Customs to upgrade 12 labs in the country

Customs to upgrade 12 labs in the country

File photo for representation.

The customs department will upgrade its 12 labs in the country, a move aimed at improving the verification process of products imported or exported from India.

The department is also introducing non-intrusive detection methods to prevent smuggling of gold in powder, paste and other forms.

At the end of a two-day conference of Chief Commissioners of Customs and Direct Generals on Customs Tariff and Allied matters here, chairman-designate of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs P K Das said the upgraded labs would help check various parameters before import.

For instance, tools in the upgraded labs would be utilised for testing products such as crude Palmolive oil or refined edible oils.

“It will also help us assess if some of the pharmaceutical drugs being imported are according to the declared characteristics," he said.

Responding to a query, Das agreed that there is a rise in instances of gold smuggling.

He elaborated: “Gold is being smuggled in powder and paste forms. Such smuggling cases are being detected along Indo-Myanmar and Indo-Bangladesh border in a big way.”

Six integrated checkpoints are being set up with help from the Ministry of Home Affairs in vulnerable areas, he said.

On non-intrusive inspection equipment, he said the department is also into artificial intelligence, block-chain tech and others.

“We are engaging with IBM to give us the necessary technology.”

On ease of doing business, Das said bottlenecks are removed in the speedy clearances of cargo with the help of technology to reduce procedural delays. Emphasis is on to reduce transaction cost and time lapse through faceless assessment of bills of entry, single window clearance, and electronic tracking system.

He informed that customs duties and other allied taxes collected from April this year stood at Rs 3,02,937 crore.