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Import Export from India Becoming Easier


Import Export from India Becoming Easier

The Government has taken several steps to improve the ease of business in India. Key amongst those measures are steps taken by the DGFT and Customs Department to make import-export procedures easy. This article examines some measures introduced to make import-export from India easy.

Fast Customs Clearance

The Customs Department has introduced a 24 x 7 customs clearance facility for goods covered under ‘facilitated’ Bills of Entry and specified exports, namely, factory-stuffed containers and goods exported under free shipping bills. This measure has resulted in faster customs clearance of goods, reduced time, and lower transaction costs.

Digital Signature to Reduce Paper Work

To reduce paperwork, enhance the use of automation, and reduce processing and transaction costs, the Customs Department has implemented the use of digital signatures. Customs process documents like Bills of Entry, Shipping Bills, Import General Manifest (IGM), Export General Manifest (EGM), and Consol General Manifest (CGM) can now be digitally signed and submitted online. Importers, exporters, customs brokers, shipping lines, airlines, or their agents have been given the facility to use Digital Signature Certificates for filing Customs process documents.

Reduction in Documentation

An importer/exporter in India is required to submit a commercial invoice and packing list along with the customs declaration form,m viz. Bill of Entry or Shipping Bill. The commercial invoice is used to assess the value of the import/ export goods,s while the packing list is used to calculate the duty and quantity. However, many identical data fields exist in commercial invoices and packing lists. Hence, it has been decided that if an importer/exporter submits a commercial invoice cum packing list, a separate packing list would not be required.

Duty Exemptions

In addition to some of the above measures to make import or export from India easier, the Government has also introduced the following duty exemptions:

  • Goods imported for the setting up Mega Power Projects are fully exempt from customs duties, subject to certain terms and conditions.
  • Bulk drugs used in the manufacture of the specified drugs have either been exempt from basic customs duty or attract a concessional rate of 5% basic customs duty, subject to actual user conditions under the relevant Customs Rules.
  • Specified road construction machinery imported for roadside construction is fully exempt from customs duties, subject to the condition that the importer shall not sell or otherwise dispose of the said goods for five years from the date of importation.
  • Life-saving drugs and medicines imported by an individual for personal use are fully exempt from basic customs duty and additional duty of businesses subject to the condition that the importer produces a certificate, in each case, that the goods are life-saving drugs or medicines issued by the specified Authority.

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