The Government is working on streamlining approvals to ensure that consignments for imports and exports are cleared within an hour’s time of their arrival at the port (sea and air) to ensure 10% of India’s share in global trade by 2047. The plan “Customs ONE” is created by the commerce department which is a part of the India@2047 vision to bring the country to the top three economies of the world by the 100th year of independence.
At present, clearance takes anywhere between 24 and 48 hours for air cargo and up to 72 hours for sea cargo. According to the World Trade Statistical Review 2021, faster clearances of shipments will act as a facilitator to encourage the flow of trade and the Customs One plan will help support export and import clearances within an hour of arrival of the shipment at the customs port.
According to the customs department, a case study of the Jawaharlal Nehru Customs House, Mumbai, revealed the average release time of imports has been steadily coming down since 2017.
It has come down from 181.34 hours in 2017 to 144.18 hours in 2018, 105.4 hours in 2019 to 91.65 hours in 2020. The quickest import documents were cleared in 14 minutes in 2019 and 6 minutes in 2020, the study showed.