The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has decided to start electronic clearance so that there is minimum physical contact and social distancing is maintained.

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In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has decided to start electronic clearance of customs so that there is minimum physical contact and social distancing is maintained.

The Board said it has decided to facilitate and expedite customs clearance process and make it automated. These measures include the facility to clear goods on the basis of an undertaking (not a bond), acceptance of electronic country of origin certificate, among others.

It said to facilitate smooth functioning with minimum contact, electronic processing of DGFT issued licenses, machine release of imported goods based on customs compliance verification and electronic transmission of PDF based first copy of bill of entry (BoE) to customs Brokers and registered importers will be carried out.

The Board has also decided to enable electronic communication of PDF based Final eOoC (electronic Out of Charge) copy of BoE and eGate pass to importers/customs nrokers. This electronic communication will reduce the interface between customs authorities and the importers/customs brokers, besides also doing 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 eGate pass copy will be sent via email to the customs broker concerned.

The eGate pass copy will be used by the gate officer or the custodian to allow physical exit of the imported goods from the customs area, the Board said.

At present, physical signing of the final OoC copy of BoE is required at many locations. This will no longer be required.

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