With a view to facilitate trade through Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Attari and to cut down the transaction cost of exporters, custom commissioner Sunil Sawhney inaugurated an electronic data interchange (EDI) on Saturday.
On the occasion, exporters and senior officials of various concerned agencies like National Informatics Centre (NIC), Land Port Authority of India, Central Warehousing Corporation and Border Security Force (BSF) were also present.
"The latest version of this system called ICES 1.5 (Indian Customs EDI System) is now available at ICP, Attari, which has been successfully launched with the joint efforts of the officers of customs and NIC,"said Sawhney.
"ICES is an automation system for processing of documents submitted for clearance of cargo meant for international trade,"he added.
"Traders sitting at home can file their documents, which is reviewed by various levels of officers at various stages of processing. The interaction between the trades and officers is reduced to the minimum and the traders can view the status of the documents online through IceGate (e-Commerce Portal of Central Board of Excise & Customs) web site 'icegate.gov.in',"he said.
Sawhney said, "While reducing the dwell time for export and cutting transaction costs, this system also enhances the efficiency of the department and reduces the chances of frauds which are often observed during manual operations."
"This system also facilitates the integration of documents with other agencies such as DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade), banks as well as custodian of cargo, making the trade hassle free. After full implementation of the system shortly, the exporters, who are exporting their goods to Pakistan, while availing various export incentives, would directly get the export incentive credited to their bank accounts,"he added.
The customs commissioner said the Amritsar customs commissionerate was planning to extend this system for imports also. "This move of the customs department is also a step forwarded in promoting around the clock trade at the Attari-Wagah border,"he added.