Source: PIB & World Customs Organization
The Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, as part of its strategic commitment to improve global trade conducted India’s first national Time Release Study (TRS) between 1st – 7th August. The exercise will be institutionalized on an annual basis, during the same period every year hereafter.
To identify and address bottlenecks in the trade flow process and take the corresponding policy and operational measures required to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of border procedures, without compromising efficient trade control.
What is the Time Release Study (TRS)?
- The TRS is an internationally recognized tool advocated by the World Customs Organization to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of international trade flows.
- It measures the actual time required for the release and/or clearance of goods, from the time of arrival until the physical release of cargo, with a view to finding bottlenecks in the trade flow process and taking necessary measures to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of border procedures.
How the exercise was conducted?
The exercise was conducted at the same time across 15 ports including sea, air, land and dry ports which cumulatively account for 81% of total Bills of Entries for import and 67% of Shipping Bills for export filed within India. The national TRS will establish baseline performance measurements and have standardized operations and procedures across all ports.
Expected beneficiaries of this initiative will be export-oriented industries and MSMEs, who will enjoy greater standardization of Indian processes with comparable international standards.
- This initiative will help India maintain the upward trajectory on Ease of Doing Business, particularly on the Trading Across Borders indicator which measures the efficiency of the cross border trade ecosystem.
- Based on the results of the TRS, government agencies associated with cross border trade will be able to diagnose existing and potential bottlenecks which act as barriers to the free flow of trade, and take remedial actions for reducing the cargo release time.
The World Customs Organization(WCO)
- The World Customs Organization (WCO), established in 1952 as the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC) is an independent intergovernmental body whose mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations.
- Presently, the WCO represents 183 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98% of world trade. As the global centre of Customs expertise, the WCO is the only international organization with competence in Customs matters and can rightly call itself the voice of the international Customs community.
- The WCO’s governing body – the Council – relies on the competence and skills of a Secretariat and a range of technical and advisory committees to accomplish its mission. The Secretariat comprises over 100 international officials, technical experts and support staff of some nationalities.
- As a forum for dialogue and exchange of experiences between national Customs delegates, the WCO offers its Members a range of Conventions and other international instruments, as well as technical assistance and training services provided either directly by the Secretariat, or with its participation. The Secretariat also actively supports its members in their endeavours to modernize and build capacity within their national Customs administrations.
- Besides the vital role played by the WCO in stimulating the growth of legitimate international trade, its efforts to combat fraudulent activities are also recognized internationally.