The DG Systems of Customs in a webinar held recently on “Digital Transformation through Paperless Initiatives in Customs Clearance” unveiled a slew of initiatives that the department is going to implement soon to facilitate trade through digitization and Public Private Partnership (PPP), in view of the challenges due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown/curfew.
In the webinar, FFFAI also presented a number of recommendations before the Customs Authority, so that cargo clearance streamlined despite challenges.
Sandeep Kumar, DG Systems, Government of India emphasized on the need for achieving transparent process in Customs Clearance to enhance security and revenue of the country. He called on FFFAI Chairman AV Vijaykumar in this webinar to work on blockchain technology for achieving the centralized KYC and also to achieve further uniformity in various processes involved in customs clearance of Exim cargo.
FFFAI team which was represented by Mr Vijaykumar and BCBA President Mr Karunakar Shetty, along with Shankar Shinde, Chairman-Elect; S Ramakrishna, Immediate Past Chairman and Dushyant Mulani, Honorary Secretary addressed the issues which were collated from 28 FFFAI member associations across the country.
While accepting the recommendations of creation of blockchain to work on the creation of a centralized database of all the importers and exporters, Mr Vijaykumar conveyed that FFFAI with its outreach to every nook and corner of the country is geared up for creating the centralized KYC database of importers and exporters transacting through Customs, which will help to create a secure working environment.
Anupam Prakash, EDG, Systems along with Kshitij Jain, Joint Commissioner, Systems unveiled future endeavours of the Directorate of Systems which will result in a high degree of paperless transaction.
Mr Ramakrishna suggested that the centralized KYC with signature verification through the banker of EXIM trade would enhance the security. FFFAI have already given a proposal to the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Commerce in this regard. It was also suggested that similar to import and LEO documents if it is sent in PDF format along with copy to shipping line and load port the TR-1 and TR-2 can be done away with. Registration of goods should be immediately after the entry of goods in Customs area along with uploading with Annexure-C is also recommended for minimizing handling of export goods.
Supplementing Mr Ramakrishna, Mr Mulani highlighted some other important points given below.
- The customs EDI system software to be designed for auto monitoring and escalation mechanism to check the pendency in import Bill of Entries and export Shipping Bills
- A provision in the EDI system for duplication of manual process to be avoided while executing bonds with Customs
- LEO time and date should be mentioned in Export Module in ICEGATE of each activity from submission to LEO such as Assessment, DC Release, Registration of Documents for LEO, Query reply in the same manner of imports and Feeding examination report and LEO.
- CTD declaration for transit cargo should be brought under EDI instead of manual at present.