Customs at four airports to function round-the-clock

Customs clearance and other facilities at select airports and seaports will now function round-the-clock.

A decision to this effect was taken at a high-level meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office
here on Tuesday.

The selected airports where this facility will be available are Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, and Mumbai. Besides, customs operations at Chennai, Kolkata, Kandla and Mumbai seaports will be open 24X7.

The 24x7 operations would begin on a pilot basis with customs operations along with all other complementary services. Along with customs clearances, other government agencies such as the concerned port/airport authority, drug controller, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, quarantine, private players like custodians, Customs House Agents, banks, transporters, etc., will work 24x7 to synchronise with the extended work hours.

This would be initially for four months after which efforts would be made to expand similar operations at other locations, an official release said.

“One of the major constraints for international trade has been the non-availability of customs clearance and other facilities at airports and seaports round-the-clock, seven days a week. This means that import and export cargo, delivered at a time when clearance facilities are unavailable, have to wait till clearance facilities are open to move on to their destination. At airports and ports, which in any case normally operate round-the-clock, cargo piles up awaiting clearances,” the release added.

The 24x7 operations would be available for certain categories of imports and exports. For imports, the category “No Assessment No Examination” will be covered. This would account for 70 per cent of imports. For exports, the 24x7 facility could be extended to those exports not claiming benefits.

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