Circular No. ES/148/2021-22 13th September, 2021
To: Members of the Council
Sub: Easing availability of containers for exporters
In this regard, CBIC has taken various measures over last year including a Special drive for disposal of unclaimed/uncleared/seized/confiscated goods vide Instruction No.17/2020-Customs dated 10.08.2020 which has enabled disposal over 1.6 lakh consignments and follow up on long standing containers which resulted in the release of nearly 14,000 TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Units).
On 7th Sept. 2021, CBIC has circulated an updated list of long standing 19,738 TEUs [13,104 containers] received from Container Shipping Lines Association (CSLA) to the field formations.
To continue enhancing the availability of containers, CBIC has decided that the field formations also take the following measures:
- Dispose expeditiously the unclaimed/uncleared/seized/confiscated goods including that are holding up containers following the timelines and procedures prescribed in Board's Circular 48/2018 dated 03.12.2018.
- Field formations should follow para 5 of Board Circular 83/98-Customs dated 5.11.1998 and para 3 of Board Circular No.84/95-Cus dated 25.07.1995 thereby taking proactive steps such that containers housing import cargo that is under enquiry are expeditiously released. For this, provision already exists that whenever it becomes necessary to detain the imported cargo, pending completion of enquiry/investigation, such cargo should be removed to a customs warehouse in terms of the provisions of Section 49 of the Customs Act, 1962. For this purpose, the cargo can also be removed from the container and the container can be released for further use. The field formations should encourage this activity by offering it to the importers.
- Field formations had reported certain reasons such as court cases, hold by intelligence agencies etc., for non-release of containers. It is guided that proactive steps enabling release of such containers should also be adopted.
Members may kindly make a note of the above.