SME Times News Bureau | 08 Aug, 2012
Introduction of 24x7 customs clearance operation would reduce transaction time and cost, and help exporters meet stringent delivery schedule, according to exporters' body Federation of Export Organisations (FIEO), on Wednesday.
"The exporting community had been requesting for this facility and implementation of the same will greatly help them in clearance of their import-export shipments," said FIEO President M. Rafeeque Ahmed.
However, he demanded that the new facility should also be extended soon to export consignments other than Factory Stuffed export containers and exports under Free Shipping Bills.
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Tuesday had announced that customs clearance and other facilities would be provided at four airports: Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai, and four ports: Chennai, Kolkata, Kandla (Gujarat) and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (Mumbai), round-the-clock from Aug 25.
According to the statement, the 24x7 operations would begin on a pilot basis with customs operations along with all other complementary services. Along with customs clearances, other government agencies and private players shall also have to work 24x7 to synchronize with the extended work hours.
The facility would be initially for four months after which efforts would be made to expand similar operations at other locations.
The FIEO Chief added that the move would help improve India's ranking as far as ease of doing business in India is concerned.
"This trade facilitation measure will definitely encourage the exporters and India will be able to achieve the set export target," the FIEO chief added.
One of the major constraints for international trade has been the non-availability of customs clearance and other facilities at airports and seaports round the clock, seven days a week.
Import and export cargo, delivered at a time when clearance facilities are unavailable, have to wait till clearance facilities are open to move on to their destination. At airports and ports, which in any case normally operate round the clock, cargo piles up awaiting clearances.