The government on Friday made electronic payment of customs duty mandatory in order to further reduce transaction cost of the importers.
As a trade facilitation measure for importers, it has been decided to make e-payment mandatory for importers registered under Accredited Clients Programme and importers paying customs duty of Rs. 1 lakh or more per Bill of Entry with effect from September 17, Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) said in a statement.
The CBEC has issued instructions advising all the chief commissioners of customs to give wide publicity to enable trade to be ready in case any change in their software or any internal procedure for effecting e-payment is required, it said.
As a large number of taxpayers would be required to pay the taxes electronically, it is requested that importers, trade and industry may be provided all assistance so as to help them in adopting the new procedure, it added.
Electronic payment (e-payment) is advantageous to both tax payers and the government.
To the taxpayers, it affords the facility of making payments from their own offices on a 24X7 basis.
It also facilitates quicker release of cargo, it said.
For government, it ensures immediate collection of taxes and error free data relating to tax payments.
E-payment facility at Customs locations was introduced in 2007 and is available through more than one authorised bank at all major Customs locations having ICES (Indian Customs EDI System) facility.
Though voluntary, it said, the facility has been used by numerous importers.
Besides expediting the process of payment of customs duty and clearance of imported goods, the facility of e-payment has resulted in reduction of transaction cost.