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CBIC suspends licence of 56 Customs brokers

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 13, 2020 Published on September 13, 2020

These suspended Customs brokers cannot transact business anymore.

Majority of suspended brokers are from Delhi

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) on Sunday said that it has suspended licences of 56 Customs brokers over a period of one year. Majority (37) of suspended ones are from Delhi.

Customs broker means a person licensed under these regulations to act as an agent on behalf of the importer or an exporter for purposes of transaction of any business relating to the entry or departure of conveyances or the import or export of goods at any Customs Station including audit.

The board said that suspension was initiated after Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management (DGARM) carried out data analytics of Customs brokers linked with fraudulent/unscrupulous exporters and accordingly action was taken.

According to CBIC, this exercise revealed that 62 Customs brokers (including 37 from Delhi) had handled more than 15,290 export consignments of 1,431 untraceable exporters. In one particular case, a Customs broker has handled exports of 99 untraceable exporters who claimed ₹121.79 crore of IGST refund. These brokers’ activities were under strong suspicion for quite some time and the officials were able to block IGST refund of ₹226 crore in these cases so far. The matter is under further investigation. These 62 brokers were placed in 3 categories based on the extent of their linkage with the non-existent/untraceable exporters.

The board explained that all these suspended Customs brokers cannot transact business anymore. An alert for cent per cent examination of all import consignments have been inserted considering the likelihood of malpractice in imports as well by the doubtful brokers.

It may be noted that Customs brokers typically handle non-risky exporters also. They are governed by Section 146 of the Customs Act, 1962 and the Customs Broker Licensing Regulations (CBLR), 2018. They are under legal obligation as per Regulation 10 of CBLR to verify correctness of IEC, GSTIN, and identity of his client and functioning of his client at the declared address by using reliable, independent, authentic documents, data or information. This requirement is violated in case of 1,431 non-traceable exporters by these brokers.

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Published on September 13, 2020
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