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Weekly newsletter from Chairman, CBIC dated 18/10/2021

 Notice Date : 18 October 2021

Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs
North Block, New Delhi-110001
Tel. No. +91-11-23092849, Fax : +91-11-23092890
E-mail :

Date: 18th October, 2021


Last week I visited Kolkata to meet officers, review their work and launch trade facilitation initiatives of the zone. The visit began with deploying the Express Cargo Clearance System (ECCS) at the International Courier Terminal. This is the eighth courier terminal to be operationalised with this System. ECCS is a digital facility that is paperless, faceless, efficient and swift. It will facilitate e-commerce transactions and serve the needs of trade and industry in the eastern part of India.

Customs laboratories all over the country are essential for the correct classification of goods and for ensuring the adherence of imported goods to exemption/ EXIM policy norms. Kolkata houses our oldest Custom House laboratory that was established in 1914. This facility has been upgraded and re launched from its new location on 11/10/2021. It is expected to offer quicker and better service to the EXIM trade. The cost of up gradation of the laboratory was Rs 7.5 crores, of which Rs 2.5 crores were spent towards improving the physical infrastructure and the remaining Rs 5 crores were spent on acquiring new and latest testing equipment and instruments.

The review meetings with the zones were a fruitful one. Two initiatives are worthy of mention. The operationalisation of ‘Pre-gated Module’ for customs processing and clearance of export containers at Kolkata Port on the lines of Chennai Custom initiative is a welcome step. This facility has reportedly eased the overall traffic congestion both inside and outside the dock area thereby reducing the turnaround time and cost for stakeholders.

Secondly, LPG imports that are made through Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGCs) have faced difficulty in unloading LPG at Haldia, due to periodic draft variations at the port, adding a huge cost to importers. To overcome this difficulty, Kolkata port, Customs and the shipping lines have synergised their efforts to facilitate at Sandheads, a stretch of open sea 130 km from Haldia, mother ship to daughter ship transfer (STS) of LPG. It will help mother vessels to discharge their goods near Haldia Port without having to discharge part cargo at neighbouring ports. This will reportedly help in reducing Bulk LPG movement cost, resulting in substantial reduction in foreign exchange outflow.

Trade facilitation measures back at Delhi, saw the first truck carrying domestic bonded goods from ICD Tughlakabad sealed with Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) being flagged off on 14/10/2021. This concept is borrowed from transshipment procedures for cargo meant for neighbouring countries. To begin with, this pilot project has been conceived for moving goods to bonded warehouses and for bond to bond movement of imported cargo. It makes use of twin technologies i.e. block chain, to have a transparent, paperless and secure documentation system and ECTS to secure the movement of transshipment cargo and avoid theft/ pilferage. It advances our endeavour to reduce compliance burden for the trade in eliminating physical documentation at multiple points and geo fences the movement of the cargo providing supply chain security.

Information is available to all stakeholders on real-time basis on the documentation done and also on the position, speed of movement of the vehicle, sealing status of the container etc. The system generates alerts based on pre-set risk parameters such as attempted tampering, deviation from specific routes etc. When fully operational, reconciliation of cargo receipt, discharge of bonds and guarantees etc. can be done immediately on receipt of cargo at the destination location with seal intact. Requests/ permissions would all be applied/ granted and visible to those concerned on line. It is a huge facilitatory step from that of electronic seals being used now. This would save time and cost for trade and help the department in monitoring the secure movement of cargo.

Anti-evasion activities last week saw DGGI Lucknow Zonal Unit detect a case pertaining to non-reversal of ITC on unsold flats in completed projects to the estimated tune of Rs 92.38 crore. The investigation conducted so far has resulted in a recovery of Rs 25.38 crore of ITC and reversal of ITC in relation to exempt supplies amounting to additional Rs 67 crore thereby recovering the entire estimated sum of Rs 92.38 crore.

On the anti-smuggling side, NCTC’s analytics team last week generated actionable intelligence on the smuggling of cigarettes. This helped officers of JNCH seize 72 lakh sticks of cigarettes valued at over 15 crores approx, of top foreign brands from an import container. The cargo had been originally declared as ‘textile softener’.

Turning to HR issues, the SPARROW-CBIC project, for online writing of APAR of Group B and C officers of CBIC was successfully implemented w.e.f F.Y. 2018-19. It covers more than 50,000 Officers/Staff of CBIC. However, the APAR of Havaldar and MTS was not covered. I am happy to inform that the mapping of personnel in the Grade of Havaldars and MTS in SPARROW CBIC w.e.f APAR cycle 2020-21 has now been completed. This is another welcome step towards Digital Governance and will help immensely in matters pertaining to holding timely DPC etc.

The Governing Body of the Welfare Fund has approved a proposal for sanction of an amount of Rs.8.66 lakh from the Welfare Fund, for annual health check-up in respect of 428 officers/staff of Gr. ‘B’ and ‘C’ of the age above 40 years for the year 2020-21

It was also a pleasure to end the week with a visit to NACIN Faridabad, and interact with probationers of 72nd batch of IRS (C&IT) along with officer trainees from Bhutan. Only studies and no play would certainly make for a dull training program. I am glad that during my visit, an indoor 10 mts air pistol/rifle shooting range and a lawn tennis court was also inaugurated for use by the officer trainees.

Yours sincerely

(M. Ajit Kumar)


All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs


on 22 October 2021
Notification No : D.O.No.93/CH(IC)/2020
Published in Custom
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