Import Export from India Becoming Easier

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Import Export from India Becoming Easier

The Government has taken a series of steps to improve ease of doing business in India. Key amongst those measures are steps taken by the DGFT and Customs Department to make import-export procedures easy. In this article, we look at some of the measures introduced for making 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, reduction in time and lower transaction cost.

Digital Signature to Reduce Paper Work

To reduce paperwork, enhance the use of automation, reduce processing and transaction cost, 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 Certificate for filing Customs process documents.

Reduction in Documentation

An importer/exporter in India aw required to submit a commercial invoice and packing list along with the customs declaration form viz. Bill of Entry or Shipping Bill. The commercial invoice is used to assess the value of the import/ export goods while the packing list is used to calculate the duty and quantity. However, there are many identical data fields in a commercial invoice and packing list. Hence, it has decided that, if an importer/exporter submits a commercial invoice cum packing list, then 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 setting up of 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 condition under the relevant Customs Rules.
  • Specified road construction machinery imported for the construction of roads are fully exempt from duties of customs, subject to the condition that the importer shall not sell or otherwise dispose of the said goods for a period of 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 additional duty of customs subject to the condition that the importer produces a certificate, in each individual case, that the goods are life-saving drugs or medicines issued, by the specified Authority.

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