I) INDIAN CUSTOMS EDI GATEWAY (ICEGATE)
stands for the Indian Customs Electronic Commerce/Electronic Data interchange
(EC/EDI) Gateway. ICEGATE is a portal that provides e-filing services to the
trade and cargo carriers and other clients of Customs Department
(collectively called Trading Partner). At present, about 8500 users are
registered with ICEGATE who are serving about 6.72 lacs
importer/exporter.ICEGATE links about 15/broad types partners with Customs
EDI through message exchanges enabling faster Customs clearance and in turn
facilitating EXIM Trade.
is an infrastructure project that fulfils the department's EC/EDI and data
communication requirements. Through this facility the department offers a
host of services, including electronic filing of the Bill of Entry( import
goods declaration), Shipping Bills (export goods declaration) and related
electronic messages between Customs and the Trading Partners using
communication facilities (E-mail, Web-upload & FTP) using the
communication protocols commonly used on the internet. The airlines and
shipping agents can file manifests through the internet using this facility, while
the custodians and cargo logistics operators interact with Customs EDI
through ICEGATE for cargo and logistics and related information. Besides,
data is also exchanged between Customs and the various regulatory and
licensing agencies such as DGFT, RBI, Ministry of Steel and DGCIS through
ICEGATE. The National Import Database (NIDB) and Export Commodity Database
(ECDB) for Directorate of valuation are also being serviced through ICEGATE.
All electronic documents/ messages being handled by the ICEGATE are processed
at the Customs' end by the Indian Customs EDI
System (ICES), which is running at 103 customs locations. Department has
embarked upon Centralization of its infrastructure and all customs locations
have been shifted to centralized infrastructure hosted at Data Centre by
linking tham through MPLS based WAN.
addition to e-filing, ICEGATE also provides host of other services like
e-payment, on-line registration for IPR, Document Tracking status at Customs
EDI, online verification of DEPB/DES/EPCG licences, IE code status, PAN based
CHA data and links to various other important websites/information pertaining
to the Customs business.
ICEGATE also provides 24X7 helpdesk facility for its trading partners. To
ensure secure filing, it is proposed to use digital signatures on the Bill of
Entry and other documents/ messages to be handled on the gateway.
gateway which is a set of equipments comprising hardware, software and
networking components which would act as a single point interface between the
Customs Computer Network and the partners in the Customs community system.
1. Enable filing of import / export declarations, manifests over internet as
also through Value Added Networks (VAN).
2. Enable Customs response to importers / exporters etc. by way of assessed
Bills of Entry, Shipping Bills etc.
3. Ensure security for the Customs computer Network.
4. Enable exchange of EDI messages with the Customs community partners for
clearance of cargo.
5. Enable centralized management of all IT resources of the Customs and
6. Make available updated directories (rates of duties, exchange rates, duty
drawback rates, DEPB rates etc. ) to all the Customs community partners.
7. Facility of accepting messages from the community partners in flat files
or in UNEDIFACT or other international standards.
8. Enable filing of the declarations in any form i.e. either as email or
through web forms or through file transfer or through VANs.
9. Provide for non repudiation of the declarations filed by a system of
digital signatures allocated by Customs acting as a Certification Authority
under the IT Act, 2000.
10. Provide multiple security layers in the form of firewalls, intrusion
detection system, proxy servers etc.
1. Single point access to
Customs / Excise.
2. Enable secure
transactions over VAN / Internet.
3. Centralised Security
4. Network of Customs nodes
5. Provide regulated
II) ACCELERATED CUSTOMS CLEARANCE PROCEDURE
The most important
challenge presented by the rapidly growing complexity and volumes of international
trade to Customs administrations all over the world is how to strike an
appropriate balance between the competing and equally important
considerations of trade facilitation and effective enforcement of
prohibitions/restrictions and collection of Customs revenues. To meet this
challenge, most modern Customs administrations have moved away from the
traditional pattern of examining all consignments and assessing and
collecting duty thereon prior to allowing Customs clearance. The mechanisms
of control applied by them involve risk management based solutions comprising
combination of self-assessment, selective examination of goods and
post-clearance audits for identified categories of importers. These
mechanisms ensure that there is no hold up of goods in the course of Customs
processing while protecting the revenue from risk.
The ACCP would be in
addition to the System Appraisal currently available. Importers who meet
certain pre-defined criteria would be eligible for the procedure and it would
apply to all imports effected by such importers. The criteria for selection
of importers would primarily be the following:
1) Established importers.
The scheme should apply to imports who are already established and have been
importing for a reasonable period.
2) A proven record of
compliance. For being eligible for ACCP, the importer must have clean track
record. In considering this, note will be taken not only of the record of
compliance with the Customs and Excise laws but also with other fiscal
3) A minimum volume of
business. This could be measured in terms of annual turnover payment of
Customs duties and a certain minimum number of bills of entry filed in a
4) A reliable system of
internal control and accountability. This would call for an assessment of the
reliability of the internal accounting mechanisms of the concerned firms.
Firms with systems which conform to recognized accounting standards should be
good candidates for ACCP. So should those who have implemented ERP solutions.
CUSTOMS DATA WAREHOUSING:
The Indian Customs - India's
Central Organisation has initiated the process of an Assessment Study to
examine the issues related to the implementation of a Central Data Warehouse
System (CDW) - a data warehouse solution dEDIcated to provide users with
instant access to a Central Warehouse containing integrated information from
wide-ranging sources available within the Organisation. The proposed
integrated data warehouse system should provide the top management,
executives at both the operational and policymaking level, analysts and
researchers access to a repository of clean and consistent data - both
historical and current.
INDIAN CUSTOMS has
initiated an assessment study to evaluate the highly challenging task of
implementing a Data Warehouse solution to source data from heterogeneous
sources, clean, filter and transform the same and store in a structure that
is easy to access, understand and used by the business users in the
terminology they are comfortable with. The proposed project aims to get all
the data available in different parts of the organization to work together
and be stored in a central repository for decision-making purposes at all
warehousing is currently being used as a strategic tool across thousands of
organization to aid them in their decision making process. The data warehouse
serves as a consolidated source of information, which facilitates easier,
faster, timely and integrated decision making within the organization.
Indian Customs EDI System (ICES), which is a comprehensive, paperless, fully
automated customs clearance system has been operational at 23 major customs
stations. The system was developed by NIC and has been operational since
OLTP (On Line Transaction Processing) system helps in improving the
operational efficiency, but doesn't provide enough support to aid the
decision-makers. The reports generated are mostly periodic status reports and
proposed Central Data warehouse on the other hand, will enable the user to
analyse the data as well as design and generate the reports as per his/ her
requirements and that also within a short time. This data warehouse will also
assist the Customs in curbing the frauds through real-time and efficient use
of Risk Profiling.
Benefits of the proposed data warehouse to the Indian Customs can be
1) Valuation - The proposed data warehouse will be able to
consolidate the information needed valuation of commodities in a central data
store and through the use of internet enabled application will assist the
officers across field formation in quick and online access to data for the
past 3 months.
2) Risk Profiling - The proposed CDW, envisages setting up of a Risk
Profiler so that on the basis of key parameters, the system can assign the
risk associated with the clearance of that particular consignment on without
any need of examination. Not only will this assist the officers in catching
the defaulters, but also assist in faster clearance of consignments, which do
not need any checking.
3) Policy Making - Since the proposed data warehouse will present
a consolidated, historical view of the data in real time (next day) and
online manner (internet enabled application), this will help the policy
makers in arriving at more informed decisions. Currently, most of the
statistics collected take huge lead times to arrive.
4) Statistical / trend analysis - Proposed system through the use
of historical information as well as statistical capabilities of the tool,
provide the statistical / trend information on the click of a button in a
real time environment.
Proposed CDW, through the use of OLAP tools will also be able to provide
multi-dimensional analysis across various dimensions such as Items,
Countries, Importer / Exporter, Ports as well as suppliers, CHAs etc.
6) Ad-hoc Querying and reporting - The proposed CDW will include
applications which will provide the business user interface to the data
helping the user in querying data or creating / customizing reports according
to his or her own needs.
context inputs have been taken from various field formations as well as
external and internal agencies about their information needs. These inputs
have been taken into consideration for determining the structure of the
proposed decision support system.
IV) National Import Data Base(NIDB)
Introduction : The National Import Data
Base (NIDB) Project was conceived in a meeting taken by
Secretary (Revenue) at New Delhi
on 22nd August, 2001. The Chairman (CBE&C), Member (Customs), Member
(L&J), JS (Customs) and Commissioner (Valuation) were present. It was
agreed in the said meeting that import data from all Customs Stations in the
country should be captured and transmitted to a Central Server in the
Directorate of Valuation on a daily basis and the same should be
consolidated, analysed and a feed back should be generated and sent to the
Commissioners / Customs Stations indicating import values accepted at all
customs stations along with averages, outliers and international prices. It
was also agreed to use the existing EDI systems and V-SATs at several
locations to extract and transmit import data taking the help of the Systems
Directorate and NIC. The time limit for execution of the project was
specified as 60 days. It was further decided to use e-mail facility for
obtaining and sending data to customs stations which are not linked by V-SAT.
The objectives of the NIDB
project are :-
To collect essential details of import data from all Customs Stations whether
the same is available in a computerized or manual format at the 6 digit ITC
(HS) code level and to forward the import data to the Directorate of
Transmit the consolidated daily import data of each customs station to a
Central Server at the Directorate of Valuation through available means of
communication including V-SAT dEDIcated lines and e-mail, where such import
data would be combined and merged into a National Import Database.
Analysis of the all India
import data using the Expert Systems Software under development by NCST and
sending an electronic feedback to the Commissioners / Customs Stations. The
feedback will contain the assessed value accepted at other customs stations,
averages, outliers as well as international prices available from sources
such as Reuters, international publications and sources abroad.