KOCHI: In a major relief to exporters, the Cochin Customs has decided to launch e-sanchit, enabling exporters and importers to file documents online from Thursday, which is expected to reduce the unhealthy practices which exist in the export-import(Exim) sector and corruption, by reducing physical interface among customers, other regulatory agencies and the trade. Further, the facility which enables the customers to upload digitally signed supporting documents, will enhance the speed of clearance of import cargo through the Cochin Port.
According to the Customs officers, the the Customs House has been handling around 35,000-40,000 import documents and 4-5 lakh export documents annually. So introducing the new facility - which was first introduced on a pilot basis at the Air Cargo Complex, New Delhi and Chennai Customs House - at Cochin Customs House with effect from March 15, will enable customers to file their documents from the premises of their offices, said Customs Commissioner Sumit Kumar.
With the introduction of paperless processing of e-sanchit, no customs officer can insist on hard copy documents when the customer files documents in the facility. Hard copies of additional documents required during assessment will also have to follow the e-sanchit route. The customers need to visit the designated officer in charge of verifying the documents with the relevant papers only during the time of granting 'out of charge'.
Assessment functions will be carried out by the appraising officers and ACs and DCs only on the basis of the documents uploaded. If personal hearing is to be held for resolving or adjudicating disputes, it should be through a transparent system of appointments, he said. Streamlining the services and easing out the business through the port is expected to raise the revenue of the Cochin Customs House, which netted a revenue of `2,932.55 crore in 2016-17, up from `2,556.97crore in the previous financial year. In the first seven months of the current fiscal, the Customs has also netted a revenue of `2,029.01.
The Cochin Customs House has also decided to conduct a special drive to clear the pending refunds of Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) from March 15-March 29. It has been noticed about `120 crore of IGST refunds of exports through Cochin Port is pending disbursal. The pending disbursal is mainly due to errors committed by the exports themselves. As part of the drive, a detailed list of the error codes has already been published. The exports can contact the special officer M S Suresh, assistant commissioner, during this period with their clarification so that the errors committed can be removed and IGST claims processed, said the Customs Commissioner.