CBIC issues Guidebook for ‘Faceless Assessment’

CBIC- guidebook for Faceless Assessment - Faceless Assessment - Taxscan

The Central Board of the Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) issued the guidebook for ‘Faceless Assessment’ under Custom.

The Board has implemented next-generation reforms through Turant Customs, strongly enabled by technology.

This flagship initiative stands on the pillars of Faceless, Contactless and Paperless Customs, which will help India take a substantial leap forward towards faster and cheaper Customs clearance of imported goods.

A key enabler in Turant Customs is Faceless Assessment. It is being rolled out in phases and is scheduled to cover the entire country by 31st October 2020. This would enable uniform, anonymous Customs assessments and reduce interface between the Trade and Customs officers.

Faceless Assessment (also referred to as virtual assessment or anonymized assessment) uses a technology platform to separate the Customs assessment process from the physical location of a Customs officer at the port of arrival. This measure will bolster efforts to ensure an objective, free, fair and just assessment.

The guide while elaborating on the key objectives of Faceless Assessment said that anonymity in assessment for reduced physical interface between trade and Customs, Speedier Customs clearances through efficient utilisation of manpower, greater uniformity of assessment across locations, and promoting sector specific and functional specialisation in assessment.

The guidebook said that a pilot of the initiative was initiated last year by CBIC and post validation of the expected outcomes, it has been decided to roll out the program nationally. These Pilot Programmes helped test Faceless Assessment first in the same zone, then across zones. Faceless Assessment is now being extended across all Customs ports in India to usher a more modern, efficient, and professional Customs administration, with resultant benefits for trade and industry.

The guidebook talked about the introduction to Faceless Assessment; Institutional setup; National Assessment Centres; Process for Faceless Assessment; Key Considerations for Faceless Assessment; Performance Measurement; and Communication and Outreach.

The guidebook further elaborated on the implementation Phases for All India Roll-Out of Faceless Assessment; National Assessment Centres; Workflow for BE under Faceless Assessment; and Enablers of Faceless Assessment.

The information, content, and data provided in the guidebook aims for the general guidance of the stakeholders.

“The response of Custom officials to the dynamics of the worldwide changes in the ecosystem has been commendable. In this regard, the efforts of Indian Customs, in particular, have been notable, particularly the pace with which it has constantly adapted and evolved in this large and diverse country,” the Chairman of CBIC, M. Ajit Kumar said in the guidebook.

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