Customs 2.0 Initiative Aims to Boost India’s Logistics Performance on the Global Stage

In a bid to enhance trade efficiency and elevate India’s standing in global logistics, India’s Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra announced the development of Customs 2.0, a cutting-edge automated trade interface system. Malhotra made this revelation during the International Customs Day 2024 celebrations, organized by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).

Highlighting the pivotal role of technology in transforming customs processes, Malhotra emphasized the need for innovation to secure a higher position in the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index (LPI). The LPI 2023, released in April last year, ranked India’s Customs processes at the 47th spot, a decline from its 40th position in 2018.

“India is on the trajectory to become the third-largest economy, surpassing a GDP of USD 5 trillion. However, our current ranking of 47th out of 139 countries in the World Bank report underscores a significant opportunity for improvement,” remarked Malhotra.

To address these challenges, the systems division within Customs is actively working on the development of Customs 2.0. The initiative aims to fully automate all processes within customs and streamline interactions with stakeholders. Malhotra outlined the vision, stating, “All payments, all interfaces with trade need to be automated so that everything is available with the click of a button.”

The ambitious Customs 2.0 initiative aligns with the broader national goal of propelling India’s economy to new heights. By integrating advanced technologies into customs operations, the government aims to not only improve efficiency but also secure a more favorable position in global trade rankings.

The announcement comes as a response to the World Bank’s call for countries to embrace technological advancements in customs procedures, as reflected in the LPI. With Customs 2.0, India aims to leverage automation to simplify and expedite processes, ultimately enhancing the overall ease of doing business.

Industry experts anticipate that the implementation of Customs 2.0 will contribute significantly to reducing delays, enhancing transparency, and minimizing bureaucratic hurdles in international trade. As the global business landscape evolves, India’s commitment to technological innovation in customs procedures is poised to strengthen its position as a key player in the international supply chain.

As stakeholders eagerly await further details on the implementation of Customs 2.0, the initiative signals a proactive step towards modernizing customs operations, fostering economic growth, and solidifying India’s role in the global supply chain landscape.

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