• CCI AD FROM 5th April 2021

1st phase of All India roll-out of Faceless Assessment

Circular No. ES/186/2020-21                                                          6th June, 2020          


To: Members of the Council


Sub:  1st phase of All India roll-out of Faceless Assessment


Dear Member, 


We would like to inform you that CBIC has issued Instruction No. 9/2020-Customs dated 5th June, 2020 on the above subject.


Kindly refer to Board’s Circular No.28/2020-Customs, dated 5th June, 2020 informing about the launch of Phase 1 of Faceless Assessment of bills of entry for goods imported primarily under Chapters 84 and 85 of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 at Bengaluru and Chennai w.e.f. 8th June, 2020. As mentioned therein, the Faceless Assessment is being rolled out in phases and it would be implemented pan India by 31st December, 2020. While these instructions are relevant for Bengaluru and Chennai Zones, they would get applied to other Zones as and when these Zones are covered by Faceless Assessment (with suitable modifications that may be warranted). 


For the roll-out of Faceless Assessment across Bengaluru and Chennai Zones, the Principal Chief Commissioners/Chief Commissioners of Customs, Bengaluru and Chennai Zones are required to put in place the following arrangements in their jurisdiction:


Faceless Assessment Groups: 


  • This Group would consist of Appraisers / Superintendents and Assistant Commissioners/ Deputy Commissioners for verification of assessment of any bill of entry that is assigned to this group in the Customs Automated System. Thus, two Faceless Assessment Groups, one for Chapter 84 and another for Chapter 85 would need to be established. 

  • However, depending on the workload, the two Faceless Assessment Groups could also be merged into one. 

  • The Faceless Assessment Group for each chapter would thus comprise officers of both Bengaluru and Chennai Customs Zones. 

  • The faceless assessment will begin with officers from the existing Appraising Groups for Chapters 84 and 85 in each Customs station in each Zone may be made part of the Faceless Assessment Group. 

  • However, the Principal Chief Commissioners/Chief Commissioners of Customs may decide on the total number of officers to be placed in each Faceless Assessment Group based on the volume of bills of entry.


Port Assessment Groups (PAGs) : 


  • PGAs would be the Appraising Group currently located in each port of import for verification of the assessment and other related functions as is the normal practice. 

  • It would also handle all other functions pertaining to the bills of entry which are not marked to the Faceless Assessment Group by the Customs Automated System as well as the bills of entry that are referred by the Faceless Assessment Group to the port of import for any reason. 

  • It is clarified that the port of import is the Customs station of import of the goods where the importer has entered any bill of entry under Section 46 or Section 68 of Customs Act, 1962 for home consumption or warehousing.


Turant Suvidha Kendras (TSK): 


  • TSK would be a dedicated cell in every Customs port of import manned by Custom officers to cater to functions and roles.

  • It is basically created to facilitate the trade in completing various formalities relating to the Customs assessment locally at the port of import, as is presently done, even though the actual assessment may be done remotely or virtually by the proper officer physically located in another Customs station. 

  • It is important that the officers manning the TSKs are properly trained in their role as facilitators while ensuring legal compliance. 

  • The location and timing of the TSK  would need to be properly advertised and made known to all stakeholders.

In order to introduce Phase 1 of Faceless Assessment at Bengaluru and Chennai from 8th June, 2020 for imports primarily made under Chapters 84 and 85 of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 at their jurisdictional Customs ports of import, Board has issued two notifications, as follows: 


1) Notification No.50/2020-Customs (N.T.) dated 5th June, 2020- Notification to empower Customs officers as 'proper officers' to conduct a faceless or remote assessment of Bills of Entry filed under Section 46 of the Customs Act, 1962 for import in another Customs station.


2) Notification No.51/2020-Customs (N.T.) dated 5th June, 2020- Notification to amend Notification No.92/2017-Customs (NT), dated 28.09.2017 to specify the jurisdiction of Commissioner (Appeals) to assessment orders passed by Faceless Assessment Groups.


Further, as one of the main objectives of Faceless Assessment is speedy and uniform assessment practices, in Phase 1 of Faceless Assessment, Board hereby nominates Principal Commissioner/Commissioner of Customs, Bengaluru City, Bengaluru, Principal Commissioner/Commissioner of Customs, Airport and Air Cargo Complex, Bengaluru, Principal Commissioner/Commissioner of Customs (II), Chennai and Principal Commissioner/Commissioner of Customs (VII), Air Cargo Complex Chennai to be the nodal Commissioners for the purpose of administratively monitoring the assessment practice in respect of imported goods which are assigned in the Customs Automated System to the officers of the Faceless Assessment Groups in Bengaluru and Chennai, for articles primarily falling under Chapters 84 and 85, of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975. 


These nodal Commissioners would work in a coordinated manner. This arrangement would pave the path to establish National Assessment Commissionerates (NACs) with the mandate to examine the assessment practices of imported articles across Customs stations and suggest measures to bring about uniformity and enhanced quality of assessments. The NACs would be put in place as and when the Faceless Assessment is rolled out in phases across the country.


For better clarity and guidance, CBIC has prescribed the following procedural details of the Faceless Assessment scheme-

  • Responsibilities of the Nodal Commissioners:

  • Responsibilities of the Port of Import:

  • Procedure for Verification of Assessment of Bill of Entry by Faceless Assessment Group:

  • Procedure to be Adopted by Faceless Assessment Groups in Exceptional Circumstances.

  • Procedure to be Adopted by Port of Import in Exceptional Circumstances.

  • Speaking Order: 

  • Appellate Proceedings

  • Review Proceedings

  • Demands under Section 28 of the Customs Act, 1962

  • Provisional Assessment 

  • Amendment of Bills of Entry 

  • Exchange of communication exclusively by electronic mode and authentication of electronic records:


For more information, members may kindly refer to Instruction No. 9/2020-Customs dated 5th June, 2020.


Please note that Faceless Assessment is a major innovation and hence, it is important to ensure its smooth implementation. Any feedback on the implementation may be sent to the Board at uscus4.dor@gov.in and system related issues to team.ices@icegate.gov.in.


Members may kindly make a note of the above details.


Thanking you,

Yours faithfully,