Merchants Get Extra Time To Shift To New Tax Reporting Regime

(MENAFN– Live Mint) New Delhi: Importers, exporters and others involved in trade have two more months in which to move to a new advance reporting Regime on their consignments, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and customs (CBIC) said in an official order.

The transitional arrangement will remain in place till 31 August rather than the earlier deadline of 30 June, it said.

The new Sea Cargo Manifest and Transshipment (SCMT) Regulations of 2018, which was amended on 30 June, specify the timelines for carriers to report the consignments in documents called ‘manifests’ depending on whether it is a short- or long-haul voyage. The details to be declared are prescribed in the new reporting format.

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The new regulations of 2018 seek to replace more than four-decade-old regulations for declaration of export and import consignments. Its implementation was delayed due to the pandemic.

The extension offers stakeholders time to adapt to the new system, which aims to enhance transparency and predictability, and expedite customs clearance.“SCMT regulations specify the roles and responsibilities for stakeholders involved in the movement of imported and exported goods and mandates changes to the formats and timelines for filing manifest declarations,” the indirect tax authority said in an explanation to the order.

For advance information on consignments

The tax authority’s effort is to have advance information about consignments before they reach the ports so that clearance can be done as quickly as possible.

The CBIC has in recent years been engaging with customs authorities in other countries for exchange of information in order to facilitate clearance as quickly as possible. Customs clearance is seen as an important matrix of ease of doing business as extra time spent by consignments at ports could mean additional costs for merchants. That could also have a bearing on competitiveness of the products being traded.

The extension of the transitional provisions for SCMT regulations until 31 August provides merchants with additional time to adapt to the new regulations, ensuring compliance without rushing and reducing the risk of errors, explained Rajat Mohan, Executive Director at accounting and advisory firm Moore Singhi.

“The enhanced transparency and predictability of goods movement, coupled with a streamlined customs clearance process, will benefit merchants by improving efficiency and reducing delays. Also, the allowance for parallel filing during the transition mitigates risks and ensures continuity in operations,” said Mohan.

The CBIC has encouraged merchants to start parallel filing in both the old and new formats to ensure a smooth transition.


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