The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has allowed traders to submit an undertaking instead of furnishing bonds – required by customs for assessment and clearing of goods – in order to prevent delays or disruption in exports or imports caused by Covid 19 pandemic. The decision was taken after field formations flagged the unavailability of notarised stamp papers for furnishing the bonds that was being faced by importers, exporters and their authorised custom brokers, during the lockdown period.
The Board will review the order after April 14, when the nationwide lockdown ends. “In light of unprecedented situation caused due to Covid 19 pandemic, Board has decided to take certain measures for a temporary period, with a view to expedite customs clearance of goods and for maintaining balance between customs control and facilitation of legitimate trade,” CBIC said in a notice Friday, giving relaxation of furnishing bonds till April 30.
“In the period up to April 30, customs field formations may accept requests for submission of an undertaking from the importer/ exporter in lieu of a bond,” it added. The relaxation applies to central and state PSUs, manufacturers or actual users, importers, authorised economic operators, status holders and all importers availing warehousing facilities.
There will be certain conditions, including one that the trader gives a commitment to furnish the bonds, latest by July 5, 2020. Traders will have to submit the undertaking, the contents of which will have to be the same as the bond. The relaxation may also be given to traders who ask for it, on a case to case basis, the Board added.