New Delhi: The revenue department has launched electronic delivery of gate passes and final bills of entry to customs brokers and importers with an aim to further simplify import clearance process by reducing human interface and help tackle the scourge of COVID-19.
The measures will be effective from Wednesday, said the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in circular regarding ‘Paperless Customs Electronic Communication of PDF-based Gate Pass and OOC Copy of Bill of Entry to Custom Brokers/Importers’.
The CBIC said that it has taken a number of measures to facilitate and expedite customs clearance process making it more and more contact-less in order to mitigate the unprecedented situation due to COVID-19 pandemic.
These measures include the facility to clear goods on the basis of an undertaking (not bond) and acceptance of electronic country of origin certificate.
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Now, as specific measures that reduce interface between authorities and importers/exporters/customs brokers, CBIC has decided to enable electronic communication of PDF-based Final eOoC (electronic Out of Charge) copy of BoE (Bill of Entry) and e-gate pass to the importers/customs brokers, the circular said.
“This electronic communication would reduce interface between the customs authorities and the importers/customs brokers and also do away with the requirement of taking bulky printouts from the service centre or maintenance of voluminous physical dockets in the customs houses,” it said.
The e-gate pass copy will be used by the gate officer or the custodian to allow physical exit of the imported goods from the customs area.
CBIC said the electronic communication of the final eOoC copy of BoE and e-gate pass copy is expected to bring immense benefits in terms of time and cost of compliance and reduction in the interface for the trade while providing enhanced security features for verification of authenticity and validity of the electronic documents.
This will be effective from April 15, 2020, it added.