Chennai: As the nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic is in force, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has come out with several trade friendly initiatives, besides clearing goods 24×7 to avoid any disruptions in supply.
Sources in the Customs department said that they had been clearing goods 24×7 to avoid any supply disruptions, besides customs formations were working for clearance of both import and export cargo.
While assessment examination and ancillary work such as bond acceptance, warehousing, port clearance, amendment to documents has been happening smoothly, the Customs has also set up a dedicated Novel Coronavirus helpdesk for Exim Trade stakeholders on CBIC website to facilitate quick resolution of issues faced.
They said importers could submit undertakings in lieu of the requisite bonds during the lockdown period which will be replaced by proper bonds paper. The time limit for completion of proceedings and filing of any appeal
under the Customs Act, 1962 has been extended till 30 June through an Ordinance.
Based on email requisitions, computers and related accessories have been permitted by the Customs to be shifted to residences of employees of Software Technology Parks of India (STPIs), to facilitate work from home.
While waiving the late fee charged on delayed filing of Bill of Entry
on import consignments from Covid-19 affected countries on account of non-receipt of documents, they said importers could also submit undertakings during the lockdown period which could be replaced by proper bonds later.
Ordinance on relaxation of time limit for proceedings has been passed under the Customs Act, 1962 till 30 June, while mainitaining regular coordination with District Administration and police authorities for smooth movement of EXIM cargo.
Recognising the difficulties faced by trade in taking delivery of imported cargo, the MHA has revised its guidelines, feedback from owners of Customs bonded warehouses, indicates many warehouses and godowns are open and functional.
“As per MHA directive, employees working for Custom Brokers (CBs) services are permitted to travel to the ports or Customs House on passes issued by the port,” they said, adding, zonal chiefs and the CBIC were promptly monitoring the situation through video conference meetings with the field officers and trade to resolve the emerging issues.