The government has decided to make e-payment mandatory for importers registered under ‘Accredited Clients Programme’ and those paying customs duty of RS. 1 lakh or more per bill of entry. The trade facilitation meausure aimed at further reducing the transaction cost of importers, will come into effect from September,17 this year.
According to a Finance Ministry statement here on Friday, the CBEC has already instructed all Chief Commissioners of Customs to give wide publicity to this measure to enable trade and industry to be ready for the switch-over in duty payment mode in case any change in their software or any internal procedure for effecting e-payment is required. “As a large number of taxpayers would be required to pay the taxes electronically, it is requested that importers, trade and industry may be provided all assistance so as to help them ina adopting the new procedure,” the statement said.
While e-payment is advantageous to both the trade as well as the government it affords taxpayers the facility of making payments from their own offices on a 24×7 basis and also facilitates quicker release of cargo. As for the government, it ensures immediate collection of taxes and effor-free data relating to tax payments.
E-payment facility at customs locations was introduced in 2007, and is available through more than one authorised bank at all major customs locations having ICES (Indian Customs EDI System) facility. The ICES facility, designed to exchange/transactd customs clearance related information electronically using EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is now operational at 103 major customs locations handling nearly 98 percent of the country’s international trade.