To fasten the movement of essential goods and commodities through customs, the government has allowed importers and customs brokers to give electronic out of charge copies of the bill of entry and electronic gate-pass from 15 April. This move will also help minimise contact with officials, a much need precaution amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Further, it is also expected to reduce costs.
"In this direction, Board has now decided to enable electronic communication of PDF based Final eOoC (electronic Out of Charge) copy of BoE and eGatepass to the importers/Customs Brokers," the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs said in a circular dated 13 April.
"This electronic communication would reduce interface between the Customs authorities and the importers/Customs Brokers and also do away with the requirement of taking bulky printouts from the Service Centre or maintenance of voluminous physical dockets in the Customs Houses. The Final eOoC copy of BoE and eGatepass copy will be emailed to the concerned Customs Broker and/or importer, if registered, once the Out of Charge is granted. The eGatepass copy will be used by the Gate Officer or the Custodian to allow physical exit of the imported goods from the Customs area," it added.
The CBIC said that it has already taken a number of measures to facilitate and expedite Customs clearance process by making it more and more contactless with automated, online and paperless means.