Centre makes identity verification must for new importers, exporters

New Delhi: The government has made it mandatory for new importer, exporter and customs broker to verify their identity, including incorporation document, PAN, Aadhaar as well as physical verification of place of business.

The Customs (Verification of Identity and Compliance) Regulations, 2021, also gives customs authorities power to undertake identity verification of existing importers, exporters and customs brokers.

The person selected for verification would have to furnish to the Customs authorities documents or information on the Common Portal within 15 days of such intimation of selection. These include document of incorporation, document evidencing appointment of authorised signatories, if applicable, Permanent Account Number; GST Identification Number; document such as bank statement, Income Tax Return etc. evidencing financial standing of the person.

"...a person who is newly engaging in import or export activity after the commencement of these regulations shall furnish the said documents not later than 30 days of engaging in import or export activity," the regulations said.

Importers, exporters and customs brokers would have to undertake authentication of Aadhaar; and PAN verification on the Customs common portal.

Following this, Customs authorities would undertake a physical verification of the address provided in the principal place of business within 45 days from the date of submission of the documents; and also evaluate the financial standing of the person.

EY Tax Partner Abhishek Jain said the government recently brought in regulations under the GST law to identify fictitious entities and prevent fake invoicing under GST.

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