Circular No. ES/84/2021-22 1st July, 2021
To: Members of the Council
Sub: Implementation of the Sea Cargo Manifest and Transhipment Regulations
CBIC has issued Circular No. 12/2021- Customs dated 30th June, 2021 in continuation with Circular No. 43/2020- Customs dated 30th September 2020 on the above subject.
As you may be aware, SCMTR, 2018 was notified vide Notification No.38/2018-Customs (N.T.) dated 11.05.2018 to bring transparency, predictability of movement, advance collection of information for expeditious clearance and supersedes the earlier regulations viz. Import Manifest (Vessels) Regulations, 1971 and Export Manifest (Vessels) Regulation, 1976. The Regulations stipulates-
For advance notice by authorized carriers for goods arriving in or being exported out of India through gateway seaports and further movement between Customs stations.
The obligations, roles and responsibilities for the various stakeholders involved in movement of imported/export goods.
Based on feedbacks from various stakeholders, changes were incorporated and the said regulations was made effective from 1st August, 2019 with transitional provisions under Regulation 15 till 30th September, 2020.
Considering the disruptions caused due to Covid-19 Pandemic and non-readiness of the stakeholders, Board has issued several notifications and the latest one being Notification No. 50/2021-Customs (N.T.) dated 31.05.2021 in which the transitional provisions under Regulation 15(2) have been extended till 30th June 2021 to enable submission of manifests under erstwhile regulations.
During this period, to handhold the trade, Directorate General of Systems (DG Systems) has taken numerous outreach activities for both trade and officers. It has also issued various guidelines/advisory related to the registration process and filing requirements under the SCMTR for different stakeholders who are integral to the implementation of the said regulations. The guidelines can be found at the following link (https://www.icegate.gov.in/SeaManifestRegulation.html).
Board has reviewed the progress of the adoption of the new formats/procedures by the stakeholders. While it is noticed that the registration of the entities and submission of National Bonds is almost complete, very few entities keep filing the declarations as stipulated in the SCMTR. On analysis, it is seen that 44% of custodian has adopted new messages and only 36% of Stuffing Report is being filed by custodian in new format. As the same is not being filed in the new format, this leading to difficulty in further integration.
To re-iterate, the DG Systems has already operationalized the procedure to enable online filing of the electronic declaration at certain events by the custodians. This will enable reconciling the declarations filed by various carriers thus error-free. The above category known as ACU/ATOs and includes custodians of Container Freight Stations (CFS), Inland Container Depots (ICD) and seaports.
ACUs/ATOs are required to file the stuffing reports (SF) and stripping reports (ST). Stuffing and stripping reports are required to be filed electronically by the Custodians including Terminal Operators wherever the cargo is being segregated or stuffed in different containers. Stuffing (SF) and Stripping (ST) messages will be filed for every equipment (container) giving the PCINs (Primary Cargo Identification Numbers)/MCINs (Master Cargo Identification Numbers) being stuffed into or stripped out of that container. Additionally, Custodians will also have to file notifications of actual time of arrival and departure of conveyance (ATE/ELR for Terminal Operators and AT/DT for other Custodians). The same has enabled on voluntary basis since March 2021 for migrating to the new procedure.
To speed up the direct delivery process, ATOs are required to electronically file the following details with Customs, namely:
Voyage Call Number (VCN), which is required to be the port on confirmation of voyage by the vessel in such port.
Actual Time of Arrival (ATE), which is required to be filed immediately on arrival at the current port of call.
Equipment Landed on Arrival (ELR), which is also required to be filed on details of the containers offloaded from the vessel.
Equipment Loaded at Departure (ELR), which is required to be filed on details of the containers loaded on to the vessel.
Actual Time of Departure (ATE), which is required to be filed immediately after departure from the Indian port of call.
Since sufficient time has been provided for adoption on voluntary basis, Board has decided that following messages by the Custodian i.e., Stuffing Message (SF), ASR Filing, DP Filing and AR filing by the Custodians and VCN message by the Terminal Operators will be made mandatory w.e.f. 20th July 2021.
The detailed guidelines and FAQs for different categories of stakeholders are available on ICEGATE (https://www.icegate.gov.in/SeaManifestRegulation.html).
Further, Board vide Customs Notification No. 56/2021 -Customs (N.T) dated 30.06.2021 has extended the transitional provisions of SCMTR till 31st July 2021 for to enable carriers continue mandatory filing on parallel basis.
For detailed information, members may kindly refer to Circular No. 12/2021- Customs dated 30th June, 2021.
Members may kindly make a note of the above.