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Trade Facilitation Measures during outbreak of COVID-19

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Document Subject Measures Taken
Circular No.09/2021-Customs dated 8th May 2021 Restoring the facility under Circular No. 17/2020 dated 03.04.2020 namely, 'Measure to facilitate trade during the lockdown period- section 143AA of the Customs Act, 1962'. The Board circular has restored the interim facilitation introduced vide Circular No.17/2020-Customs dated 03.04.2020 allowing submission of undertakings in lieu of bonds till end of June, 2021.
Press Information Bureau Press Release dated 06.05.2021 3000 Oxygen Concentrators received in the Country as International Relief Aid; All delivered/dispatched The press release has publicized measures taken by Customs for expeditious clearances of oxygen concentrators and other COVID related imports. It has informed that Customs is working 24 x 7 to fast track clearance of such items
Press Information Bureau Press Release dated 05.05.2021 Simplification of procedure for import of oxygen cylinders and cryogenic tankers/ containers. The press release has publicized simplified procedures of registration of containers by Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organization (PESO) for global manufacturers for importing oxygen cylinders and cryogenic tankers.
Press Information Bureau Press Release (MoEF) dated 04.05.2021 Effective Allocation by Government of India of COVID -19 supplies received from the GlobalCommunity for Fight against the Global Pandemic The press release has publicized measures taken so far by the Central Govt. w.r.t. different aspects such as Customs matters, co-ordination with different depts., measures taken by Ministry of Health and Family welfare etc
Press Information Bureau Press Release dated 03.05.2021 Ad hoc Exemption from IGST on imports of specified COVID-19 relief material donated from abroad The press release has publicized that as customs duty is already exempt on imports of specified COVID-19 , these imports will not attract any customs duty or IGST
Notification no. 30/2021-Cus,dt. 01-05-2021 Seeks to reduce IGST on Oxygen Concentrators when imported for personal use. IGST rate on Import of oxygen concentrator for personal use has been reduced to 12 % till 30th June, 2021
Notification no. 29/2021-Cus,dt. 30-04-2021 Seeks to amend notification No. 27/2021-Customs to exempt customs duty on import of specified Inflammatory Diagnostic (markers) kits, up to 31st October, 2021. Import of specified Inflammatory Diagnostic (markers) kits also added to Remdesivir injection, Remdesivir API and Beta Cyclodextrin (SBEBCD) used in the manufacture of Remdesivir, as items exempt from Customs duty, up to 31st October, 2021
Instruction no. 09/2021-Customs dated 03.05.2021 Exemption from IGST on imports of specified COVID-19 relief material donated from abroad, up to 30th June, 2021. The instruction has clarified the terms of Ad hoc Exemption Order No. 04/2021-Cus,dt. 03-05-2021, and also instructs how verifications of conditions are to be done
Ad hoc Exemption Order No. 04/2021-Cus,dt. 03-05-2021 Seeks to exempt IGST on imports of specified COVID-19 relief material donated from abroad, up to 30th June, 2021. IGST has been exempted for items covered by Notification No. 27-Customs dated 20.04.2021 and Notification No. 28-Customs dated 24.04.2021, till 30th June, 2021
Instruction no. 08/2021-Customs; dt 27-04-2021 Expediting Customs Clearances for Covid related imports made by Indian Red Cross society–reg. CBIC has informed all Customs formations that imports of COVID items by MEA and Indian Red Cross would be waived from PGA requirements
Press Information Bureau Press Release dated 26.04.2021 Dedicated Helpdesk by CBIC for Handholding Trade,Industry and Individuals to expedite Customs Clearance of Imports related to COVID including Oxygen and oxygen related equipments etc The press release has publicized CBIC helpdesk for COVID import issues and informed of nodal Customs officers across the Country etc.
Notification no. 28/2021-Customs; dt 24-04-2021 Seeks to exempt customs duty and health cess on import of oxygen, oxygen related equipment and COVID-19 vaccines, up to 31st July, 2021. Seeks to exempt customs duty and health cess on import of oxygen, oxygen related equipment and COVID-19 vaccines, up to 31st July, 2021.
Instruction no. 07/2021-Customs; dt 24-04-2021 Expediting Customs Clearances for import consignments relating to COVID 19 pandemic –reg. CBIC has instructed all Customs formations to urgently clear import of COVID 19 items on urgent basis
Press Information Bureau Press Release dated 24.04.2021 Basic customs duty & health cess to be waived off on oxygen & oxygen related equipment. Covid related vaccines to be exempted from basic customs duty The press release has publicized appointment of JS (Customs) as nodal officer for Customs issues on COVID import matters, informed of duty exemption on import of COVID related items etc.
Notification no. 27/2021-Customs; dt 20-04-2021 Seeks to exempt customs duty on import of Remdesivir injection, Remdesivir API and Beta Cyclodextrin (SBEBCD) used in the manufacture of Remdesivir, up to 31st October, 2021. Seeks to exempt customs duty on import of Remdesivir injection, Remdesivir API and Beta Cyclodextrin (SBEBCD) used in the manufacture of Remdesivir, up to 31st October, 2021.
Instruction no. 04/2020-Customs; dt 27-04-2020 Guidelines for conduct of personal hearings in virtual mode under Customs ACT, 1962 Personal hearing in respect of any proceeding under Customs Act, 1962 may be conducted through video conferencing with a view to ensure social distancing and reduce physical presence.
Letter dated 23.04.2020 Waiver of Demurrage Charges levied by ICDs/CFSs/Ports/Terminal Operators during lockdown. Zonal Customs Chief Commissioners have asked local custodians (Inland Container Depots and Container Freight Stations) to exempt demurrage charges during the lockdown period.
Circular No.22/2020-Customs, dt. 21-04-2020 IGST refunds on exports-extension in SB005 alternate mechanism. Extension of the facility of SB005 error correction in the Customs EDI system for Shipping Bills with date upto 31.12.2019.
Circular No.21/2020-Customs; dt 21-04-2020
Circular No.17/2020-Customs; dt 03-04-2020
Requirement of different types of customs bond has been dispensed with. To address the difficulties faced due to non-availability of stamp papers during the lock-down period, the requirement of different types of customs bond has been dispensed with. Traders can submit undertaking on plain paper in lieu of bond.
Circular no. 19/2020-Customs dt.13-04-2020 Paperless Customs – Electronic Communication of PDF based Gate-pass and OOC Copy of Bill of Entry to Custom Brokers/Importers. Enabling electronic communication of out of charge, bill of entry and gate-pass to importers/customs brokers.
Circular no. 18/2020-Customs dt.11-04-2020 Clearance of goods under India’s Trade Agreements without original Certificate of Origin. Provisional clearance of goods while extending preferential treatment, without the submission of original signed certificates of origin.
Notification No. 20/2020– Customs; dt 09-04-2020 Exemption of customs duty on ventilators, personal protection equipment, covid-19 testing kits and inputs for these good. Prioritized clearance of critical goods used for fighting COVId-19, such as medical equipment, drugs and pharmaceuticals, testing kits, PPEs, is ensured. Exemption from basic customs duty and health cess has been granted to such goods- ventilators, masks, personal protection equipment, testing kits and inputs used in manufacturing these items.
Instruction no. 03/2020-Customs; dt 09-04-2020 Special refund and drawback disposal drive. Drive to expeditiously process all pending customs refund and drawback claims in order to provide immediate relief to business entities, especially MSMEs.
Details of Nodal officers for facilitating cargo at respective location; dated 01-04-2020 Nodal officers from CBIC Customs Zones for facilitating Customs clearances amidst the Covid-19 crisis A nodal officer has been designated in each customs zone of India who can be approached for any issue pertaining to clearance of cargo.
Ordinance; dated 31-03-2020 An Ordinance to provide relaxation in the provisions of certain Acts and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto The time limit for filing of appeal, furnishing of return, or any other compliance under the Customs Act or Customs Tariff Act, which was expiring from 20th March 2020 to 29th June 2020, has been extended up to 30th June 2020.
Circular No.15/2020-Customs; dt 28-02-2020 Implementation of automated clearance on All-India basis To minimize human interface and maximize social distancing, the OOC (Out of Charge) work, so far performed by an officer, has been assigned to the EDI system. The machine-based automated release of import consignments has been launched throughout India on 05.03.2020.
Instruction no. 02/2020-Customs; dt 20-02-2020 24*7 Customs clearance 24x7 custom clearance facility has been implemented at all custom formations to avoid any supply chain disruption
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  • https://icegate.gov.in/coronavirus-tradehelp/ : Novel Coronavirus Help Desk for EXIM Trade - A dedicated single window COVID-19 helpdesk for EXIM trade has been created on CBIC website to facilitate quick resolution of issue(s) faced by importer/exporter.

  • As a relief measure for other countries battling with the pandemic, specific export shipments of critical drugs, pharmaceuticals, testing kits, personal protection equipment etc. are actively facilitated by customs at the borders. Some of these shipments are donation from the Government of India.

  • Based on email requisitions, computers and related accessories have been permitted by Customs to be transferred from the bonded premises to residence of employees of Software Technology Park of India to facilitate work from home during the lockdown period.

  • CBIC actively coordinated with other Ministries for ensuring that customs operations are declared as an essential service during the lock down period, which has allowed smooth operations at all the customs stations. In line with the aforesaid, further directives were issued permitting movement of customs brokers and transporters, and allowing functioning of warehouses during the lock down period.

  • CBIC actively coordinated with other Ministries for ensuring that customs operations are declared as an essential service during the lock down period, which has allowed smooth operations at all the customs stations. In line with the aforesaid, further directives were issued permitting movement of customs brokers and transporters, and allowing functioning of warehouses during the lock down period.1.All customs formations have been asked to show greater sensitivity in dealing with cargo from affected areas, condone the delay in filing import declarations and waive the late filing fees in genuine cases.

  • Special care has been taken in clearance of passengers coming from affected countries. Separate channels were created at the airports, port terminals and land customs stations for such passengers. Customs officers strictly followed instructions to use masks, gloves and sanitizers.

  • CBIC has coordinated with the port and airport authorities and other custodians to see that ample space is available for storing EXIM cargo in the customs area.