The Central Board for Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) vide Circular No. 16/2022- Customs dated, 29.08.2022 (the Circular) has decided to initiate a standardised country-wide risk-based assessment for clearance of imported consignments that shall take place in phases.
In furtherance to the same, the CBIC had asked the National Assessments Centres (NACs) to review, streamline and standardize the Examination Orders issued by various Faceless Assessment Group (FAG) Officers under similar circumstances, so as to avoid variance in practice and consequent delays.
On the basis of inputs from the NAC, the National Customs Targeting Centre (NCTC) in coordination with the Directorate General of Systems and Data Management (DG Systems) and the NACs, has developed a centralized, system-generated Examination Orders for Bill of Entry (BoE) based upon various parameters including countries, goods, and entities relating to the said bill.
The objective behind the said functionality is to endorse the ease of doing business by reducing the processing time and associated costs and enhancing uniformity in the examination.
The said Faceless Assessment was adopted vide Circular No. 14/2021- Customs, dated, 07.07.2021, wherein, it was informed that “the Board shall introduce an RMS generated uniform examination orders at all Customs stations across the country”.
PHASE 1 – SECOND CHECK EXAMINATION
CBIC vide the Circular has introduced Phase 1 of the Faceless Assessment i.e. Second Check Examination wherein in order to harmonise the Examination Orders across the FAGs, the CBIC has decided to implement Centralised Examination Orders in case of risk-based selection for examination after the assessment.
Moreover, the implantation of such Centralised Examination Orders will be in a phased manner. The examination is meant for ‘Second check BoE’, whereby imported goods will not be required to undergo a mandatory physical examination. The assessment shall be carried out by referring to the documents submitted to the Authorities.
Further, the system developed by NCTC in consultation with the NACs and the DG Systems will centrally generate standardised Examination Orders by Risk Management System (RMS) and will be populated on the corresponding BoE.
The Examination Orders generated through RMS will be based on various relevant parameters such as the goods concerned in the BoE, the entities and the countries involved, etc.
Such standardized Examination Orders will be visible during the assessment to the Assessing Officers. Even though these Examination Orders will form the new norm, the Assessing Officers shall have an option to add any additional examination instruction or order to the pre-populated Examination Order that has been generated by the RMS, if necessary.
As per this new procedure, after processing the data from the BoE, the RMS will generate a consolidated Examination Order for each BoE based on the potential risks.
A. Implementation by Field Officers
The FAG Officers will provide additional Examination Orders or instruction in order to complement the RMS-generated Examination Order only in exceptional cases.
The FAG Officers will be expected to see whether there is already an RMS-generated Examination Order for the concerned BoE and shall proceed accordingly.
The Examining Officers will have to strictly follow the RMS generated Examination Orders and examine the selected containers and other areas/ parts as specified in the RMS generated Examination Order, physically.
Any deviation from the RMS generated Examination Order shall require prior approval from the Joint Commissioner or Additional Commissioner who will be designated by the Commissioner.
Moreover, the such deviation will have to be recorded in Examination Report fed in the system. The Commissioners will have to regularly monitor such cases at their level in order to make sure that there are minimal deviations and that such deviations are justified.
B. Implementation of Part 1 of Phase 1
This procedure will be implemented in a phased manner for the Second Check BoE. The procedure shall begin with one set of commodities and then gradually expand to all other commodities using a modular approach.
The CBIC has decided that the above-mentioned procedure will come into effect for goods that are covered under Assessment Group 4 in all Customs Stations from 05.09.2022.
In line with the dynamic changes in the assessment, CBIC has implemented a reform that stands on the pillars of Contactless and Faceless Assessment in Customs. The standardised country-wide risk-based assessment for clearance of imported consignments is an initiative towards faster Customs clearance of imported goods.
The assessment is set to be rolled out in phases and is planned to cover all the commodities with a modular approach. This is a key to simplified processes for the clearance of imported consignments.
-Team AMLEGALS, assisted by Ms. Devanshi Jain (Intern)
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