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FFFAI Chairman highlights issues and recommends at DG System Webinar

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MUMBAI : DG System and Data Management, CBIC organised a Webinar on “Initiatives and Changes made in the System; Problems Faced and Trouble Shooting for Users” on December 16, 2021. The Webinar was organised in association with the Federation of Freight Forwarders in India (FFFAI). Participated by all Office Bearers, a large number of FFFAI members and Customs Brokers from across the country, the Webinar was addressed by Mr Sandeep Kumar, Member IT, CBIC and Mr Shankar Shinde, Chairman, FFFAI.

Panel speakers from CBIC also included Mr S R Baruah, Pr.DG Systems; Mr Anuj Gogia, Pr. Addl. DG; Mr Amit Sunal, Dy. Director; Mr Piyush Bharadwaj, Jt. Director Systems; Mr Atul Singh, Jt. Director System. Also spoke on the occasion from FFFAI were Mr AV Vijayakumar, Immediate Past Chairman; Mr S Ramakrishna, past Chairman; Mr Dushyant Mulani, Chairman Elect; Mr S. Nataraja, Vice Chairman and EDI OB in charge and Mr Vinod Sharma, Hon. Secretary.

In his inaugural speech Mr Sandeep Kumar elaborated on various IT initiatives taken by CBIC and glitches as well as regard to ICEGATE, which would take a little time to be streamlined. He assured all kinds of support from the DG System to the trade people, so that the exim trade could be further facilitated and the government’s target as regard to enhancing the foreign trade is achieved in a stipulated time, in collaboration with the CB community. 

Mr Sandeep Kumar asserted CB Community as Partner of CBIC for making the IT initiatives a success. He also stated that being the Partner of CBIC, FFFAI is expected to take much more pro-active role in the Governments endeavor for complete digitization and least physical interfaces regarding cargo clearance. According to him, the gaps can be filled up through proper tracking and joint efforts of FFFAI as a national platform, and CBIC.

Mr Shankar Shinde, while welcoming Mr Sandeep Kumar, other CBIC Officers, OBs of FFFAI and all members who attended the webinar highlighted that FFFAI being a national platform for the CB community provides regular feedbacks and recommendations from across the country to CBIC for streamlining cargo clearance.  He commended CBIC’s continuous efforts towards trade facilitation, especially during COVID-19 pandemic time.

Highlighting some issues being faced by the CB community, Mr Shinde urged CBIC to put serious thought as regard to Late Filing Charges, which is beyond a CB’s control.  

While presenting the issues and recommendations the FFFAI Chairman-Elect Mr Dushyant Mulanihighlighted the following aspects seeking proper solutions in the DG System to facilitate the foreign trade and Ease of Doing Business:

  • Lifetime validity of CB licenses should be provided in EDI system in terms of CBIC Circular No. 17/2021-Customs dated 23rd July, 2021.
  • Capturing of KYC data of all stakeholders should be online.
  • Online module for CB related information including custom passes needs to be provided on ICEGATE.
  • Dashboard should be created on ICEGATE for location-wise pendency along with escalation mechanism for pending consignments.
  • Availability of Bill of Entry/ Shipping Bill PDF copy should be on ICEGATE portal instead of transmission through email.
  • There should be Advisory from ICEGATE during ICES/ICEGATE/E-SANCHIT downtime.
  • API integration required with real time data exchange with stakeholder.
  • Provide Bill of Entry and Shipping Bill process history on line for records and system updates.  

Highlighting the specific requirements on Imports Mr S. Nataraja, Vice Chairman, FFFAI urged for the following documents to be available in the DG System/ICEGATE:

  • Examination order PDF copy of Bill of Entry after filing of inward entry date
  • First copy Bill of Entry after completion of the amendment.
  • License ledger

He also emphasized on streamlining of the Amendment process of bill of entry and restarting email facility intimating completion of Amendment. According to him, in case of part shipments facility to carry out online, Amendments needs to be implemented. 

“A module needs to be created in EDI system for permitting part clearances at gateway ports, air cargo complexes and ICDs. This will save considerable time for clearance,” Mr Nataraja pointed out.

He further recommended that capturing of inward date of IGM should be on real time basis, since at present there are instances where filing of inward date is done back dated. In addition, there is a requirement of capturing accurate details for Bill of Entry having more than one advance authorization in order to avoid recalling and reassessment.

In Mr Nataraja’s opinion, the DG System should provide the facility of filing ex-bond bill of entries in the jurisdiction of Customs where goods are stored.

“There should be an auto process to convert prior bill of entry into final bill of entry after arrival of goods and Custom duty calculator needs to reflect accurate CCRs,” he added.

On Export front Mr Nataraja maintained that ‘Auto updating module’ should be created in exports to capture accurate details for avoiding EGM errors. He recommended Amendment of export Shipping Bill in EDI System after finalisation of EGM. At present this process is being done manually. In addition, there should be online Goods registration for Export Shipping Bill.

Mr Nataraja pointed out that Considerable export movements are held up due to delay in generation of PDF copy of shipping bill after LEO. “Option should be created in the ICEGATE to allow movement of containers to gateway ports from ICD/ CFSs in such instances,” he said.

Mr Nataraja further requested for activation of additional updating of export documents on e-Sanchit. At present this is possible from Officers menu. 

“Export shipping bill of Gems & Jewellery needs to be customised for incorporating important fields for Gems & Jewellery sector,” he highlighted.

The Webinar was very interactive with queries from FFFAI members and satisfactoryreplies from CBIC officials Mr Anuj Gogia, Mr Piyush Bharadwaj and Mr Atul Singh. The CBIC officials also made elaborate presentations regarding the recent developments and future plans pertaining to the Customs System.

Thanking the CBIC officials for their untiring efforts to facilitate trade and Ease of Doing Business, the FFFAI Chairman Mr Shankar Shinde affirmed full cooperation from the Federation to the CBIC initiatives for the greater interest of the international trade, CB business as well as logistics industry and the country’s economy.

The event was concluded with Vote of Thanks from Mr.Vinod Sharma to the Special Guest Mr Sandeep Kumar, all CBIC officers, dignitaries, FFFAI members and participants, which were more than 500 people from across the country.

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