The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has directed its officers to expeditiously dispose the unclaimed, uncleared, and confiscated goods that are holding up containers, a move aimed at easing availability of containers for exporters.
In an instruction to its field officers, the CBIC said that they should take proactive steps so that containers housing imported cargo that are under enquiry are expeditiously released.
“To continue the emphasis on enhancing the availability of containers, the Board has decided that the field formations also….dispose expeditiously the unclaimed/uncleared/seized/confiscated goods including that are holding up containers following the timelines and procedures prescribed in a Board’s circular,” it said.
It added that field formations had reported certain reasons such as court cases, held by intelligence agencies for non-release of containers.
Exporting community has time and again raised the issue of shortage of containers as it affects exports.
Commenting on this, Ludhiana Hand Tools Association President S C Ralhan said that it is a good move by the government, but the big question is that where court cases are there, it will not be possible to lease those containers.
“But at the moment, it looks like there will be a lot of containers available for exporters,” Ralhan said.
Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) DG Ajay Sahai said that about 20,000 containers are still stuck up with custodian (Ports/ CONCOR/ CWC) as these have been either detained by agencies or abandoned by the importers.
“The number is not very large but at this point of time when supply is inadequate, this will help. The proactive action by Customs will help in releasing them and adding them to supply. However, similar time bound action is needed by the Custodians as well,” Sahai said.
Sharing similar views, FIEO Vice-President Khalid Khan too said that “it is really a good move” as availability of about 20,000 containers will be a huge benefit to trade.