Shashank Verma | Head Supply Chain & Order Management | Maier+Vidorno
In recent years, India has undergone many changes in its customs processes, and clearances are now simplified, facilitating the easier entry of imported goods. The Indian Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020, focuses on electronic delivery (eDelivery) of services, through the adoption of new practices. Electronic filing/exchange of import-export documents and online acceptance/remittance of payments are some of them. This has helped reduce corruption and dependence on officials, resulting in, faster and efficient document processing.
In this article we showcase the practical ease of Import In India. We can help with each step of each option so do contact to help you be really doing successful business in India.
Ease of Imports in India
Lately, we have experienced a reduction in the number of visits to the customs department. They intended to collect taxes than causing unnecessary troubles for the importer/exporter. Revisions to the Harmonized System (HS) codes have decreased. Equal basic customs duty applies to products falling in a particular category.
Nowadays, the customs clearance process is much more simplified. The clearances happen even before the goods arrive at the port, provided, the currency exchange rates remain the same (currency exchange rates change fortnightly).
Another reason for delayed clearances is that of issues with transfer pricing. This is where the Special Valuation Branch (SVB) of customs, comes into the picture. Pricing of imported products continues to be a challenge, as it’s more of an international matter than Indian. SVB once acquired, does not need renewal, provided, the conditions of pricing, suppliers, and exact construct of the relationship between related parties, remain as the same as they were at the time of issuance of first SVB order (applicable to SVB assessments done after 2017).
There has been a significant change in the SVB process, on this front. In few importing ports (for example Nhavasheva), the Chief Commissioner of Customs has a lenient approach to the transfer price. There have been times when the customs department at Nhavasheva, was not interested in assessing the papers on a provisional basis, and they considered the transfer price of the product as final.
Thus, it implies that the “Provisional Duty Bond” is no more required at Nhavasheva (as per the directives from Chief Commissioner of Customs, Mumbai), resulting in the complete elimination of the SVB evaluation process. Other ports are yet to adopt these significant changes.
Finally, out of all the reasons behind delays in clearances, the most painful cause is the intervention of the customs department, due to the non-availability of “Product-Based” registration with the importer/supplier of goods. Since the customs department remains the check post for imported goods, thus, it is also empowered to regulate the compliances through licenses, registrations, and clearances.
During verification, the customs department has the powers to stop the clearance and can instruct to ship back the goods to the supplier, after paying necessary fines and penalties.
In light of the above facts, it’s clear that the process of import in India, is now simple and streamlined, provided, all the prerequisites are in place. SVB, being a significant obstruction in seamless imports, is no longer an obstacle. It’s becoming easier with each passing day.
For the last 20 years, Maier+Vidorno has been addressing these business needs of overseas companies. Our registrations allow us to import a vast number of products into India. We have extensive distribution networks and warehousing options for all types of goods. We also offer support services in areas of sales, service, finance, accounting, and HR consulting. Contact us to know more.