Lockdown effect: CBIC extends facility of import, export without furnishing bonds to Customs till May 15

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Published: April 21, 2020 8:27 PM

The apex indirect tax body had earlier set end April as the date for import and exports by issuing undertaking. In view of the extension of lockdown till May 3, the trade facilitation measure has now been extended till May 15.

India’s services exports rose just over 4% year-on-year in FY20 to $214 billion, while merchandise exports contracted by close to 5% to $314 billion, according to a quick estimate by the commerce ministry.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on Tuesday extended the deadline to import and export goods without furnishing bonds to the Customs authorities by a fortnight till May 15, a move aimed at facilitating trade during the COVID-19 lockdown. In a circular, the CBIC said businesses will, however, have to furnish proper bond to the Customs authorities by May 30 for import and exports done through undertaking till May 15.

In view of the lockdown, the apex indirect tax body had earlier set end April as the date for import and exports by issuing undertaking. In view of the extension of lockdown till May 3, the trade facilitation measure has now been extended till May 15.

The CBIC had earlier received representation from field formations about difficulty being faced by importers and exporters during the lockdown in obtaining notarised stamp papers for furnishing bonds required by Customs in certain situations during the assessment and clearance of goods.

In order to expedite Customs clearance of goods and for maintaining balance between Customs control and facilitation of legitimate trade, the CBIC had approved relaxation of the requirement to submit bonds. “In the background of the recent announcement by the government extending the lockdown till May 3 and taking into consideration that it might take some time after the end of the lockdown for situation to normalise, the Board has decided to further extend the facility of accepting undertaking in lieu of bond for the period till May 15,” the CBIC said.

The Board will, however, review the relaxation at the end of the lockdown period. The importers and exporters who would be allowed this facility include government/public sector undertakings, manufacturer importer, Authorised Economic Operators and all importers availing Customs warehouse facility.

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