Change in Policy and Guidelines for setting up of Inland Container Depots (ICDs), Container Freight Stations (CFSs) and Air Freight Stations (AFSs).
CBIC has issued Circular No. 50/2020-Customs which bring about a change in the policy and guidelines for setting up various Inland Container Depots, Container Freight Stations and Air Freight Stations.
According to the CBIC, majority of CFSs are located up to 50 kms away from the port and are concentrated in high numbers in the western and southern India. ICDs on the other hand are concentrated in the northern hinterland. Similarly, the traffic across ICDs is also not distributed evenly, only 25 ICDs cater 83% of the total volume (in terms of Shipping Bills and Bills of Entries.
Therefore, on account of plethora of changes in the policy, technology landscape and the logistics ecosystem over the time, need was felt for revising the policies and procedure for setting up of new ICDs / CFSs / AFSs to meet the requirement of the changing paradigm and the aspirations of the trade.
(i) takes into account the present capacity, future growth potential and regional imbalances and also addresses the need for bringing uniformity, transparency and seamless approval process;
(ii) addresses the identified regulatory and logistics concerns associated with the hard and soft infrastructure of ICDs / CFSs/ AFSs in India;
(iii) establishes a framework of functional requirements pertaining to the design and operation of dry ports, as well as establish certain processes to enable sustainable growth of the sector; and
(iv) aims to lay down appropriate institutional, administrative and regulatory frameworks for development and smooth operation of ICDs/CFSs/AFSs, including procedures for regulatory inspection and the execution of applicable customs control and formalities.
Criteria for new ICDs/CFSs/ AFSs
It has been decided to group the country in three types of geographical areas ( namely green zone, blue zone and red zone) for the purposes of opening of new ICDs/CFSs. Distance from ports, would also be a criteria. Also, there is a minimum area requirement for land which should be legally owned by the applicant. There are also other criteria stated in the Circular.
Application & Approval Procedures
The circular also prescribes the detailed procedure for making an application for setting up of new lCD/CFS/AFS. The application to be in the prescribed format and should accompany a Detailed Project Report (DPR). The Circular also prescribes the detailed procedure for disposal of the application by the Custom Authorities.
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