CBEC: Managing to enforce Risk Management in Customs

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Functioning under the banner of the Department of Revenue under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, CBEC or Central Board of Excise and Customs is solely responsible for planning and implementing policies for the growth of Foreign Trade in India. The major responsibilities of the Board includes formulation of policy concerning levy and collection of Customs and Central Excise duties, prevention of smuggling, administration of matters relating to Customs and management of Central Excise and Narcotics.

Custom Houses, Central Excise Commissionerates and the Central Revenues Control Laboratory are the three subordinate authorities of the Board that function directly under its administration. These subordinate authorities perform different functions related to the import export trade. The Custom Houses look after the implementation and collection of imports duties whereas the Central Excise Commissionerates take care of the tariff related to exports such as the excise duties. The Custom Houses functioning under the administrative authority of CBEC is primarily involved in collecting customs duties and enforcing rules and regulations laid down by the Indian Customs. Besides this the House is also responsible for planning strategies and carrying out activities in regards to the development of Import.


Delay in the release of consignments from the customs is the most persistent problem faced by the Importer of the country. This is because almost every consignment is inspected manually by the Customís inspectors before its release. That is why the Indian Customs is trying to enforce Risk Management System or RMS under the authority of the Central Board of Excise and Customs in order to tackle this problem more efficiently. The Risk Management System functions in collaboration with the Cross-Border Facilitation Team to work out measures for fastening the Customs clearance operations for commercial shipments. In short the Risk Management System is a concept that deals with the acceleration of the clearance process and harmonization of Customs procedures. The Board has issued several guidelines to be followed by the Customs Department in order to enforce RMS.

From the importers point of view, the Risk Management in Customs means fewer inspections and accelerated release of goods, which is beneficial for them. Besides this, enforcement of the RMS will help to limit corruption as parts of the clearance process would be automated hence discretionary inspections or lack of inspections would be less frequent. Adding to the benefits is the fact that some of the consignments would be released immediately, which would further accelerate the clearance process. It would also aid to the functional integration between agencies involved in the import business, thus simplifying the clearance procedure.


On the whole one can conclude that the CBEC is attempting to bring in a Customs modernization process by enforcing the Risk Management System in Indian Customs. The guidelines regarding the same have already been laid down by the Central Board of Excise and Customs to expedite the development of Foreign Trade.

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