Indian Customs measures taken for Tax reforms, ease of doing business during last few years

Indian Customs has taken a series of measures to simplify Custom Processes and procedures during the last few years.

Indian Customs


Enhanced Ease of Doing Business

Reforms undertaken since April, 2017

  • An online paperless processing application, E-SANCHIT, allowing trader to submit all supporting documents for clearance of consignments electronically has been introduced. There is no need to approach different regulatory agencies with hard copy of documents.
  • Enhanced facilitation through Risk Management System has resulted in lesser time taken for clearances.
  • Direct Port Delivery (DPD) allows registered importers to complete Customs clearances at the terminal itself and containers can be taken directly to factories without going to CFS.
  • Direct Port Entry (DPE) allows direct entry of export cargo into port terminal without any need for going to CFS.
  • Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) scheme provides faster Customs clearances and simplified Customs procedures to business entities. Already more than 1700 entities are getting benefits under it.
  • Mandatory filling of Bill of Entry within specified time has resulted in discipline among the trade and resulted in reduced time incase of imports.
  • E-sealing of containers has been introduced replacing earlier practice of supervised sealing by departmental officers. It has enhanced the integrity of cargo as RFID tamper-proof e-seals are being used to seal containers now.

Reforms undertaken during 2016-17 

  • Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade (SWIFT) eases the NOC issuance procedures for 6 main Governmental Agencies and allows importers & exporters, the facility to lodge their clearance documents online at only a single point.
  • Only 3 mandatory documents now required for import/ export which includes Bill of Lading/Airway Bill, Commercial
  • Invoice-cum-Packing List and Shipping Bill/ Bill of Entry from the earlier obligatory 10 documents.
  • Based on the principle of’Clear first-Pay later: facility of deferred payment of Customs duty is available. This helps to achieve seamless Wharf to Warehouse transit in order to facilitate just-in-time manufacturing. Currently abcaus being extended to importers holding AEOT-2 or T-3 status.
  • 24×7 Customs Clearance facility extended to goods covered by facilitated Bills of Entry and goods shipped under Free Shipping Bills at designated Seaports & Air Cargo Complexes.
  • National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) is an effective deliberative and decision-making structure. With its three-tiered composition and with representatives from trade and various governmental agencies on board, NCTF helps to ease bottlenecks for faster and streamlined clearance of goods.
  • Customs Clearance Facilitation Committees (CCFCs) have been set up under the chairmanship of Chief Commissioner of Customs/Commissioner of Customs. CCFCs expedite clearance of import and export goods and help resolve grievances of trade and industry at various seaports, airports, ICDs and LCSs

The overall impact of above reforms in terms of time and cost associated with imports and exports  can be judged from the Time Release Study (TRS) 2018 data conducted at JNCH, Mumbai as under:

  • The percentage of cases of filling Advance Bill of Entry has increased to more than 58%. The average release time for imports has improved to 144.18 hours in 2018.
  • The average release time for DPD facilitated Bills of Entry is 84.48 hours.
  • In case of Bills of Entry for auto-components falling under Customs Tariff Heading 8708, the average release time is 91.52 hours.
  • The net average export release time,arrived at by excluding the domestic transport time  from the gross average export release time is 84.1 hours

Importers and Exporters can track their documents and containers on ICEGATE website.

  • The location of container can be traced using facility “Track your Container” on for cargo moving to Nhava Sheva, Hazira and Mundra Ports only.
  • The current status of Bill of Entry or Shipping Bill can be traced by logging into the ICEGATE website.
  • Already electronic tracking of Nepal-bound cargo has been launched by Customs.

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