FRIDAY 5TH OCTOBER, 2012, KUALA LUMPUR: Effective from September, 2012, the Government of India has made it mandatory for all importers registered under the ‘Accredited Clients Programme’ to utilise e-payment for the payment of customs duty of Rs 1 Lakh (RM5,674.10) or more per bill of entry. This trade facilitation measure is expected to reduce further the cost of transactions for importers.
Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) said that in an Indian Ministry of Finance statement, that the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) has already instructed all customs chief commissioners to give the new measure wide publicity in order to prepare trade and industry for the switch-over in duty payment in the event changes to their software or other internal procedures for effecting e-payment was required. The statement went on to request importers, trade and industry players provide all necessary assistance to the anticipated large number of taxpayers who would be adopting the new procedure.
MATRADE added that the e-payment system would be advantageous for both the trade and the government in that it would allow taxpayers to facilitate payment from their own offices 24 hours a day, every day of the week. This would also facilitate quicker release of cargo with the benefit of immediate tax collection for the government and error-free data reconciliation related to tax payments.
Insofar as Malaysian exporters are concerned the new system would mean faster clearance of imported goods as well as a reduction in transaction costs that would eventually result in a reduction in the cost of imported Malaysian goods into India.
The customs e-payment facility was first introduced in 2007 and is available through a number of authorised banks at all major customs locations with the ICES (Indian Customs EDI System) facility. The system currently handles nearly 98% of India’s international trade.