In order to improve the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ index of the country in the processing and clearance of EXIM trade, ACFI Task Pillar on Process Simplification has undertaken in-depth study and made several recommendations for improving the challenges currently being faced by air cargo logistics trade and industry. ACFI pursued these challenges at various platforms like Air Cargo Logistics Promotion Board (ACLPB) in Ministry of Civil Aviation, Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) Ministry of Finance, DGFT, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Ministry of Environment & Forest (WCCB), Ministry of Textiles, Ministry of Health & Family welfare (DGHS, DGCI) etc. with the result of these tireless efforts of ACFI following were achieved.
i. 24×7 clearance by Customs for all export goods and import RMS consignments w.e.f. 1st July 2013.
ii. Implementation of a uniform procedure for clearance of Pharma Export shipments at all airports effective April 2013.
iii. Implementation of Digital Signature – 1st Phase by Customs vide CBEC Circular dated 1st April 2015 and followed by Mandatory filing of Customs documents digitally signed w.e.f. 1st January 2016 in case the documents are filed through a Customs Broker and for airlines for IGM & EGM.
iv. Introduction of RMS supported by Accredited Clients Program (ACP) by WCCB (based upon the draft RMS document prepared by ACFI) – for the faster clearance of flora & fauna air shipments w.e.f. 1st April 2015.
v. Dispensation of hard copies of Delivery Order by CBEC vide CBEC circular No. 24/2015-Customs dated 14th October 2015.
vi. To reduce unnecessary time taken in testing of 100% Textiles and Textile Articles for presence of Azo Dyes Ministry of Commerce & Industry vide Notification No. 19/2015-2020 dated 4th September 2015 has decided exemption of testing of samples of Textile & Textile Articles for the presence of AZO Dyes, originating from countries i.e. China, EU, Denmark, Poland, Serbia etc.
vii. Export Shipments (Shipping Bills) to countries i.e. US, Canada, Japan, Australia and European Union. No NOC from Port Offices of Central Drugs Standard Control Organization has been exempted by DGHS/ DGCI w.e.f. 1st January 2016 vide Notice dated 11th December 2015.
viii. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has decided to introduce Risk based Testing of Samples only in place of testing 100% (each & every) consignment covered under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and Regulations thereunder and the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 & Rules thereunder w.e.f. 1st March 2016 vide its Order Dated 29th December 2015.
ix. CBEC has decided to do away with routine print out of following documents vide Circular No.55/2016-Cus dated 23rd November 2016.
a) GAR7 Forms/ TR6 Challan
b) Exchange Control Copy of Bill of Entry & Shipping Bill
c) TP Copy
d) Export Promotion Copy of Shipping Bill (EP Copy).
x. In view of active participation in the development of draft Civil Aviation Policy, President ACFI was invited to participate in the MoCA Press Conference on the Revised Draft Civil Aviation Policy held on 30th October 2015 at the National Media Centre, New Delhi.
xi. Import cargo gate passes remain pending for delivery to Importers/ Consignees because of closing of Import delivery gates by Customs at 10 PM. This issue was taken up by ACFI in the CCFC meetings at Delhi and later on recently with Special Secy. (Logistics), Ministry of Commerce & Industry on 18th February, 2019, which was attended by Director Customs CBIC, Director Mo CA & CEO AAICLAS. Immediately after this meeting Commissioner Customs (Import) implemented 24×7 operation of import cargo clearance in three shifts pattern w.e.f. 6th March, 2019 vide its Notification No 5/2019 at IGI Airport New. It is an achievement of the cargo trade and ACFI. ACFI would be taking up with CBIC for implementation of above procedure by Customs at all the international airports of the country.
B. Improvements brought by ACFI Members with the initiative taken by ACFI
i. ACFI through its member, Delhi Airport (DIAL) implemented 100% paperless operation – both in Export & Import operations, with the implementation of Initiatives like e-Airway Bill, e-Location slip, IATA message integration in Import, e-Load Advice,
ii. Truck Slot Management System etc. Essentially all the processes for handling Cargo at the Cargo Terminals have been automated without the need to submit any paper documents (except statutory requirements). With the above initiatives, IGIA is achieving ACFI vision to paperless environment.
INITIATIVES TAKEN BY ACFI ON VARIOUS CARGO LOGISTICS ISSUES FOR IMPROVEMENTS
A. ACFI recommendations related to Policies and Process taken up at Air Cargo Logistics Promotion Board (ACLPB), Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Commerce and Industry are under active considerations of government regulatory authorities.
Revenue Secretary, Ministry of Finance
ACFI along with other Cargo Associations (ACAAI, FFFAI, Bar India-Cargo, EICI, ACHAI) at national level has taken up 10 shortlisted Air Cargo Logistics Trade issues with CBEC and then with Revenue Secretary, Ministry of Finance GOI in December 2016 in the presence of Secretary Civil Aviation & Senior Adviser – MoCA for the timely solutions of these issues. CBIC has accepted almost all the following issues except one at S.No. 8 and given timeline to undertake the recommendations. Except point No. 9 none of the following 10 recommendations have been fulfilled till now by CBIC but ACFI has been taking up follow up action in this regard:
1. Customs EDI System (ICES) related problems about its frequent Failure, Breakdown, and Slowdown.
2. Implementation of Customs Single Window System only after the readiness of all the other Regulatory authorities and full up-gradation of Customs System.
3. Processing of AD Code registration should be through Centralized EDI processing
4. Implementation of EDI for total paperless processing by all stakeholders including Customs.
5. Airline EGM & IGM Issue and online Inward Entry of Import Flights
6. Part shipment amendment to be online
7. Single Nationalized Bond for all types of TP Cargo without BG.8. Customs Cost Recovery policy becoming disadvantageous to Custodians
9. Power limit of Customs assessing officers should be increase substantially to meet the requirement of present situation.
10. Shortage of Customs Officers at Courier Terminals at Bangalore & Chennai Airports.
B. Chairman CBIC/ Member Customs/ DG Systems and Finance Minister, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India.
i. ACFI contention on the Customs notification 36/2018 dated 11th May 2018 for removal of the word Original copies of documents from the notification.
ii. ACFI suggestion on Customs System should have a provision of facilitating release/ delivery of short landed import cargo.
iii ACFI recommendation for digital Customs Broker management by the Customs.
C. Other Policy & Process related issues taken up with Special Secretary Logistics, Ministry of Commerce & Industry
i. The requirement of maintaining all import/ export documents for a period of 5 years as per Customs Notification 36/2018 dated 11th May 2018 by the Customs Broker should be dispensed with.
ii. AD Code registration by an Exporter should be allowed centrally at one point in the Customs EDI system and allow him to export its goods from any port/ airport from where he desired to export his goods.
iii. The RMS treated Bill of Entry (BE) and Shipping Bill (SB) should get automatic Out of Charge (OC) (after duty deposit) and LEO.
iv. Proposal on the centralized processing of import/ export documents by customs through a Centralized Assessment Pool (CAP) at par with the filing of IT returns in the website of IT department.
v. Customs Broker (CB) License should not be suspended before proper investigation and the principles of natural justice should prevail.
vi. Online amendment facility should be given to the console agent after arrival of the cargo in case of part landing to align the Consol Manifest with that of the IGM filed by the airline on the basis of actual number of pieces arrived.
vii. A provision of release/ delivery of part import consignment arrived should be made in the Customs policy as the importer has to wait till all the parts of the shipment arrived before it could be released.
viii. 24 Hrs seamless delivery of import cargo should be allowed by Customs for import consignments (having given out of charge by Customs) and no import cargo delivery gates should be closed by Customs.
ix. The limit of filing only upto 5 documents under E-Sanchit should be increased adequately.
x. Customs Broker Digital Management – Customs should make a software for managing the Customs Brokers and the whole process from examination, issuance of License, issuing of Authorizations, Extension, extended confirmations, etc. should all be managed on the system.
xi. Segregation Report to be considered as final IGM automatically to avoid manual amendment processes.IGM should be finalized based on segregation report as the same is performed under the customs & Custodian’s supervision.