In an effort to smoothen the process of imports and exports in India, the government has introduced a contactless process, which would enhance the in-house testing capability of the customs. M Ajit Kumar, Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) unveiled new and modern testing equipment inducted into the Central Revenues Control Laboratory (CRCL), aimed at making imports and exports clearances faster, said a statement by the Ministry of Finance. Under the CBIC’s flagship programme — Turant Customs — the government has equipped the testing facilities of the CRCL with state-of-art equipment, costing about Rs 80 crores.
With the new upgradation, the exporters can self manage changes in their bank account and AD Code through ICEGATE as well as register on ICEGATE without having to approach a Customs officer. The facility of an automated debit of bonds for importers has also been announced today. It has also been decided that the balance in the bond would be indicated in the import document, which would help importers in planning their imports.
The government has further planned to set up Turant Suvidha Kendra (TSKs) to all the customs formations from 15 July 2020, which will be the sole physical interface point with customs formations whenever physical submission of documents is necessary. With the contactless procedures, not only the process of imports and exports will fasten, but the social distancing will also be respected amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, along with the speed and social distancing, the upgraded instruments will help the customs to make a more strict check of goods that are being traded. The customs have recently cracked an illicit trade of around 30 kg of gold from an air cargo meant for the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram. It was for the first time in the country that the customs had seized gold from diplomatic baggage meant for the staff in the United Arab Emirates Consulate General in Kerala. The gold was smuggled into the state through a chartered flight.