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Last updated: 25 Nov, 2021  

Sitharaman.9.Thmb.jpg FM reviews activities of Indian customs

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SME Times News Bureau | 25 Nov, 2021

Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman today undertook a day long review of the Customs activities at Nhava Sheva in Raigad district of Maharashtra off the Mumbai coast.

The Finance Minister was given an overview of Customs clearance process and recent initiatives taken by the Customs, for leveraging Information Technology.

In the recent past, the CBIC has made significant technological interventions such as online mandatory advance filing of Customs documents on imports, enabling electronic submission of supporting documents on e-Sanchit, online registration of goods along with online payment of Customs duty, digitization of Customs documents and automated clearance on Imports.

To complement these reforms, CBIC has also been actively taking up measures for improvement in the logistics chain such as robust implement X-Ray scanners and use of RFID tags for tracking and tracing of containers.

These reforms/initiatives undertaken by CBIC have contributed significantly to enable an environment of Ease of Doing Business, reducing compliance burden and to bring down the overall cargo release time.

Finance Minister, after reviewing various initiatives taken by Customs in the area of trade facilitation urged for stronger administration and coordination of functions to achieve ‘zero daily assessment pendency’ and faster release of cargo.

She also laid thrust on consistent processing of export incentive schemes viz : RoDTEP (Remission of Duties & Taxes on Export Products) and RoSCTL (Rebate of State & Central Taxes and Levies) and timely disposal of refunds / drawback payable.

Sitharaman also asked the officers to speed up disposal of hazardous goods and desired that quasi-judicial process, if any, be carried out in a manner to achieve disposal within three months of import.

She said adequate publicity should be given for destruction of narcotics.

The Minister also undertook a detailed survey of the infrastructure at Nhava Sheva’s vessel, cargo and land-side stacking and transport operations.

She also noted the revenue, security and facilitation roles performed by the Customs officers.

The Minister took special note of initiatives such as the single unified on-wheel export documentation centre (Centralised Parking Plaza) close to the Port for factory e-sealed containers that caters to around 50% export TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) at Nhava Sheva.

The Centralized Parking Plaza, commissioned a year ago, has integrated the movement, document processing and many services which were handled earlier at multiple sites away from the port.

To further boost trade facilitation, Ms. Sitharaman initiated the setting up of a Customs Examination Facility for on-wheel factory sealed export containers at JNPT’s Centralized Parking Plaza itself.

The facility shall obviate the need to move such containers, that are selected for examination on basis of risk, to be sent to a separate location. Both cost and time involved for exporters would be saved. The Bhumi Pujan for this facility was performed by the Finance Minister today.

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