F. No. 450/199/2013-Cus IV
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
(Department of Revenue)
New Delhi, dated the 25th October, 2013
All Chief Commissioner of Customs,
All Chief Commissioner of Customs & Central Excise,
All Director General of CBEC.
Sub: Encouraging stakeholder participation in Customs functioning- reg.
The CBEC has a well established practice of involving stakeholders in decision-making and resolving operational issues. This is exemplified by the Permanent Trade Facilitation Committee (PTFCs) in each Custom House, which includes local trade and logistics association as well as Customs Brokers association. These committees typically meet once a month for deliberating issues that impact day to day functioning. All senior departmental officers including Commissioners of Customs attend the meetings.
2. In this regard I am directed to state that noting the efficacy of the PTFCs in resolving local issues the Board is of the view that these are needed to be well attended by the trade bodies. Also, the PTFC meetings should be held at all Customs locations, if not being done so already. This would ensure that local issues of interest to the trade would get resolved quickly thereby furthering the cause of trade facilitation. This would also prevent the escalation of purely local issues to the Department/Board.
3. The Board also notes that possibly, issues could be better resolved at the local level if presented to the Chief Commissioners/Commissioners by the apex trade bodies, who by virtue of membership spread across Custom Houses would have a broader perspective. Hence, it would be fruitful to encourage the apex trade bodies to meet the Chief Commissioners/Commissioners. The apex trade bodies could also attend the PTFCs along with their constituents, who are members of the PTFCs.
4. The Board desires that as a trade facilitation measure aimed at encouraging stakeholder participation and expeditious resolution of local issues (without these being escalated to the Department/Board) the Chief Commissioners should henceforth ensure that:-
(a) The PTFCs are held regularly with minimum of one meeting each per month on a pre-decided date.
(b) Minutes of the PTFC meetings are sent to the Board through DG, Directorate General of Export Promotion on issues having all India implication, if any.
(c) Apex trade bodies are allowed to attend the PTFC meetings along with their local constituents, who are members of the PTFC.
(d) Efforts are made to regularly review the membership of the PTFC with the aim of including all stakeholders in the Customs functioning.
(e) Chief Commissioners/Commissioners are receptive to meeting local and apex trade bodies even outside the framework of the PTFC.
5. Difficulties, if any, faced in the implementation of the instructions may be brought to the notice of the Ministry at an early date.
Under Secretary (Cus.IV)
Copy for information and a request for dissemination to their constituent members to:
FICCI, CII, ASSOCHAM, PHD Chambers of Commerce, FFFAI, etc.