Goods are imported in India or exported from India through sea, air or land. Goods can come through post parcel or as baggage with passengers. Procedures naturally vary depending on mode of import or export. Procedures discussed in this Chapter are applicable for imports by sea, air or land, but not as baggage or postal dispatch.
COMPUTERISATION OF CUSTOMS WORK – Work of customs at Delhi airport has been computerized. Work at Mumbai port is also computerized. Whenever the work is computerized, documents like IGM and Bill of Entry have to be filed electronically. Procedure in computerized environment has been specified in CC, New Delhi PN 22/98 dated 8.5.1998. Guidelines for preparing data file for Bill of Entry and shipping bills for Mumbai Customs House has been prescribed vide PN 108/99 dated 30-9-1999 and PN 10/2001 dated 30.1.2001.
ENTRY – ‘Entry’ in relation to goods means an entry made in a Bill of Entry, Shipping Bill or Bill of Export. It includes (a) label or declaration accompanying the goods which contains description, quantity and value of the goods, in case of postal articles u/s 82 (b) Entry to be made in case of goods to be exported (c) Entry in respect of goods imported which are not accompanied by label or declaration made as per provisions of section 84. [section 2(16)].
AMENDMENT TO DOCUMENTS – Importer, exporter or ‘Person In charge’ have to submit various documents to customs authorities like Bill of Entry, Import Manifest, Export Manifest etc. Some times, it may become necessary to amend the document due to various reasons like change in classification, clerical mistake in document, change in unloading / loading plan of vessel etc. In such case, permission to amend these documents have to be obtained from customs authorities. [section 149]. Such permission can be given if there are no fraudulent intentions.
In case of bill of entry, shipping bill or bill of export, it can be amended after clearance only on the basis of documentary evidence which was in existence at the time the goods were cleared, warehoused or exported, and not on basis of any subsequent document. [proviso to section 149].
Customs Station – Imported goods are permitted to be unloaded only at specified places. Similarly, goods can be exported only from specified area. In view of this, definitions of ‘Customs Station’ is important.
Customs area means all area of Customs Station and includes any area where imported goods or export goods are ordinarily kept pending clearance by Customs authorities. Thus, ‘Customs Area’ could include some area even outside the ‘Customs Station’. Customs Station means (a) customs port (b) inland container depot (c) customs airport and (d) land customs station.
Section 7 of Customs Act empowers CBEC (Board) to appoint * Customs ports * Customs airports * Places for inland container depots * Coastal ports. These are appointed by issuing a notification. Section 8 authorizes Commissioner of Customs to approve proper places in any customs port, customs airport or costal port for unloading and loading of goods or for any class of goods and specify the limits of customs area. Thus, the place (city / town / village etc.) is approved by CBEC, while exact location within that city / town / village is approved by Commissioner of Customs.