CBIC issues policy and guidelines for setting up ICDs, CFSs, and AFSs [Read Circular]

CBIC- ICDs- CFSs - AFSs - Taxscan

The Anti-Smuggling Unit of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) issued policy and guidelines for setting up Inland Container Depots (ICDs), Container Freight Stations (CFSs), and Air Freight Stations (AFSs).

In the last two decades, both the cargo volumes and capacities of ICDs/CFSs have increased manifold. A few key initiatives transforming the manner of trade in recent years, such as implementation of the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program, rising penetration of the Direct Port Delivery (DPD) and Direct Port Entry (DPE) initiatives, Self-Sealing (RFID seals), Self-Assessment, Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) and RMS based facilitation have completely changed the operation of Export-Import logistics.

The CBIC is also targeting higher DPD, DPE numbers with minimum but more effective Customs interventions aided by technological measures.

“Therefore, on account of the plethora of changes in the policy, technology landscape and the logistics ecosystem over the time, there is a need for revising the policies and procedure for setting up of new ICDs/CFSs/AFSs to meet the requirement of the changing paradigm and the aspirations of the trade,” the CBIC said.

The new policy takes into account the present capacity, future growth potential, and regional imbalances and also addresses the need for bringing uniformity, transparency, and a seamless approval process.

The new policy further addresses the identified regulatory and logistics concerns associated with the hard and soft infrastructure of ICDs/CFSs/AFSs in India.

It establishes a framework of functional requirements pertaining to the design and operation of dry ports, as well as establish certain processes to enable sustainable growth of the sector.

Lastly, the new policy aims to lay down appropriate institutional, administrative, and regulatory frameworks for the development and smooth operation of ICDs/CFSs/AFSs, including procedures for regulatory inspection and the execution of applicable customs control and formalities.

It has been decided to group the country in three types of areas for the purposes of opening of new ICDs/CFSs namely Green Zone States, Blue Zone States, and Red Zone States.

The Green Zone States are low on ICD/CFS infrastructure. These will be open for proposals for Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya and Telangana and Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The Blue Zone States where the proposals can be accepted only for specific trade generating locations with no existing facilities or with over-utilized facilities for Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala and Union Territories of Pudhucherry, Diu and Daman.

The Red Zone are the identified states that have adequate ICD/CFS infrastructure. These may be closed for any new CFSs development indefinitely.

However, in exceptional cases, IMC may approve the setting up of ICDs in trade generating locations with high export & import potential and need for new facilities (all the states and union territories not listed in Green and Blue Zones).

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