CBIC sensed the gravity of the pandemic and its likely impact on the global supply chain at the very initial stage, and took a number of proactive measures to ensure smooth operation of all customs locations in India viz. seaports, airports, land customs stations, foreign post offices and courier terminals, while following social distancing and other health related guidelines of the Government, issued from time to time.
To prevent spread of COVID-19, India is following strict lockdown. In these difficult times, CBIC is committed to ensure hassle free movement, release and clearance of goods under import, export or transit, and provide maximum possible comfort to trading community and other stakeholders, and the society at large.
In this regard, an illustrative list of measures and actions taken by India is as below:
(aa) Government has sanctioned special package of Rs 5 lakh for immediate assistance to families of customs officers who may in an unlikely situation succumb in their valiant fight against COVID-19.
(bb) Customs offices across India have generously contributed in distribution of food and relief material, such as masks, to poor and needy in the lockdown period.
(cc) Regular coordination is maintained with district administration and police authorities for ensuring smooth movement of EXIM cargo, and persons engaged in the process during the lockdown.
India extended the lockdown period till 03 May 2020. Transport services through all modes for freight movement and supply of essential goods are exempted from the lockdown. To ensure smooth flow of supply chain of Essential Items during National Lockdown to fight COVID-19, clarifications were provided to ensure that stakeholders in logistics and warehousing receive the necessary assistance to continue their operations. Air Rail and Road Transport suspended except for essential goods, Port operations for cargo movement to remain operational.
Land border crossings to function for movement of essential goods Operation of Railways, Airways, and Seaports for cargo movement, relief and evacuation, and their related organization are exempted from suspension. Rules for issuance of RoO RTA/PTA certification relaxed, along with several export-import documentation requirements, to ease disruptions caused by lockdown due to the pandemic.
Source: Ministry of Home Affairs:
24*7 customs clearance services at designated seaports and airports Coronavirus Help Desk: Nodal officers in the relevant Ministry/Department/Agency have been appointed by the Government to quickly resolve issues hampering trade and speedy clearance of import and export goods.
Source: Ministry of Finance: http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources/htdocs-cbec/customs/cs-instruction/csinstructions-2020/cs-ins-02-2020.pdf
To ensure smooth flow of supply chain of Essential Items during National Lock-down to fight COVID-19, clarifications were provided to ensure that stakeholders in logistics and warehousing receive necessary assistance to continue their operations. Air Rail and Road Transport suspended except for essential goods, Port operations for cargo movement to remain operational. Land border crossings to function for movement of essential goods.
1.Ministry of Shipping, Govemment of India has directed all the major ports via F. No. PD -143001412020 - PD VII dated 31.03.2020 to consider exemption or remission of demurrage, ground rent beyond allowed free period, penal anchorage/hire charges and any other performance related penalties that may be levied on port related activities for the reasons attributable to lock down measures i.e. from 22 March to 14 April, 2020.
On 29 June, the Indian government issued new rules concerning phase 2 of the deconfinement plan. New rules intend to prolong the lockdown in Containment Zones as well as to ease the situation outside of them; they apply immediately and up until 31 July.
Concerning road transport, relevant measures are as follows:
Detailed rules can be found here.
On 1 May, the Government of India issued an order extending the lockdown for a further period of two weeks with effect from 4 May.
The lockdown extension measure includes the creation of Red, Orange and Green Zones; each of them has dedicated guidelines that can be read here.
On 14 April, the Indian Prime Minister announced an extension of the lockdown until 3 May 2020.
The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has issued new guidelines which apply from 15 April. Bus passenger transport remains suspended, as does taxi transport (including auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws) and the services of taxi aggregators (i.e. taxi apps). Road transport of goods is still permitted. Full guidelines can be read here.
On 24 March 2020, the Indian Prime Minister announced that India will impose a national lockdown as of 25 March 2020 for a period of 21 days.
- The movement of Indian citizens is heavily restricted within India. Special written permission is required under certain circumstances.
- All domestic flights have been suspended.
- All incoming passenger traffic, at all 107 Immigration Check Posts which includes all Airport ICPs, all Seaport ICPs, all Land Port ICPs, all Rail Port ICPs and all River Port ICPs will remain suspended.
All transport services – air, rail, road – will remain suspended.
a. Transportation for essential goods only.
b. Fire, police and emergency services.
This restriction shall come into force, in all parts of the country, for a period of 21 days with effect from 25.03.2020.