R K Mehrotra : Will Director General of System & Data Management Customs resolve the menace of Short landing of Air Import consignment?

 Will Director General of System & Data Management  Customs resolve the menace
of Short landing of Air Import consignment?

The short landing of commercial cargo & passenger baggage of air consignment is a common phenomenon as well as regular dilemma. all over the world.
Since for customs clearances for air imports Bill of Entry is filed through ICEGATE in Custom’s EDI system.  However, in a typical case of short landing of air shipments, the Bill of Entry filled may have to face two situations:
A. The landed consignment details are not reflected in the Import General Manifest (IGM) filed by Airlines/Consolidators or Freight Forwarders.
B. The Details of short shipment are incorporated in the IGM by carries or agent as the case may be.
Process in Case A : The importer/CHA are not aware of short landing at the time of filling Bill of Entry as IGM shows full consignment. The Bill of Entry in such cases is finalized and duty paid. The next stage of B/E is either examination of goods and then out of charge from customs or in case of Risk Management Scheme finalized Bill of Entry after duty payment. It is allowed by direct Out of Charge by custom.
Thus, the short landing of consignment is now identified either at custom examination stage or at the delivery time of RMS Bill of Entry.
Effects on Air Shipments : The Consignment delivery has to be stopped to wait for the short shipment arrival. On arrival of the balance, short shipment, the carrier incorporates the necessary amendment in the IGM and informs the importer/CHA.
Thereafter, Deputy Commissioner of Custom Examination shed, forward such case B/E to the appraising group for necessary amendment. The amendment at final stage is allowed and done in system by the Additional Commissioner of Customs. This complete process takes approx 5 to 7 days and only after that, physical delivery of the consignment can be made.
Process in Case B : Since short shipment, details are available in IGM, and due that reason the Bill of Entry cannot be filed.  Only   after the arrival of balance shipment,   short shipment details are incorporated by carries/agent in the IGM. This unwarranted delay in such case of short landed consignment takes 3 to 7 days on an average, which cost dear to the exim trade.
Effects on air import : The urgency of delivery for the air shipments are lost. The delayed custom clearance due to short landing causes financial loss on a/c of heavy demurrage charges. In few cases, it causes loss of production due to delays of shipment. Thus, financial losses may be huge for the production loss in such cases. 
Solution and Suggestion:
To find a solution for such consistent and frequent short landed import shipment problem. A study was made of the custom procedures of similar import shipments in U.S.A., U.K. and Germany. The import clearance in these countries is done by filling through EDI system an annexure, which is known in our country as Bill Of Entry. 
U.S.A. : Consumption Entry.
U.K. : Single Administrative document .
Germany : Import Declaration Form.
Custom EDI System in these counties for such short landed consignment, have incorporated in the EDI system an optional file known as “PERMIT”. In case of such import shipment the “Permit” file in the custom system, is opened and the said import custom clearance document number is entered in the permit and short landing details are filed in appropriate fields. The delivery of the  short shipment is allowed immediately.
On arrival of balance shipments the details are filed in the existing  “Permit” to nullify the Second IGM and delivery is also allowed. Thus, not only proper records are maintained in the system, but also no time is lost for delivery in such cases.
This is as very simple and effective method to tackle the problem of short landed shipments, at the same time, proper records are available in EDI system. This process also makes delivery of import consignment smooth with least time loss and delays are avoided altogether.

Suggestion : This issue and its solution require immediate attention of The Member Custom at CBEC and The Director General of System & Data Management.