The Jawaharlal Nehru Customs House (JNCH), India’s largest customs house, has introduced the Universal Seal Reader (USR) process to expedite the processing of shipping bills. The completed process will be digitalized to expedite the EXIM cargo clearance process.
The spokesperson from JNCH said that the USR will simplify the processing of shipping bills by introducing a paperless process and smooth processing of export cargo. Not only that, it will also help in eliminating the need for registration of self-sealed containers at customs as soon as they arrive at the Centralised Parking Plaza (CPP). The software application will be integrated with all vendors for electronic self-seal, thereby eliminating the need for scanning all the documents individually.
Moreover, there are plans to take forward the data saved from the self-sealed export containers to auto-integrate with the customs ICEGATE. Already, the process of clearance of import cargo time has been reduced to 85 hours, which saves a lot of time, and this can be materialised only due to digitalization.
There are a lot of initiatives in the pipeline, like the one where importers can opt for the Anonymised Escalation Mechanism (AEM) in case the Bill of Entry is not assessed within 24 hours under the Faceless Assessment system. Importers also have the provision to raise their grievances at the Turant Suvidha Kendra to expedite cargo clearance. Other incentives that are given to accredited importers and exporters are reduced bank guarantee, deferred payment of duty, and facilitation of their cargo under the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA).
India has signed MRA with South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan and is in the process of signing similar agreements with other countries like the UK, Malaysia, Indonesia etc. This will help them reduce the clearance time and cost, providing ease in trading across borders.