The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on Friday allowed businesses to import and export goods without furnishing bonds to the customs authorities till the end of the month, a move aimed at facilitating trade during the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a circular, the CBIC said importers and exporters will have to furnish an undertaking to the Customs authorities till April 30 in lieu of the bonds.
The apex indirect tax body said it has received representation from field formations about difficulty being faced by importers and exporters during the ongoing lockdown in obtaining notarised stamp papers for furnishing bonds required by Customs in certain situations during the assessment and clearance of goods.
In order to expedite Customs clearance of goods and for maintaining balance between Customs control and facilitation of legitimate trade, the CBIC said it has approved relaxation of the requirement to submit bonds.
“While the lockdown is presently in force till April 14, 2020, considering that the importer/ exporter may find it difficult to comply with requirement of furnishing bond for some more time thereafter till the situation normalises, the said relaxation shall be available up to April 30, 2020,” the CBIC.
The Board will, however, review the relaxation at the end of the lockdown period.
“In the period up to April 30, 2020, Customs field formations may accept request for submission of an undertaking from the importer/exporter in lieu of a bond,” the CBIC said.
The importers and exporters who would be allowed this facility include public sector undertakings, manufacturer importer, authorised economic operators and all importers availing customs warehouse facility.
“Importers /exporters availing this facility shall ensure that the undertaking furnished in lieu of bond is duly replaced with a proper bond before May 7,” the CBIC said.