New Delhi, May 12, 2018
The customs department is planning simplified procedures for exports by India Post, including permitting e-commerce shipments through all foreign post offices, the finance ministry said today.
Since 2016, e-commerce exports had been allowed through Foreign Post Offices (FPOs) under MEIS (Merchandise Export from India Scheme) incentives from the post offices at Chennai, Mumbai & Delhi.
"Now, customs may be leading the reform race by permitting e-commerce exports through all FPOs, though without MEIS benefits for now," an official statement said.
With imports and exports by Post being the sixth highest cited citizen grievances under CPGRAMs, the customs department and Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) have been working together for last one year to liberalise, reform and align laws relating to imports by it.
"In order to cater to the SMEs and what may come as a major boost to the Make in India programme, customs are proposing new simplified procedures for exports through India Post," it added.
The statement said that one of the major bottlenecks in the postal system is the absence of professional logistics companies, which can facilitate SMEs going global through online presence and leaving postal logistics to third parties.
Customs is planning some of these initiatives after it introduced non-intrusive technologies like x-ray scanning at FPOs to expedite release of goods. These measures are also likely to control smuggling of narcotics.
"In order to strengthen law enforcement, Customs will scan mail bags at the airports itself for identifying suspect consignments and contraband items," the statement said.