Millennium Post

Customs clearances to get paperless from 2017

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) is planning to rope in more government agencies under its SWIFT mechanism, which replaces nine separate documents with one common electronic declaration.

"In another six months, we are planning to go completely electronic for Customs clearance by doing away with requirement of any physical documents. We are planning to create a web repository," Additional Director General (Customs) S K Vimalanathan said.

The CBEC had, on April 1, launched a single-point interface SWIFT for clearance of imports to facilitate trade by reducing the dwell time. About 10 lakh documents have been processed till June 1,2016. "Importers still need to show physical copies of various documents like analytical certificates.

 We are working on enabling importers to scan and upload those documents in a PDF format and this will be made available to Customs officer as a link," Vimalanathan said. The CBEC will float a 'Request For Proposal' within three months inviting IT companies to integrate the customs system which currently uses three softwares for faster clearance of goods.

 "With the Integrated Customs System, the document processing time will come down to less than 10 seconds from more than 10 minutes now," Vimalanathan said.

The CBEC has substantially brought down the documentation requirements and now importer are required to file only three documents -- Declaration of Goods, Invoice and packing list -- at the time of Bill of Entry. Earlier, importers had to file 18 such documents.

 The SWIFT clearance mechanism brings in six government agencies -- FSSAI, plant quarantine, animal quarantine, drug controller, wild life controller bureau and textiles committee -- on a single platform. 
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