COURIER CLEARANCE

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The present regulations provide for registration of courier companies, procedure for clearance of import cargo, obligations of authorised courier and deregistration or courier companies.Only authorised courier will be permitted to deal with clearance of import parcels, imported through courier mode.However, licenced Custom House Agents or the importers themselves with the authorisation of authorised courier will also be permitted to clear the import parcels.All the registered courier companies will hereinafter follow the procedures as detailed below.

REGISTRATION
RENEWAL OF REGISTRATION
IMPORT OF COURIER GOODS
OBLIGATIONS ON AUTHORISED COURIER
EXPORT OF COURIER GOODS
DEREGISTRATION

REGISTRATION

Regulations 7 to 11 of the Regulations deal with registration of couriers, the conditions to be satisfied and attendant procedural requirements.By virtue of these regulations, every person intending to operate as authorised courier will apply in writing to the Commissioner of Customs (Airport), Chennai for registration alongwith a certificate issued by a scheduled bank or such other proof acceptable to the Commissioner of Customs evidencing the possession of assets of value not less than Rs.5 lakhs.On receipt of the application, the Commissioner of Customs may cause an inquiry as the Commissioner may deem necessary to satisfy himself that the applicant fulfills the requirements of registration.The Commissioner of Customs, if satisfied, will register the applicant as an authorised courier subject to applicant executing a bond in format annexed with the security for Rs.5 lakhs in cash or in the form of postal security or National Savings Certificate in the name of Commissioner of Customs for complying with the provisions of the Customs Act. 1962 and the rules and regulations made thereunder.

RENEWAL OF REGISTRATION

As per Regulation 10(2) of the Regulations, the registration is valid for a period of three years.Hence before one month of expiry of the aforesaid three years, the registered courier will have to apply for renewal of registration.On receipt of such applications, if the Commissioner of Customs is satisfied with the performance of authorised courier with reference to the absence of any complaints of misconduct including non-compliance of any of the obligations specified in the regulations, the registration will be renewed for a further period of three years.

IMPORT

a)

The courier imports are being divided into three categories viz.

i) Documents.
ii) Commercial samples and bonafide gifts.
iii) other goods.
b)

“Documents” have been defined to mean any message, information or data recorded on paper, cards or photographs and of no commercial value which is for the time being not liable to any Customs duty or subject to any prohibition or restriction on their import into India.

c)

“Samples” have been defined to mean any bonafide commercial samples and prototypes of goods supplied free of charge of a value not exceeding two thousand rupees for imports which are for the time being not subject to any prohibition or restriction on their import into India and for which no transfer of foreign exchange is involved.

d)

“Free Gifts” has been defined to mean any bonafide gifts of articles for personal use of a value not exceeding two thousand rupees for each consignment which are not subject to any prohibition or restriction on their import into India and for which no foreign exchange is involved.

e)

The imported goods will be packed separately in identifiable courier bag with appropriate label indicating three categories viz. (i) documents, (ii) samples and free gifts, and (iii) dutiable goods.Each package will bear a declaration from the sender regarding the description of goods and value thereof.The goods imported through the mode of courier will be assessed and cleared in the simplified forms for declaration as prescribed under the Courier Imports & Exports (Clearance) Regulations 1998 to enable expeditious clearance of the imported cargo.

f)

An option has also been provided under the Regulations to file regular Bill of Entry as prescribed in the Bill of Entry (Forms) Regulations, 1976 for clearance of any of the imported goods if the authorised courier or the Customs House Agent on behalf of the consignee intends to avail the facility.The Imports relating to 100% Export Oriented Units or Units in a Free Trade Zone or imported under the Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme or the Duty Exemption Scheme or imports against any other licence issued under the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act, 1992 or imported by or on behalf of a person who is related to the consignor within the meaning of Rule 2 of Customs Valuation (Determination of prices of imported goods) Rules 1988, or in respect of imports where the proper officer directs filing of bills of entry, all such imports would be undertaken by filing regular Bill of Entry in the form prescribed in the Bill of Entry (Forms) Regulations, 1976.

g)

The On-Board Courier will file a Courier Import Manifest in Courier Bill of Entry-I (CBE-I) [Form-I] appended to the Regulations on arrival of the aircraft with the Station Duty Officer and obtain the IGM number already assigned to the particular flight.Alongwith CBE-I, the bags shall be handed over to the Warehouse Officer and Superintendent (Warehouse) in the Airport.

The authorised courier will file separate courier manifest in Form Courier Bill of Entry-II (CBE-II) [Form-II] appended to the regulations for examination of the goods by the Examiner/Appraiser in the Courier Cell.In his presence, the goods will be opened and examined by the Appraiser and Examiner posted for clearance of courier bags.The Courier Bills of Entry as per Form-IV & V will be completed after examination and the authorised courier will also present all relevant documents and declaration in this regard to the proper officer.On completion of assessment by the Appraiser and countersigned by the Assistant Commissioner of Customs (Airport), the Bills of Entry will be audited by a Concurrent Audit Appraiser.A Deputy Office Superintendent (Audit) will then subject the bills to Exchange Audit, after which the duty will be paid with the State Bank of India counter at the Airport.After the payment of duty, the duplicate bill of entry will be presented to the Warehouse Officer, who will then allow clearance of the bags and pass out-of-Customs charge.

h)

The goods for clearance of which the Appraiser needs further documents before giving clearance will be detained by the Appraiser concerned and a detention receipt for this purpose will be issued indicating the details of the flight, manifest number filed by the authorised courier and the nature of clarification or document sought.Detention of one of the items in any courier bags would not necessitate detention of other goods.In respect of such detained goods the authorised courier can seek clearance with the requisite document or clarification on any working day and for such goods he will file a separate bill of entry.In respect of such detained goods necessary warehouse charges as applicable under the rules are also be paid before clearance.

Bags containing documents covered under CBE-III will be allowed clearance round-the-clock after scanning/inspection/examination by the Air Customs Officers/Air Customs Superintendents at a specified counter in the Customs Arrival hall.

i)

Only authorised courier is permitted to deal with the clearance of imports through the mode of courier.However, an authorised courier may take assistance of On-Board Courier for the purpose of importation on behalf of authorised courier either directly or through a third party who accompany a scheduled passenger flight.

j)

However, to ensure speedy clearance of the goods arrived through the mode of courier, certain goods namely, animals and parts thereof, plants and parts thereof, perishables, publications containing maps depicting incorrect boundaries of India, precious and semi-precious stones, gold or silver in any form, and goods falling within Chapter 28, 29 and 38 of the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff, 1975 (51 of 1975) have been excluded from the list of imports.In addition, the goods where the weight of individual package exceeds 2 kgs have also been excluded from the Courier Imports & Exports (Clearance) Regulations, 1998.

CERTAIN OBLIGATIONS OF AUTHORISED COURIER HAVE ALSO BEEN SET OUT IN THE COURIER IMPORTS & EXPORTS (CLEARANCE) REGULATIONS, 1998.

An authorised courier will:-
a)

obtain an authorisation from each of the consignees for whom he has imported the goods to the effect that he may act as his agent for clearance of the said goods through the Customs

b)

Advise his client to comply with the provisions of the Act and in case of non-compliance, will bring the matter to the notice of the Assistant Commissioner of Customs

c)

exercise due diligence to ascertain the correctness and completeness of any information which he commits to Customs with reference to any work related to the clearance of imported goods

d)

not withhold information relating to assessment and clearance of imported goods communicated by any officer of Customs from a client who is entitled to such information

e)

not withhold any information relating to assessment and clearance of imported goods from the assessing officer

f)

not attempt to influence the conduct of any official of the Customs station in any matter pending before such official or his subordinates by the use of threat, false accusation, duress or offer of any special inducement or promise of advantage or by bestowing of any gift or favour or other thing of value

g)

maintain records and accounts in such forms and manner as may be directed from time to time by an Assistant Commissioner of Customs and submit them for inspection to the said Assistant Commissioner of Customs or an officer authorised by him whenever required.

EXPORT

The authorised courier on receipt of the goods for shipment is required to file two types of Courier Shipping Bills, viz.

i)

Courier Shipping Bill-I (CSB-I) to cover shipment of documents

ii)

Courier Shipping Bill-II (CSB-II) to cover samples, free gifts.

Alongwith CSB-II, a copy of the manifest, Airway Bill and Invoice are to be prepared.The authorised courier will bring in the goods alongwith the relevant documents to the departure hall of the Chennai Airport three hours prior to the scheduled departure of the respective flights.

CLEARANCE OF COURIER SHIPPING BILL-I (CSB-I)

The authorised courier companies will submit CSB-I in duplicate in the format prescribed in the Regulations to the Air Customs Officer (Visadex) who is designated as Air Customs Officer (Courier) at the Customs departure hall in the Anna International Terminal.The serial number is allotted and the same is entered in the CSB Form.Necessary entries will be made in the register maintained for courier exports.Then the authorised representative will get the bags security checked by the airline staff and inform the Air Customs Officer (visadex).The said officer shall supervise the screening and if satisfied shall sign the form and affix the Customs stamp and pass the CSB-I for shipment.One copy of the Form will be retained by the officer and the other would be handed over to the authorised courier.The authorised courier will then handover the bags to the airlines staff.

In case of any discrepancy, found at the time of screening, the authorised courier will make available the bag and package for examination by the officer after which, if found in order, the same will be repacked in the original packings and placed in the respective bag.Objectionable goods found if any are to be detained after due process, the authorised courier will contersign the detention memo as having witnessed the examination and detention.

CLEARANCE OF COURIER SHIPPING BILL-II (CSB-II)

The authorised courier will file two copies of the CSB-II with the Air Customs Officer (Visadex) for registration.The serial number is allotted and entered in the CSB form.Necessary entries will be made in the register maintained for the courier export.After registration, the Air Customs Officer (Visadex) shall scrutinise and shall select maximum of 25% of the shipments for detailed examination.If no discrepancies are found, the ACO (Visadex) will pass the CSB-II for shipment by signing on the form and affix the Customs stamp.A copy of the CSB-II form is retained by the ACO(Visadex).The authorised courier will ensure that the packages afterexamination are properly repacked in the original packings.

In case any discrepancy is noticed then after due process, if found necessary, the parcel will be detained.The authorised courier shall countersign the detention memo as having witnessed the examination and detention.

CLEARANCE OF GOODS COVERED INTO REGULAR SHIPPING BILL

The authorised courier will collect the parcel alongwith the necessary documents from the jurisdictional Assistant Commissioner, which would be in a sealed condition and shall present the documents to the Air Customs Officer (Visadex) assigned for the purpose at the export baggage hall.The authorised courier will ensure that the conditions and limitations stipulated by the jurisdictional Assistant Commissioner are not contravened in any respect. The officer will satisfy himself that the conditions and limitations imposed by the jurisdictional Assistant Commissioner are fulfilled and may endorse document for shipment after making necessary entries in the courier export register like description of goods, value, etc.The authorised courier will ensure that all the documents, after the shipment, reach the jurisdictional Assistant Commissioner within the stipulated period.

SHORT SHIPPED (SHUT OUT) PARCELS

In the event of the airlines not being in a position to accept all the bags passed for shipment, the authorised courier will take an endorsement from the airlines as to the number of bags being accepted and inform the Superintendent (Export) regarding the details of the bags not accepted by the airlines.He will obtain permission from the Superintendent (Export) for shipping the remaining bags through any other airline on the same day and obtain permission for shifting to another flight.After shipment he will take the endorsement of that airline on the duplicate of the CSB-I or II as the case may be.In case it is not possible to ship any bags after assessment by any airline on the same day, then the authorised courier will make a request to the Superintendent (Export) for taking the goods back to town.If permitted, he will take the endorsement on the duplicate and triplicate copy of the CSB-I or II as the case may be and take the goods back to town.It may be noted that no bags after assessment will be taken back without the abovesaid permission and any lapse will be viewed seriously.

DEREGISTRATION

Regulation 14 provides for the revocation of the registration of the authorised courier and also forfeiture of the security for failing to comply with the conditions of the bond executed by them and the provisions of the Regulations and also for any misconduct on their part.In the event of any violation, failure to comply with the regulations, misconduct on the part of the courier company, the Commissioner of Customs may order the suspension of the registration of the authorised courier pending inquiry and if found guilty, he may revoke the registration and pass such necessary orders as deem fit, after due process of law.The authorised courier may, if aggrieved by the order of the Commissioner of Customs (Airport), represent to the Chief Commissioner of Customs in writing against such order within sixty days of communication of the said order.