CBIC further streamlines faceless assessment at customs stations

New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) The Central Board of indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has taken further steps to streamline the faceless assessment mechanism put in place in the customs clearance processes and has decided that up to 90 per cent of non-risky import consignments would be cleared within hours without any physical interface.

The new mechanism would become functional from July 15 an aid faster clearance of import consignments as the systems would clear such consignments without any physical interface.

At present, the facilitation (does not require assessment or examination) levels in imports is up to 80 per cent for Aircargo Complexes, 70 per cent for Seaports and 60 per cent for ICDs. However, with the use of technology the overall average facilitation levels have already exceeded these levels with the All-India average facilitation level across all Customs stations being 77 per cent for May 2021.

“Board also notes that the use of machine learning and the other state of art technologies now enables RMS (risk management systems) to more precisely target the risky consignments thereby enabling more focussed attention on lesser number of Bills of Entry for assessment by the (faceless assessment groups) FAGs. Thus, Board has decided that w.e.f. 15.07.2021 the facilitation level across all Customs stations would be increased to 90 per cent relating to RMD (risk management division),” CBIC said in a circular highlighting further changes in its faceless scheme aimed at making customs clearance process trade friendly, easy and fast.

As part of further streamlining the faceless process, CBIC had also reduced the time for declaring first decision on any bill of entry to three hours. This would enable greater clarity for getting clearance of import consignments. CBIC through its circular has also decided to streamline the working hours of FAGs so that bills of entry are cleared at a uniform pace and there is no lag in such clearances between early hours of the day and late hours.

Also, the board has decided to reorganise FAG with focus on specialisation for certain commodity groups. This is also expected for smooth movement of such commodities across the customs channels.

The CBIC circular also said that all the advance Bills of Entry which are fully facilitated (do not require assessment &/or examination) would be granted the facility of DPD (direct port delivery).

“CBIC has issued measures for expediting the pace of assessment and customs clearance of imported goods pursuance to roll out of Faceless Assessment and for streamlining processes for its effective implementation,” said Rajat Mohan, senior partner, AMRG & Associates.

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