CBIC Extends Customs Clearances Beyond Normal Business Hours at Inland Container Depots
The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBIC) has extended customs clearance beyond normal working hours at inland container depots.
As a measure of trade facilitation and ease of doing business, CBIC has enabled 24/7 customs clearance at many seaports and air cargo complexes across the country. Currently, this facility is available in 20 seaports and 17 airports.
In light of the representations received by the Board of Trade for the extension of the 24×7 customs clearance facility to ICDs across the country, to meet trade requirements.
Addressing the issues raised in the representation, the Council clarified that “as the requirements of members of the profession and local circumstances may vary from place to place, the Council hereby advises all Profs. Chief/Chief Commissioners, having jurisdiction over Inland Container Depots (ICDs) should consider arranging for ICDs under their jurisdiction to be appointed with the extended facility of customs clearance beyond the normal working hours of the one of the following ways, namely:- (a) The facility of Customs clearance can be made available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, similar to the current Council guidelines for seaports and airfreight /airports; (b) The Customs Clearance Facility can be extended every seven (7) days of the week (including public holidays), with stipulated times (say 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.); (c) The clearance facility may be extended beyond normal working hours for specified days of the week and with specified times. »
It has been stated that the decision to appoint an ICD in any way under paragraph 3(a), 3(b) or 3(c) above, depending on whereabouts requirements and the availability of resources, could be for specified imports, viz. goods covered by “facilitated” entry declarations only, or specified exports, viz. reefer containers containing perishable/temperature-sensitive export goods sealed in the presence of customs officials only or goods exported only with free shipping invoices, or for all three categories mentioned.
“To this end, the various relevant aspects must be taken into account, in particular the demands of professional associations, the volume of regular imports and exports, the nature of the import/export products, the participation of other organizations or entities concerned /involved, importers-exporters, customs brokers Consultation with custodians concerns arrangements to be made by them for these purposes If the ICD is not working with the cost recovery fee waiver, it should also agree on the aspect of cost recovery fees in an appropriate manner,” the circular states.
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