Consignment for export could be cleared in hours, the Finance Ministry has claimed. At present, it takes up to 4 days.

To facilitate exports, the Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, launched the All India Risk Management System for export on Wednesday. Earlier, this system was introduced in December 2005 for imports.

“I sincerely hope that with the introduction of RMS in exports, the dwell time which now ranges from 1.6 days to 3.68 days will be brought down to a few hours,” Chidambaram told reporters after launching the new system.

The primary objective of this system is to strike an optimal balance between facilitation and enforcement and to promote a culture of compliance. It is intended to improve the management of the resources of the department to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness in meeting stakeholder expectations and to bring the Customs processes at par with the best international practices.

Why the new system

The exponential growth in trade volumes means that the traditional approach of scrutinizing every document and examining every consignment will simply not work, as it would neither be desirable nor possible to constantly increase the resources with the increasing workload. Also, there is a need to reduce the dwell-time of cargo at the ports and airports and to reduce the transaction costs in order to enhance the competitiveness of Indian businesses, by expediting release of cargo where compliance is high.

This necessitates introduction of the new system. With this the present practice of routine assessment, concurrent audit and examination of almost all Bills of Entry will be discontinued and the focus will be on quality assessment, examination and Post Clearance Audit of Bills of Entry selected by the system.

The Minister said that introduction of the new system for import helped to bring in additional revenue of Rs 2,211 crore. It has also reduced the dwell time, or the duration for which cargo remains in transit storage while awaiting clearance, for incoming shipments.

Dwell time cut

“The revenue department claims that the dwell time for imports has come down drastically after launch of RMS in imports. Likewise, RMS in exports is intended to bring down the dwell time so that the cargo meant for exports moves up quickly, leaves the shores of India towards its ultimate destination,” Chidambaram said.

He mentioned that RMS is based on trust and is part of international co-operation efforts on trade related issues. The facility will enable low-risk consignments to be cleared based on self-assessment declarations by exporters.