The government has formulated new rules for faster clearance of import and export consignments of goods like medicine, jewellery and gems sent by courier.
The regulations cover the manner in which imported or export goods would be handled in courier medium at specified customs stations where an automated system of filing of customs declarations and its processing have been put in place.
There are 8-10 airports in the country where the Electronic Data Inter-change (EDI) system is in place.
The Central Board of Customs and Excise (CBEC) notified the 'Courier Imports and Exports (Electronic Declaration and Processing) Regulations, 2010' after consultations with the stakeholders.
Welcoming the new rules, the apex body of exporters, FIEO, said the move would help small importers and exporters.
"The new rules will help in expediting clearance of despatches, which would be beneficial for the exporters, especially in small sectors," FIEO Director-General Ajay Sahai said.
Traders depend on courier services for bringing in or sending out time-sensitive consignments.
As per the regulations, the authorised courier would have to verify the identity of his client in the declared address by "using reliable, independent, authentic documents, data or information".
The rules makes it clear that export goods brought into the customs area would have to be shipped out within seven days or else the dispatch would be detained and sold or disposed of.
In case of imported goods, the consignment should be cleared within 30 days of arrival.
A courier who contravenes provisions of the regulations could be asked to cough up to Rs 50,000.