Experts discuss Customs and best practices for EXIM trade during Live session


Logistics Insider, in line with the vision of Digital India, on Friday organised a LinkedIn Live event as a part of its first installment of Supply Chain Triathlon. The event titled “Embracing the New Normal: Customs of tomorrow, today” powered by Jeena & company brought together a panel of industry experts who delivered knowledgeable insights for our audiences to take home.

The power-packed session which was brilliantly moderated by Mr Hardik Thosani, Senior Manager-Exim, Jeena and Company commenced as he welcomed the panellists and the audience and put forth the importance of Customs in the nation’s trade. “Customs has been an important organ of our nation’s trade,” he said.

Throwing some light on customs being instrumental in enabling trade, Mr Pramod Sant, Head of EXIM and Customs, Siemens said, “Customs has seen a series of variations. Earlier, its priority was revenue collection. It had a lot of documentation, manual processes, physical assessment and no timelines. From then to now, the customs have evolved. Today, rather than speaking of revenue collection, the first priority of customs is citizen’s security and welfare followed by national security and then, in the end, is the revenue collection. Also, there is a lot of initiatives that have been done like AEO which gives a lot of facilities to the trade to ensure that higher risk management facility is available. Many more initiatives have been taken on automation like e-sanchit etc.”  

Mr AV Vijay Kumar, Chairman, Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations of India (FFFAI), while speaking on the challenges faced, said, “The other partners in the EXIM trade are not fully digitised. In customs, one can clear but as they move for physical clearance there is a minor gap which becomes a hurdle. It is important for custodians and carriers and other supply chain partners to come on one platform that will minus the hurdle and improve transaction time and cost.”

On coping up with the initiatives Mr Saurabh Kumar, CEO, GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo and Logistics says, “Today we are moving from a tradition umbrella or a cost-driven culture towards another important emerging need: Real time visibility and transparency in every process and steps. When we talk about digital capabilities, we have seen a lot of transformations that have been brought up by the customs authority.”

He added, “In the last 5-7 years, the freight forwarders have upgraded their infrastructure to match up with the speed and bring about these emerging needs. Cargo terminal operators and custodians have also upgraded their ERPs to match the air cargo community systems. This is bringing everyone close in a digital environment. Once, we are all close in a digital environment there is good visibility of where what is happening.”

When asked about the expectation from Customs, Mr Sant said, “The wish list goes on, even after many transformations there is never enough that could be done. However, one thing that I wish is that all the changes should reach the grass root levels and the smaller ports across the nation.”        

Adding to the same, Mr Kumar said, “This is a journey, even after all the initiatives and transformation, in the next coming years customers expectations will increase the data requirement the visibility requirement and the service requirement will go up by 3-4 times. We have to work hand in hand. Everyone has to move in the same direction to make transformations be successful at the ground level”.

The event which witnessed traction of 100+ real time viewers further touched upon points such as import policy restrictions, learnings from the Beirut port incident and much more.

To watch the full video, click here.

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