit, the Conference of the (Pr.) Chief Commissioners of Customs was organized last week. The agenda of the two day Conference was comprehensive and wide. I am happy that the discussions were not top-driven and were founded on practical considerations. Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) play a crucial role in expedited customs clearance by collaborating with customs authorities to facilitate efficient and streamlined EXIM clearance processes. Their involvement in such conferences is a good beginning as it provides a platform to engage with some of the PGAs to further our shared goal -facilitation of trade.

As you might recall, at the start of this year, I had indicated my desire to bring about standardization in the implementation of Indian Customs’ initiatives. For me, one of the major takeaways of the Conference was the push towards uniformity in various aspects of Customs processes.

I would also like to mention the meeting held last week between CBIC and Ms. Christine Stevenson, Comptroller, New Zealand Customs. The discussions involved cooperation on enforcement, capacity-building opportunities, measures to boost trade and avenues for future bilateral engagements.

It goes without saying that the machinery of GST is a stellar example of cooperative federalism between the Centre and the States. The strengthening and capacity building of the tax administrations of both the Centre and States will go a long way in providing improved taxpayer services. In this regard, NACIN signed an MoU with the Excise and Taxation Department, Government of Haryana for capacity building and training the officers of Excise and Taxation Department of Haryana. Similarly, NACIN Palasamudram recently conducted a comprehensive three-day training of senior Andhra Pradesh State GST officers in the areas of audit, investigation, adjudication and arrear recovery. I am sure such collaborations will enhance synergy between the Centre and States.

I would like to laud the efforts of Nagpur Customs Commissionerate who foiled the attempt to illegally export 82.93 MT of onion which has been prohibited by the Government of India till March 2024. To evade being detected, the exporters had mis-declared goods as ‘tomatoes’.

In another case worth mentioning, officers of Motihari Division of Patna Customs (P) Commissionerate, based on specific intelligence, seized Garlic of Chinese origin which is considered a pertinent health hazard. About 64,000 Kgs of Garlic, worth Rs. 1.3 crores, was attempted to be smuggled into the country at a remote border area of Bihar-Nepal Border near Sikta Land Customs Station. However, our officers with the assistance of SSB intercepted the goods. Kudos to the team!

Till next week!

Yours sincerely,

(Sanjay Kumar Agarwal)

All Officers and Staff of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes 86 Customs.

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