CBIC reduces compliance burden by abolishing renewals of licences and registrations

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has abolished the requirement of periodic renewal of licence and registration issued to Customs Brokers and Authorised Carriers.

This move is expected to help reduce the compliance burden cast on the trade, which had to otherwise file applications and submit numerous documents to renew their licences/registrations.

The changes have been made effective from July 23, 2021.

The net effect of the amendments carried out to the Customs Brokers Licensing Regulations, 2018 and Sea Cargo Manifest and Transhipment Regulations, 2018, is that the existing licenses/registration would have a lifetime validity.

Another change that has been introduced is to allow a licensee/registration holder to voluntarily come forward to surrender his licence/registration. Also, a provision has been made to invalidate licences/registrations that are inactive for more than a year.

These steps would prevent misuse of dormant licences/registrations by unscrupulous persons who mis-declare import or export or wrongly obtain export refunds/incentives and when caught, put the burden on the original licensee/registration holder, a Finance Ministry statement said.

At the same time, the interest of genuine trade is safeguarded by empowering the Commissioners of Customs to revalidate the licence/registration in case the inactivity is for genuine reasons.

The life-long validity of licences/registrations is expected to provide a major relief to the trade by reducing their compliance burden and promoting ease of doing business in India.

Removing the requirement of seeking periodic renewals also reduces the interface between the Customs and the trade, which is a deliverable of the CBIC’s ‘Contactless Customs’ initiative, a critical component of its flagship Turant Customs programme.