CBIC Norms for Courier Import and Export of COVID-19 Vaccines

CBIC Norms for Courier Import and Export of COVID-19 Vaccines

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CBIC Norms for Courier Import and Export of COVID-19 Vaccines

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has issued certain norms for courier import and export of COVID-19 vaccines, a notification dated December 30, 2020. With this notification, CBIC announced the Courier Imports and Exports (Electronic Declaration and Processing) Amendment Regulations, 2020, to facilitate the Import/export of COVID-19 vaccines through courier. As per the new regulation, Imports and exports of COVID-19 vaccines have been allowed without any value limitation to ensure speedy clearance and distribution.

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Courier Imports and Exports (Electronic Declaration and Processing) Amendment Regulations, 2020

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has amended the Courier Imports and Exports (Electronic Declaration and Processing) Regulations, 2010, to facilitate the Import/export of COVID-19 vaccines through courier at locations where the Express Cargo Clearance System (ECCS) is operational.

Gist of Notification

COVID-19 has produced unprecedented challenges to Customs, and efficient clearance and distribution of vaccines would be critical in the collective fight against the pandemic. Hence, the CBIC has eased the norms for importing and exporting COVID-19 vaccines.

  • The export of the durable container, including accessories imported for COVID-19 vaccines, has also been permitted.
  • Importers have been advised to indicate the unique identifier of the containers and accessories.

Condition for Import and Export of Covid-19 Vaccines

As mentioned above, importing and exporting Covid-19 vaccines have been allowed without any value addition.

  • The Covid-19 vaccines should be imported in durable containers with the requisite temperature and monitoring and tracking devices.
  • CBIC also allowed temporary importation and re-exportation of durable containers
  • The exporters/importers are requested to ensure compliance with the procedure, including the execution of continuity bonds and declaration of the durable containers and accessories as separate items in the Customs declarations during import and re-export.
  • Import is also advised to indicate the unique identifier of the containers and accessories during import in the courier Bill of Entry and at the time of re-export in the courier shipping bill to facilitate customs clearance.
  • Importers are also advised to indicate the unique identifier of the container and the accessories during import in the Courier Bill of Entry and at the time of re-export in the Courier Shipping Bill to facilitate customs clearance.

Customs Duty exemption on Temporary Import of Durable Containers

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), on November 20, 2020, issued a circular reiterating the conditions for the containers that are eligible for the exemption from customs duty.

The following conditions need to be satisfied:

  • They Containers should be durable
  • The containers shall be capable of being used multiple times
  • The containers shall be capable of being identified at the time of re-export
  • All other conditions shall be satisfied as well

For all the containers that are not adhering to the following guidelines but are permitted for temporary import and eventual re-import, the following procedure will be followed:

  • All the empty containers will have a bill of entry under the customs act and will have a bond of re-export that shall be required to be furnished at the time of re-import.
  • The containers will be declared as an item in the shipping bill. Further, the customs must verify the containers at the time of export.
  • Further, these containers will also be declared separate items in the bill of entry.

Procedural Formalities for Clearance of Export of COVID-19 Vaccine

  • In case of export of the COVID-19 Vaccine, the Authorized Courier files Courier Shipping Bills with the proper officer of Customs at the airport or Land Customs Station before departure of the flight or another mode of transport.
  • Different forms have been prescribed for the export of documents and other goods.
  • The Authorised Courier must present the export goods to the proper officer for inspection, examination, and assessment.

Examination Norms for COVID-19 Vaccine exported by courier

The following examination norms are provided for the export of courier consignments:

  • 100% screening of export consignments will be done through X-ray or other NII techniques.
  • Physical examination of export documents, gifts, samples, and goods is limited to 10% of the total courier consignments or specific intelligence. The consignments so selected will be examined 100%
  • Selection of consignments’ physical examination would be based on various parameters such as the nature of goods, value, weight, the status of the exporter, etc
  • The Commissioner of Customs in the respective port will exercise the discretion of random examination of goods on a specific parameter such as country of export, and nature of goods as presently provided in the EDI system
  • Any consignment can be examined by the Customs (even Upto 100% examination) if there is any specific intelligence or there is doubt during X-ray in respect of the said consignment
  • Under the automated process, the consignments will be identified for examination based on risk analysis

Transshipment of COVID-19 Vaccine

The transshipment facility between two Customs stations is available under courier mode as per the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962, Goods Imported (Conditions of Transhipment) Regulations, 1995, and other instructions.

Disposal of Uncleared Goods

The Courier regulations for both manual and electronic modes prescribe a procedure for clearing uncleared goods.

  • In the case of imported goods, the same is required to be detained by Customs, and a notice is issued to the Authorised Courier, and goods can be disposed of after the expiry of 30 days of the arrival of the said goods.
  • The charges payable for storage and holding of such goods are to be borne by the Authorised Courier.
  • In the case of export goods, a similar procedure as in respect of imported goods is prescribed, the only difference being that such goods can be disposed of if they have not been exported within seven days of arrival into the Customs Area or within such extended period as may be permitted by the Customs.

Courier Electronic Clearance procedure

Clearance of export goods will be done as follows:

  • The Authorized Courier or his agent will file, in an electronic form, a manifest for export goods before its export with the proper officer, viz. Courier Export Manifest (CEM) in a prescribed format.
  • The courier packages containing the export goods will not be dealt with after the presentation of documents to the proper officer, except with the permission of the proper officer to open any package of export goods brought into the Customs area to be loaded on a flight.
  • The Authorized Courier or his agent shall enter goods for export in Courier Shipping Bill-III (CSB-III) for documents in a prescribed format before presenting them to the proper officer.
  • Any export goods brought into the customs area for export purposes and not exported within seven days or within the such extended period as permitted by the proper officer in case of delay beyond the control of the Authorized Courier and declared exporter may be detained by the proper officer and sold or disposed of by the custodian, after notice to the concerned Authorized Courier and declared exporter. Such Authorized Courier shall pay the charges for storage and handling of such goods

The notification about the CBIC Norms for courier import and export of COVID-19 vaccines is as follows:

Circular-No-56-2020-updated

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