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IMPORT PROCEDURES

Goods imported in an aircraft /a vessel attract customs duty and customs clearance formalities of the landed goods have to be followed by the importers.

For the goods which are offloaded, the importers have the option to clear the goods for home consumption after payment of the duties leviable or to clear them for warehousing without immediate payment of the duties leviable in terms of the warehousing provisions built in the Customs Act. Every importer is required to file, in terms of the Section 46 of the Customs Act, 1962, an entry (which is called Bill of entry) for home consumption or warehousing in the form as prescribed by regulations.

Under Manual Procedure
Under EDI
Assessment
EDI Assessment
Examination of goods
Green Channel Facility
Payment of duty
Amendment of Bill of entry
Prior entry for Bill of entry
Specialised Schemes
Bill of entry for Bond warehousing
Abandoning of Imported Goods
Customs Clearance for food items,live stock products, plant and plant materials etc.,
DGFT Notification No. 44 (RE-2000)/1997-2002, dated 24-11-2000
DGFT Notification No. 3(RE-2001)/1997-2002, dated 31-3-2001
The PFS Order, 1989
The Livestock Importation Act, 1898
Customs Clearance Procedure for Food Items
Customs Clearance Procedure for Livestock Products
Plant/Plant Materials for Sowing/Planting/Propagation/Consumption

Under Manual Procedure:

The first stage for processing a bill of entry is to get the bill of entry noted in the concerned unit. This has to be done by the importer or his agent or representative.

The Bill of entry is to be filed in quadruplicate- original and duplicate are meant for customs, third copy is for the importer and fourth copy is for the bank for making remittances. On the body of the bill of entry, the purpose for which it will be used is generally mentioned.

Under manual procedure, along with the bill of entry the following documents are also generally required to be filed by the importer or his representative:

  • Signed invoice
  • Packing list
  • Bill of lading or Delivery order/Airway Bill
  • GATT declaration form duly filled in
  • Importers/CHA’s declaration
  • License wherever necessary
  • Letter of credit/Bank Draft/ wherever necessary
  • Insurance document
  • Import licence
  • Industrial licence, if required
  • Test report in case of chemicals
  • Adhoc exemption order
  • DEEC Book/DEPB in original
  • Catalogue, Technical write up, literature in case of machineries , spares or chemicals as may be applicable
  • Separately split up value of spares, components machineries
  • Certificate of origin, if preferential rate of duty is claimed
  • No commission declaration.

After noting of the bill of entry, the same is sent to the appraising section for assessment functions, payment of duty etc

Under EDI:

Under EDI, the first stage for processing a bill of entry starts with the Airlines staff feeding the manifest through EDI or by using the service centre of the Custom House. No formal Bill of entry is required to be filed, if the goods are cleared through the EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) system, as the same is generated by the computer system. The importer is, however, required to file a cargo declaration having prescribed particulars required for processing of the entry for customs clearance. The requisite declaration / form is available in the "Import forms" link of this website.

While filing the Bill of entry under EDI and giving various particulars as prescribed therein, the correctness of the information given has to be certified by the importer in the form of a declaration at the foot of the bill of entry since any misdeclaration / incorrect declaration has legal consequences. Hence due precautions should be taken by importer while signing these declarations.

The importer has to submit the declaration / form containing all the relevant information to the Service centre. A signed paper copy of the declaration is taken by the service centre operator for non-repudiability of the declaration. A checklist is generated for verification of data by the importer/CHA. After verification, the data is submitted to the system by the Service Centre Operator and system then generates a Bill of Entry number which is endorsed on the printed checklist and returned to the importer /CHA. No original documents are taken at this stage. Original documents are taken at the time of examination. The importer/CHA also need to sign on the final document after customs clearance.

ASSESSMENT:

The basic function of the assessing officer in the appraising groups is to determine the duty liability taking due note of any exemptions or benefits claimed under different export promotion schemes. They have also to check whether there are any restrictions or prohibitions on the goods imported and if they require any permission / licence / permit etc., and if so whether these are forthcoming. Assessment of duty essentially involves proper classification of the goods imported in the Customs tariff having due regard to the rules of interpretations, chapter and sections notes etc., and determining the duty liability. It also involves correct determination of value where the goods are assessable on ad valorem basis. The assessing officer has to take note of the invoice and other declarations submitted alongwith the bill of entry to support the valuation claim and adjudge whether the transaction value method and the invoice value claimed for the basis of assessment is acceptable or value needs to be redetermined having due regard to the provisions of Section 14 and the valuation rules issued thereunder, the case law and various instructions on the subject. He also takes note of the contemporaneous values and other information on valuation available with the Customs House.

Where the appraising officer is not very clear about the description of the goods from the document or as some doubts arise about the proper classification which may be possible to determine only after detailed examination of the nature of the goods or testing of its samples, he may give an examination order in advance of finalisation of assessment including order for drawing of representative sample. This is done generally on the reverse of the original copy of the bill of entry which is presented by the authorised agent of the importer to the appraising staff posted in the shed / Air cargo complexes where the goods are got examined in the presence of the importer’s representative.

On receipt of the examination report the appraising officers in the group assess the bill of entry indicating separately the various duties such as basic, countervailing, anti-dumping, safeguard duties etc., that may be leviable. Thereafter the bill of entry goes to the Asst. / Deputy Commissioner for confirmation depending upon certain value limits.

After the assessment, a challan for the duty amount is generated and given to the importer at the service centre. The details of duty to be paid are transmitted instantly online to the bank in EDI system. After depositing the duty in the banks, the importer or his representative can go and seek delivery of the goods from the custodians.

Where the goods have already been examined for finalisation of classification or valuation no further examination / checking by the shed appraising staff is required at the time of giving delivery and the goods can be taken delivery after taking appropriate orders and payment of dues to the custodians, if any.

In most cases, the appraising officer assesses the goods on the basis of information and details furnished by the importer in the bill of entry, invoice and other related documents including catalogue, write-up etc. He also determines whether the goods are permissible for import or there are any restrictions/prohibitions. He may allow payment of duty and delivery of the goods on what is called second check / appraising basis in case there are no restrictions / prohibitions. In this method, the duties as determined and calculated are paid immediately after the assessment and an appropriate order is taken on the reverse of the duplicate copy of the bill of entry with regard to the examination. The importer or his agent after payment of the duty submits the goods for examination in the import sheds to the examining staff. If the goods are found to be as declared and no other discrepancies / mis-declarations etc., are detected, the importer or his agent can clear the goods after the shed appraiser gives ‘out of charge’ order.

Wherever the importer is not satisfied with the classification, rate of duty or valuation as may be determined by the appraising officer, he can seek an assessment order. An appeal against the assessment order can be made to the appropriate appellate authority within the time limits and in the manner prescribed.

EDI ASSESSMENT:

In the EDI system of handling of the documents / declarations for taking import clearances as mentioned earlier the cargo declaration is transferred to the assessing officer in the groups electronically.

The assessing officer processes the cargo declaration on screen with regard to all the parameters as given above for manual process. However, in EDI system, all the calculations are done by the system itself. In addition, the system also supplies useful information for calculation of duty, for example, when a particular exemption notification is accepted, the system itself gives the extent of exemption under that notification and calculates the duty accordingly. Similarly, it automatically applies relevant rate of exchange in force while calculating. If assessing officer needs any clarification from the importer, he may raise a query. The query is printed at the service centre and the party replies to the query through the service centre.

After assessment, a copy of the assessed bill of entry is printed in the service centre. Under EDI, documents are normally examined at the time of examination of the goods. Final bill of entry is printed after ‘out of charge’ is given by the Custom Officer.

In EDI system, in certain cases, the facility of system appraisal is available. Under this process, the declaration of importer is taken as correct and the system itself calculates duty which is paid by the importer. In such case, no assessing officer is involved.

Also, this Website provides a facility through which the status of documents filed through EDI system could be ascertained.

EXAMINATION OF GOODS:

All imported goods are required to be examined for verification of correctness of description given in the bill of entry. However, a part of the consignment is selected on random selection basis and is examined. In case the importer does not have complete information with him at the time of import, he may request for examination of the goods before assessing the duty liability or, if the Customs Appraiser/Assistant Commissioner feels that the goods have to be examined before assessment, the goods are examined prior to assessment. This is called first appraisemnt. The importer has to request for first check examination at the time of filing of the bill of entry or at data entry stage. The reason for seeking first appraisement is also required to be given. On original copy of the bill of entry, the Customs Appraiser records the examination order and returns the bill of entry to the importer /CHA with the direction for examination, who is to take it to the import shed for examination of the goods in the shed. Shed Appraiser / Inspector examines the goods as per examination order and records his findings. In case the appraiser has called for samples, then sealed samples are forwarded to the group. The importer is to bring back the said bill of entry to the assessing officer for assessing the duty. Appraiser assesses the bill of entry. It is countersigned by Assistant /Deputy Commissioner if the value is more than Rs. 1 lakh.

The goods can also be examined subsequent to assessment and payment of duty. This is called Second Appraisement. Most of the consignments are cleared on second appraisement basis. It is to be noted that whole of the consignment is not examined. Those packages which are selected on random selection basis are examined in the shed.

Under the EDI system, the bill of entry after assessment by the group or first appraisement, as the case may be, need to be prepared at the counter for registration for examination in the import shed. A declaration for correctness of entries and genuineness of the original documents needs to be made at this stage. After registration, the Bill of entry is passed on to the shed Appraiser for examination of the goods. Alongwith the Bill of entry, the CHA is to present all the necessary documents. After completing examination of the goods, the Shed Appraiser enters the report in System and transfers first appraisement Bill of entry to the group and gives ‘out of charge’ in case of already assessed Bill of entry. Thereupon, the system prints Bill of entry and order of clearance (in triplicate). All these copies carry the examination report, order of clearance number and name of Shed Appraiser. The two copies each of bill of entry and the order are to be returned to the CHA / Importer, after the appraiser signs them. One copy of the order is attached to the Customs copy of Bill of entry and retained by the shed appraiser.

GREEN CHANNEL FACILITY:

Some major importers have been given the green channel clearance facility. It means clearance of goods is done without routine examination of the goods. They have to make a declaration in the declaration form at the time of filing of bill of entry. The appraisement is done as per normal procedure except that there would be no physical examination of the goods. Only marks and number are to be checked in such cases.

Wherever necessary, for availing duty free assessment or concessional assessment under different schemes and notifications, execution is end use bonds with Bank Guarantee or other surety is required to be furnished. These have to be executed in prescribed forms before the assessing appraiser.

PAYMENT OF DUTY:

The duty is to be paid through TR 6 challans at the designated bank i.e., State Bank of Hyderabad in case of Air Cargo Complex, Begumpet, Hyderabad.

AMENDMENT OF BILL OF ENTRY:

Whenever mistakes are noticed after submission of documents, amendments to the Bill of entry are carried out with the approval of Deputy/Assistant Commissioner. The request for amendment may be submitted with the supporting documents. Amendment in document may be permitted after the goods have been given out of charge i.e., goods have been cleared on sufficient proof being shown to the Deputy/Assistant Commissioner.

PRIOR ENTRY FOR BILL OF ENTRY:

For faster clearance of the goods, provision has been made in Section 46 of the Act, to allow filing of bill of entry prior to arrival of goods. This bill of entry is valid if aircraft carrying the goods arrives within 30 days from the date of presentation of bill of entry.

The importer is to file 5 copies of the bill of entry and the fifth copy is called Advance Noting copy. The importer has to declare that the aircraft is due within 30 days and they have to present the bill of entry for final noting as soon as the IGM is filed. Advance noting is available to all imports except for into-bond bill of entry and also during the special period.

SPECIALISED SCHEMES:

The import of goods are made under specialised schemes like DEEC or EPCG etc. The importer in such cases is required to execute bonds with the Customs authorities for fulfilment of conditions of respective notifications. If the importer fails to fulfil the conditions, he has to pay the duty leviable on those goods. The amount of bond would be equal to the amount of duty leviable on the imported goods. The bank guarantee is also required alongwith the bond. However, the amount of bank guarantee depends upon the status of the importer like Super Star Trading House / Trading House etc.

BILL OF ENTRY FOR BOND WAREHOUSING:

A separate form of bill of entry is used for clearance of goods for warehousing. All documents as required to be attached with a Bill of entry for home consumption are also required to be filed with bill of entry for warehousing. The bill of entry is assessed in the same manner and duty payable is determined. However, since duty is not required to be paid at the time of warehousing of the goods, the purpose of assessing the goods at this stage is to secure the duty in case the goods do not reach the warehouse. The duty is paid at the time of ex-bond clearance of goods for which an ex-bond bill of entry is filed. The rate of duty applicable to imported goods cleared from a warehouse is the rate in force on the date on which the goods are actually removed from the warehouse.

ABANDONING OF IMPORTED GOODS:

The owner of any imported goods may, at any time before an order for clearance of goods for home consumption under Section 47 of the Customs Act 1962 or an order for permitting the deposit of goods in a warehouse under Section 60 of the Customs Act 1962 has been made, relinquish his title to the goods and thereupon he shall not be liable to pay the duty thereon. (Section 23 [2] of the Customs Act 1962).

CUSTOMS CLEARANCE PROCEDURE FOR FOOD ITEMS, LIVESTOCK PRODUCTS, PLANT AND PLANT MATERIALS

The Government has enacted several laws to regulate importation of food items, livestock products, plant materials and other agricultural commodities into the country. The import of plants and plant materials is regulated as per the Plants, Fruits, Seeds (Regulation of Import into India) Order (PFS) Order, 1989 issued under the Destructive Insects & Pests Act, 1914 to prevent introduction of exotic pests and diseases into the country. The Livestock Importation Act, 1898 regulates the imports of livestock and livestock products in a manner that such imports do not adversely affect the health of human and animal population of the country. As per the Prevention of Foods Adulteration Act, 1954, any product not fulfilling the statutory provisions is not allowed to be imported into the country. Likewise, there are rules, regulations, orders, notifications, etc., issued by the Government, laying down procedures as to how the imports of above products are to be dealt with. The Customs has a pivotal role to play because, it enforces these rules, regulations and orders issued by various administrative Ministries.

Until very recently, the general awareness about various rules and regulations on importation of food items, livestock products, plant materials and other agricultural commodities was somewhat limited because the bulk of the items were not allowed to be imported into the country. The licensing mechanism itself acted as a check on unbridled imports. The situation has changed after removal of quantitative Restrictions with effect from 1-4-2001. Now there is a real danger of import of these items flooding the market which could, unless regulated properly, adversely affect the health and safety of our human and animal population. The WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures enables member countries to take sanitary and phytosanitary measures necessary for the protection of human, animal or plant life or health, provided that such measures are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Agreement. The Agreement permits the member countries to carry out a detailed import risk analysis for applying sanitary and phytosanitary measures. Consistent with our obligations under the WTO, the Government has issued several orders, notifications, etc. recently to regulate the importation of food items, livestock products, plant materials and other agricultural commodities, more important of which are mentioned below.

DGFT Notification No. 44 (RE-2000)/1997-2002, dated 24-11-2000:

In November, 2000, the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has issued a notification (No. 44 (RE-2000)/1997-2002, dated 24-11-2000) to regulate the imports of packaged commodities into India. As per this notification, all packaged products, which are subject to the provisions of the Standards of Weights and Measures (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 1977, when produced/packed/sold in the domestic market, shall be subject to compliance of all the provisions of the said Rules, when imported into India. It is provided that compliance of the provisions of the notification shall be ensured by the customs before the consignments are cleared for home consumption. The notification further states that all pre-packaged commodities imported into India shall, in particular, carry the declarations, such as, name and address of the importer, net quantity, month and year of packing and maximum retail price. It has been clarified by the DGFT vide Circular No. 38 (RE-2000)/1997-2002, dated 22-1-2001 that the labelling requirements is applicable only to imports of those prepackaged commodities which are intended for retail sale. As imported raw materials, components, bulk imports, etc. would invariably undergo further processing or assembly before they are sold to consumers, these imports shall not invite the application of labeling requirements.

DGFT Notification No. 3(RE-2001)/1997-2002, dated 31-3-2001:

In the wake of removal of quantitative restrictions, the DGFT has issued a notification No. 3 (RE-2001)/1997-2002, dated 31-3-2001 for regulating import of meat and poultry products, edible/food products and primary agricultural products. As per this notification import of meat and poultry products will be subject to the compliance of conditions regarding manufacture, slaughter, packing, labeling and quality conditions as laid down in Meat Food Products Order, 1973. The Notification also states that all processing of meat / poultry products exporting their goods to India shall be required to meet the sanitary and hygienic requirements as stipulated under Schedule-II of the aforementioned Order. The imported product shall also comply with the specified packaging, labeling and quality standards as laid down in Schedule – IV of the Order. It is provided that the Customs has to ensure compliance of these conditions before allowing clearance of the consignments.

In regard to edible/food products, the notification stipulates that the import of such products, domestic sale and manufacture of which are governed by Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, shall be subject to all the conditions laid down in the said Act. Import of all these products thus will have to comply with the quality and packaging requirements as laid down in the aforesaid Act. The notification enjoins Customs to ensure compliance of these conditions before allowing clearance of the consignments.

Further, as per the aforesaid notification, import of all primary agricultural commodities will be subject to a Bio Security & Sanitary Phytosanitary Import Permit, to be issued by Department of Agriculture and Co-operation, as per conditions of PFS Order, 1989. The permit will be based on import risk analysis of the product, to be conducted on scientific principles, and accordance with the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. The import risk analysis will be conducted based on various scientific principles, including inter alia, (a) the type of pests etc. known to be associated with the particular product in the exporting country; (b) the organisms already established in India and (c) the potential impact of such organisms on India’s international trade.

The PFS Order, 1989:

As mentioned earlier, import of plants and plant materials into the country is regulated under the Destructive Insects & Pests (DIP) Act, 1914 and PFS Order, 1989. The PFS Order, 1989 was amended in 1992 to exempt the requirement of Import Permit in respect of Plants, fruits, seeds and any other material of plant origin imported for consumption. Further, such material imported as accompanied baggage and through international postal channel was also allowed to be imported without a Phytosanitary Certificate or an Import Permit. The Ministry of Agriculture (Department of Agriculture & Co-operation) has since issued a notification on 1-5-2001 amending the provisions of the PFS Order introduced in 1992. As per the amendment made, with effect from 1-6-2001 no consignment shall be imported even for consumption unless it is accompanied by an Import Permit (and also, of course by an Official Phytosanitary Certificate) issued by the authorised officer. However, cut flowers, garlands, bouquets, fruits and vegetables weighing less than 2 Kgs. imported for personal consumption is allowed without a Phytosanitary Certificate or an Import Permit. Likewise, the relaxation of Import Permit for import of (a) Mushroom Spawn Culture by 100% Export Oriented Units; (b) tissue culture materials of any plant origin and flower seeds granted earlier will continue.

The Livestock Importation Act, 1898

The Livestock Importation Act, 1898 has been recently amended vide the livestock Importation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2001 which was promulgated on 5-7-2001. Prior to amendment, the said Act was applicable only for livestock whereas the livestock products were not regulated under the Act. The amendment to the said Act has been made to regulate the import of livestock products in such a manner that these imports do not adversely affect the human and animal health population of the country. Under the said Livestock Importation Act, 1898, the Department of Animal Husbandary and Dairying has issued a notification on 7-7-2001 to regulate the import of livestock products namely, (i) meat and meat products of all kinds including fresh, chilled and frozen meat, tissue or organs of poultry, pig, sheep, goat; (ii) egg and egg powder; (iii) milk and milk products; (iv) bovine, ovine and caprine embryos ova or semen; and (v) pet food products of animal origin. A procedure has also been laid down to regulate such imports. The notification, inter-alia, provides that import of livestock products will be allowed against valid sanitary import permit issued by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying and the same will be allowed only through the airports and seaports at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai which have Animal Quarantine and Certification Services Stations.

Customs Clearance Procedure for Food Items

Circular No. 36/2001-Customs, dated 15-6-2001 (issued from F.No.450/21/98-Cus.IV) lays down detailed guidelines for examination and testing of food items prior to customs clearance. This circular enjoins Customs to undertake certain general checks in addition to testing of samples. First, the Customs should check the condition of the hold in which the products were transported. This is basically to see whether they meet the requirements of storage as per the nature of the product, and does not in any way cause deterioration or contamination of the products. In the second place, the Customs is required to check physical/visual appearance of goods in terms of possible damage – whether it is swollen or bulged in appearance and also for rodent/insect contamination or presence of filth, dirt, etc. The third important thing is compliance of labeling requirements under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules and the Packaged Commodities Rules. This includes ensuring that the label is written not only in any foreign language, but also in English. The details of ingredients in descending order, date of manufacture, batch number, best before date, etc. are other mandatory requirements. The Customs should check that imported food articles meet the above labeling requirements. Recently, the DGFT has issued a notification No. 22 (RE-2001/1997-2002) dated 30-7-2001 to the effect that the imported food item, at the time of its import, should have a valid shelf life of not less than 60% of original shelf life. In other words, the time period between ‘best before date’ and ‘date of import’ should be at least 60% of time period between ‘date of manufacture’ and ‘best before date’. The Customs has to ensure that the food articles which do not meet this condition are not allowed clearance for home consumption.

Apart from the general checks referred to above, all the consignments of edible/food products imported through Ports, Inland Container Depots (ICDs), Air Cargo Complexes (ACCs), Container Freight Stations (CFSs) and Land Customs Stations (LCSs) are required to be referred to the Port Health Officer (PHO) for testing. If the product fails the test, the Customs authorities will ensure that the goods are re-exported out of the country by following the usual adjudication procedure or destroyed as required under the relevant rules. As regards ICDs/CFSs/Ports/ACCs/LCSs wher PHOs are not available, the Customs is required to draw the samples and get them tested from the nearest Central Food Laboratory or a Laboratory authorised to conduct such testing by the Directorate General of Health Services.

In addition to testing of food items under the PFA Act, 1954 these items shall also be subject to examination/testing to ensure compliance of the requirements of other Acts. Regulations and Orders such as Meat Food Products Order, 1973, PFS Order, 1989, the Livestock Importation Act, etc., if applicable, before these are allowed clearance into the country.

Customs Clearance Procedure for Livestock Products

The livestock products, namely, (i) meat and meat products of all kinds including fresh, chilled and frozen meat, tissue or organs of poultry, pig sheep, geat; (ii) egg and egg powder; (iii) milk and milk products; (iv) bovine, ovine and caprine embryos, ova or semen; and (v) pet food products of animal origin are allowed to be imported only against a sanitary import permit issued by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying. For this purpose, a detailed import risk analysis is carried out and a sanitary import permit is issued only after the concerned authorities are satisfied that the import of the consignment will not adversely affect the health of the animal and human population of this country. The Import Permit lays down the specific condition that will have to be fulfilled in respect of the consignment, including pre-shipment certifications and quarantine checks. The Permit also specifies the post-import requirements with regard to quarantine inspection, sampling and testing. The Import Permit is genrally issued for a period of six months and can be extended by the concerned authorities for a further period of six months.

As mentioned earlier, the livestock products are allowed to be imported into India only through the sea ports or airports located at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, where the Animal Quarantine and Certification Services Stations are located. On arrival at the port/seaport, the livestock product is required to be inspected by the officer in-charge of the Animal quarantine and Certification Services Station or any other veterinary officer dutly authorised by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying. After inspection and testing wherever required, quarantine clearance is accorded by the concerned quarantine or veterinary authority for the entry of the livestock product into India. If required in public interest, the quarantine or veterinary authority may also order the destruction of the livestock product or its return to the country of origin.

Wherever any disinfection or any other treatment is considered necessary in respect of any livestock product, it is the importer who on his own or at his cost has to arange for disinfection or other treatment of the consignment under the supervision of a duly authorised quarantine or veterinary officer.

The Customs will have to ensure that the livestock products are granted clearance for home consumption only after necessary permission is granted by the concerned quarantine or veterinary authorities.

Plant/Plant Materials for Sowing/Planting/Propagation/Consumption

The above products are allowed to be imported only on the basis of an Import Permit issued by the Department of Agriculture & Co-operation. The Import Permit is issued after conducting a detailed import risk analysis. This Permit is generally issued for a period of six months and can be extended by the concerned authorities for a further period of six months. The Department of Agriculture & Co-operation has issued detailed guidelines for inspection and clearance of plant/plant materials. The basic features of the guidelines are given below:-

(a) Registration of application: The importer or his authorised Custom House Agent is required to file an application at the Plant Quarantine Station in respect of each consignment immediately upon arrival at the port. In case of perishable consignment, such application can be filed in advance to enable the Plant Quarantine authorities to organize inspection/testing on priority. Alongwith application for registration, copies of documents namely, import permit, phyto-sanitary certificate issued at the country of origin, copy of bill of entry, invoice, packing list and fumigation certificate, etc. are rquired to be submitted. After scrutinising the application, the Plant Quarantine Officer registers the application. The assessed inspection fee is required to be paid by the importer or his authorised agent.

In the case of import of plant and plant materials through passenger baggage and post parcels, no such application is required to be filed.

(b) Sampling/Inspection/fumigation of consignments: The importer or his authorised Custom House Agent is required to arrange for inspection/sampling of the consignment. In the event of live insect infestation having been noticed, the importer or his authorised Custom House Agent shall arrange for fumigation of consignment by an approved pest control operator at his own cost under the supervision of the Plant Quarantine officer.

(c) Release/detention of consignment : A release order is issued to Customs, if a consignment on inspection is found to be free from pests. However, in case a consignment is found to be infested with live pests, the same is permitted clearance only after fumigation and re-inspection. The detention order is issued, if the consignment is imported in contravention of the PQ Regulations, for arranging deportation failing which the same shall be destroyed at the cost of importer under the supervision of the Plant Quarantine Officer, in presence of Customs Officers after giving due notice in advance i.e. for perishable material 24-48 hour and 7 days in other type of plant material.

The Customs will ensure that plant/plant material (primary agricultural products) are granted clearance for home consumption only after necessary permission is granted by the concerned Plant & Quarantine Officer.

References:

Circular No.36/2001-Cus, dated 15-6-2001 (issued from F.No.450/21/98-Cus.IV); Circular No.43/2001-Cus., dated 6-8-2001 (issued from F.No.450/44/20001-Cus.IV)., CBEC letter F.No.450/80/2000-Cus.IV, dated 24-7-2000; DGFT Notification No.44 (RE-2000/1997-2002, dated 24-11-2000; DGFT Policy Circular No.38 (RE-2000)/1997-2002; Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying Notification dated 7-7-2001 (issued from F.No.109-6/2001-Trade); Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying Notification dated 30-5-2001 [issued from F.No.50-4/84-LDT (AQ)]; Department of Agriculture & Co-operation letter F.No.82-2/2001-P&D, dated 11/15-5-2001; Department of Agriculture & Co-operation Notification No.[GSR 378 (E)] dated 1-5-2001 and Press Note communicated vide letter F.No.8-26/2000-PP-I, dated 9-5-2001.

 

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