In order to decrease the transaction cost and time of clearance and to streamline the process of Customs clearance, a Committee has been set up by Ministry of Shipping for simplification of shipping related custom procedures. The Committee has came up with certain recommendations on which the following decisions have been taken by the Central Board Of Excise & Customs(‘Board’) vide Circular No. 02/2015-CUS dated January 15, 2015:
- Only 2 hard copies of Import General Manifest: At present, the number of hard copies of Import General Manifest (IGM) filed by shipping liners/streamer agents varies from 2 to 6 at various ports and the Customs is already receiving the IGM electronically. Therefore, the Board has decided that henceforth the number of hard copies of IGM required to be submitted by shipping liners/steamer agents at a Custom House shall be restricted to 2 only.
- Give a continuity bond and merge the guarantee with continuity bond: At present, port clearance is given on the strength of a bond and a guarantee each time a vessel enters. As a measure of simplification, Board has decided to give an option to the streamer agent to (a) give a continuity bond and (b) merge the guarantee with the continuity bond. These would reduce the number of documents required from 2 to 1 and periodicity (of submission) would also get reduced drastically.
- One copy of “Sub Manifest Transhipment Permit” (SMTP) - In case of transshipped cargo, shipping liners send multiple hard copies of SMTP to the destination ICD (Inland Container Depot) despite the same also being transmitted electronically. Therefore, the Board has decided that only 1 copy of SMTP would be sufficient and Customs at ICD should not insist for more than one hard copy of the same except in situations warranting hard copy of the document such as when amendments have to be made.
- No separate permission required for change in mode of transport of transhipment - Currently, separate permissions are required whenever the mode of transport of transhipment containers changes from train to road or vice-versa. In order to boost inter-modal transportation of transshipped cargo and to simplify procedure, the Board has provided that since the carrier has already executed a bond for safe carriage of the goods to the destination port/ICD , no separate permission is required for change in mode of transportation. However, the carrier is required to intimate the change to the Jurisdictional Commissioner of Customs who will ensure that the bond covers both modes to transport.
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