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The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has launched eSanchit (e-Storage and Computerized Handling of Indirect Tax documents), used for paperless processing and uploading supporting documents to facilitate trading across borders. It has already been made available to importers and exporters in the country. Moreover, CBIC has extended this facility to PGS (Participating Government Agencies). This facility enables PGAs to provide required clearances in the form of certificates through a document upload facility to the beneficiaries (importers and exporters).

Documents Required

The following are the documents required for exporting/ importing goods.

  • Bill of Lading / Airway Bill
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Packing List or Commercial Invoice cum Packing List
  • Bill of Entry.

Procedure to Upload Documents

Given below is the procedure for uploading documents in digital format.

Prepare Supporting Documents in Digital Format

Before uploading the document, the exporter, the importer, and the customs broker has to ensure that the document is rendered into a PDF/A format (ISO 19005-2). The submitter can choose from the following courses of action.

  • The submitter obtains the document in a PDF/A format (ISO 19005-2) from the document issuer. When a submitter requests the document issuer (seller, exporter, airlines, shipping lines, regulatory authority, etc.) to offer the documents in PDF at the source and delivers it to the submitter electronically instead of sending a scanned image or a facsimile of the document. This would be possible if the document issuer used computers to generate documents.
  • Suppose the document issuer does not use an automated system/ computer or for another reason. In that case, it is impossible to create PDF copies at the source, and the submitter receives the documents in hard copy or as a facsimile; the submitter scans the document into a PDF format. The following conditions have to be followed while scanning the document.
  • The resolution should not be below 200 dpi in black and white.
  • The file size should not be above 75 kb/ A4 size page.
  • One document has to be furnished in a PDF format, not considering the number of pages in the document. The maximum file size is 1 MB, allowing the submitter to upload supporting documents up to 13 pages long. If a document is more than 1MB, it must be split and uploaded as two or more documents.
  • There should not be any stapler marks or punch-hole marks on the document. If this is unavoidable, the submitter has to make sure that these marks appear on the margins and are far away from the document’s content.
  • There should not be any folds in the document when scanning. The scanners with roller feed it has to be made sure that are no folds in the image as a result of the action of the rollers.
  • The content present in the document should not be skewed in any direction.
  • There should not be any dark patches either in the source document or in the image.
  • During the facsimile transmission, the letters should not be elongated or compressed.
  • If a document is stapled or bound together before scanning, each page has to be separately taken and then fed into the scanner sequentially in pages.
  • If the submitter furnishes the supporting documents in pdf using either ii. (a) or ii(b), the individual has to preview the document to ensure that the document is clear and legible. The submitter uses automatic image quality assessment tools to ensure that the document is accurate, legible, and quality.
  • The submitter has to digitally sign the PDF document using the digital signature certificate registered on ICEGATE. During this process, the submitter acknowledges that the document is legible and authentic. Once the content and the context of the supporting document are noted, the submitter has to save the file with a unique name in a location that is readily accessed. The submitter has to link this information to his electronic system of records (RES package), which is used to prepare the electronic files for submission to ICEGATE.
  • An individual has to register on the ICEGATE using a digital signature certificate to upload supporting documents in electronic format.
  • Once that is done, the submitter has to click on the eSANCHIT link in the portal. This link directs the submitter to a web page where the documents must be uploaded.

Without Logging in, I will not be allowed to access eSANCHIT. 

  • The individual has to click the ‘Upload Document’ option. The user can upload a maximum of 5 documents. If the documents do not meet the document size and type restriction, the system instantly displays comments against every file specifying the exact error.
  • The user has to click the ‘Validate button to validate the digital signature against each document. The user must verify the file with a digital signature by clicking the ‘validate’ button on the screen.
  • The user using the drop-down has to select the document type to be uploaded. The document has to be in pdf and has to be digitally signed by the same user who has logged in. Once the documents are uploaded, the system prompts the user to select the document type from the dropdown list. This list is displayed in ICEGATE as a part of the ‘Single Window Code-map Directory.’
  • The submitter has to click submit document option to submit up to 5 documents. If the documents do not meet the document size and type restriction, the system instantly displays comments against every file specifying the exact error. If the file upload is successful, the system generates a unique number called IRN that will be displayed on the web page and transmitted to the user as a structured message from ICEGATE. The submitter incorporates the data, including the file name and the unique number, in the records system. ICEGATE users can view the documents that are uploaded to them.
  • The user has to click the ‘OK’ option to acknowledge the disclaimer.