Free Press Journal

Trade facilitation through single window custom clearance


New Delhi: In a move to fast-track the process of getting customs clearance and to facilitate trade, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today proposed to implement an Indian Customs Single Window Project.

“Under this, importers and exporters would lodge their clearance documents at a single point only. Required permissions, if any, from other regulatory agencies would be obtained online without the trader having to approach these agencies,” Jaitley said while presenting the Union Budget for 2014-15 (Apr-Mar).

“This would reduce interface with governmental agencies, dwell time and the cost of doing business,” he added.

The minister also said that measures are being initiated to extend the existing 24×7 customs clearance facilities to 13 more airports for all export goods and to 14 more sea ports for certain import and export goods.

Faster clearance of import and export cargo reduces transaction costs and improves business competitiveness, he said.

This assumes significance as a government task force had pegged transaction costs at 7-10% of the export value and experts say that trade facilitation measures can bring down the costs by about 2%.

The government in the Budget has also sought states’ participation in export promotion by providing good infrastructure and full facilitation. For this, it plans to set up an Export promotion Mission to bring all stakeholders under one umbrella.