The procedure for introducing and implementing electronic sealing for containers by exporters under self-sealing procedure was prescribed vide Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) Circular No. 26/2017-Customs dated July 01, 2017 and Circular No. 36/2017-Customs dated August 28, 2017.
Representations have been received from trade associations, exporters, DGFT, field formations etc. regarding opening of e-sealed reefer containers at the Ports/ICDs for examination. They have mentioned that in case of perishable items exported through reefer containers, the maintenance of temperature is of utmost importance. In the current scenario where the factory stuffed containers are being e-sealed by exporters themselves, sometimes due to selection by risk management system, these reefer containers are being picked up for examination at Customs ports/ICDs. Since at present, all Ports/ICDs are not having sterile, temperature controlled examination facilities, so they have to incur transportation costs etc. to take them to nearest cold storage facility for examination. It not only adds to transaction cost but also affects timely export of these perishable reefer containers.
In order to address these issues, Board has decided to allow factory stuffing and sealing of reefer containers with perishable/ temperature sensitive export goods in the presence of Customs officials.
The above procedure shall be implemented as under:
(i) The exporter would give application to the jurisdictional Customs Commissioner for availing supervised stuffing along with the list of export goods.
(ii) In case the jurisdictional Commissioner of Customs is satisfied that the export goods are sensitive to temperature and there are no sterile, temperature controlled examination facilities at the port of export, then he shall permit supervised stuffing and sealing in respect of such export goods. Permission once granted shall not be withdrawn unless any non-compliance to law, rules or regulations is noticed. The details of exporters who have been permitted such a facility along with the indicative list of export goods shall be sent to RMCC and the port of export by the jurisdictional Commissioner.
(iii) The request for supervised stuffing of reefer containers shall be given by the exporter at least 24 hours prior to stuffing to the concerned Customs office indicating the nature of the temperature sensitive goods. The jurisdictional Commissioner of Customs shall depute officers to supervise examination, stuffing and sealing of the reefer containers.
(iv) The officers deputed for supervised stuffing would ensure that the reefer containers are stuffed with only such export goods as are sensitive to temperature and in accordance with the details of the export goods list furnished by the exporter. The containers would be sealed with RFID e-seals procured by the exporters and the data as required shall be uploaded by exporter as per the already prescribed procedure.
(v) RMCC may take necessary steps to ensure that the reefer containers which have been sealed under the supervision of the officers are not subjected to examination at the port of export.
(vi) The jurisdictional Commissionerate shall inform the said container details exporter wise to RMCC on monthly basis. RMCC, in turn, shall verify the details with the facilitation provided to the respective exporters in respect of the said reefer containers and inform the jurisdictional Commissionerate in case of any discrepancy. The jurisdictional Commissioner of Customs shall, in the case of discrepancy, review the permission for supervised stuffing and sealing.
The above procedure prescribed in this circular shall be observed only at the request of the exporter in respect of reefer cargo.
[Circular No. 13/2018-Customs]