26 July 2021

Customs brokers licence and registration under sea cargo regulations to be valid for lifetime

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (‘CBIC’) has abolished the renewals of licence/registration under the Customs Brokers Licensing Regulations, 2021 and the Sea Cargo Manifest and Transhipment Regulations, 2018. The licenses/registrations once issued these Regulations would thus be valid for lifetime.

However, provision have also be made for voluntary surrender of licence/registration and for making the licenses/registrations invalid in case the same is inactive for more than one year. Principal Commissioner or Commissioner of Customs can renew such licence/registration which has been invalidated due to inactivity.

CBIC Circular No. 17/2021-Cus., dated 23 July issued for the purpose notes that the renewal exercise is an avoidable interface between the licensee and Customs officers, which is not in sync with the objective of the ‘Contactless Customs’ programme and is a burden on the licensee/registration holder.

Necessary changes have been made in the two Regulations for this purpose by Notifications Nos. 62 and 61/2017-Cus. (N.T.), both dated 23 July 2021. It may be noted that the Circular also states that changes will be reviewed after six months by the CBIC for its impact and bring changes, if necessary.

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