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Another ease of doing business unveiled for exporters; Containers can be sealed under a new E sealing procedure without the presence of customs officers

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), apex body of indirect taxes, has issued an advisory for implementing e-sealing for containers by exporters under self-sealing procedure. The advisory comes in the wake of e sealing made mandatory for all the self sealed containers with effect from January 1. 2018.

The Board is introducing self sealing through an application of technology in the form of exporters using RFID E seals thereby dispensing the need for the presence of jurisdictional customs officer for the purpose of supervising the stuffing of cargo at approved premises. This is part of the measures to enhance export facilitation post GST.

The self sealing procedure has been laid down by the Board of excise and customs and as per the procedure applies only to cargo in full container load, sealed at an approved premise by an entitled exporter.

The pre e-sealing procedure does not apply to export of non-containerised cargo or air cargo or for movement of cargo from CFSs to ICDs/ports or cargo exported through Land Customs Stations. Therefore, extant practices in respect of such cargo shall continue.

The new procedure mandates that the vendors shall provide an application on a desktop computer to be made available by field formations so that e-sealing data pushed to the destination Customs port/ICD is searchable in terms of any of the data elements.

"The said application may be made available in reasonable time but not exceeding 30 days from the date of this circular. In the meantime, the data elements shall be transmitted in excel format to risk management division (RMD) and the concerned field formation from where the cargo is to be exported. Field formations and RMD are advised to immediately communicate the email IDs for this purpose to vendors," the Board said.

The data once uploaded cannot be modified or corrected later. The vendors are also required to transmit the IEC details of such exporters who have purchased the RFID e-seals to RMD on a daily basis. The IEC number and the name of exporter shall be provided only when the vendor makes the first sale to the exporter; there is no need to transmit the details of the exporter each time a sale is made, elaborated a release.

The board has also listed out obligations to be fulfilled by the exporters availing the scheme. They include To inform the details of the premises where stuffing is to be carried out, Should be registered under GST and be filing GSTR1 and GSTR2,  ln certain situations Status Holders recognised by DGFT under a valid Status Holder Certificate are exempted from being a registrant under GST.

Exporters who are not registered under GST shall have to bring the export goods to CFS/ICD. Approval should be obtained for new premises by the Jurisdictional Commissioner/Chief Commissioner on verification of the documents and premises by the Inspector/Superintendent. The exporter     should submit fresh application in case of request for a change in the approved premises (36/17).

They should furnish intimation with regard to the place and address of the approved premises, description of export goods and whether or not any incentive is being claimed, to the Jurisdictional Superintendent each time self-sealing is carried out at approved premises.

They should register them/approval in the system with the Customs station where the export is to take place. Exporters should purchase seals directly from the vendor by providing details such as IEC, etc and at the time of purchase and for using the standard web application necessary to support RFID self-sealing ecosystem (36/2017). They should carry out stuffing in CFS/lCD/port in case the report on inspection of the premises regarding viability is not favorable.

The exporters should declare the unique no. of the seal with standard specification in the Shipping Bill before despatch of the container to the port. They should tag the data such as lEC, SB no. and date, e-seal no., date and time of sealing, destination of Customs station for export, container no., trailer/truck no. to the e-seal. And, thereafter, seal the container. Data once submitted cannot be overwritten or edited (36/2017).

Exporter intending to export without employing a CB shall file the SB under digital signature. From January 1, 2018, e-sealing is made mandatory for all the self-sealed containers.

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