Exporters seek fast clearance of imports of intermediates from China at all ports

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on June 30, 2020 Published on June 30, 2020

Exempting imports of manufacturers from 100% checks being discussed

Exporters have asked the Centre to allow consignments imported from China by manufacturing units to leave the ports without 100 per cent inspection, as these are inputs that go into producing final products and delays would lead to losses and give a further blow to units already suffering due to Covid-19 disruptions.

“Exporters are discussing the matter of exempting imports by manufacturing companies from checks, with the Commerce and Industry Ministry and the Finance Ministry. Hopefully, the Reveue Department will be convinced to take appropriate steps. Some big Chinese companies have already been given clearance, we have learnt, and so extending the same to consignments imported by manufacturers should not be difficult,” a Delhi-based exporter of electronic items who imports components from China told BusinessLine.

The Customs Department has been holding up import consignments from China, since last week, for 100 per cent checks following the border conflict with the neighbouring country. Although there has been no formal order from the government, the idea could be to discourage imports from China. However, exporters are sure that the government would not want to hold up the import of raw materials and intermediates as they go into manufacture of finished products.

“We would have loved it if we could differentiate between imported raw material, intermediate and finished products. But that would be a herculean exercise. However, it is obvious that manufacturers are not importing finished products. So, they can be exempted. Our discussions with the government are on,” said Ajay Sahai, Director-General, Federation of Indian Export Organisations.

Benefit for all

While the government is considering allowing fast clearance of imported consignments by authorised economic operators that will cover about 3,000 companies, exporters want all manufacturers to be extended the benefit.

The Textiles Ministry, too, is in talks with the Revenue Department to see how the problems being faced by exporters of apparels and textiles — due to imports from China being held up at Indian ports — could be sorted out.

“We have approached the Textiles Ministry to take up the issue of speedy clearance of inputs imported by the apparels and textiles industry from China, as a large number of shipments of fabrics and accessories are awaiting clearance at ports. We had been given to understand that the matter will be sorted out by the middle of this week, but we are not sure,” said A Sakthivel, Chairman, Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC).

AEPC had earlier written to CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs) Chairman Ajit Kumar, pointing out that the delay in clearing consignments was affecting factory operations as inputs were held up at ports across the country including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Tuticorin, and exporters feared they would fail to meet their delivery schedules.

Published on June 30, 2020
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