Facilitating smooth clearance of exports and imports, the Beypore Port will soon have a 24x7 Customs clearance service with the support of Indian Customs Electronic Data Interface System (ICES). Customs sources say their higher-ups will visit the port within a couple of weeks to check facilities and start the service at the earliest, complying with the latest policies of the government to promote minor ports.
The service will facilitate the online documentation and fast-tracking of consignment clearance by exporters besides reducing the physical interface among Customs , traders and other regulatory agencies. The conventional method of using hard copies for clearance too will end with the new facility. Beypore Port Officer Ashwini Prathap says the current manual process of Customs clearance was causing a lot of delay in the container movement.
Customs officials say since north Kerala has a lot of export potential the authorities are now focussing on the expansion of existing services at airports and seaports here. With the opening of the Kannur airport, the export-import business is expected to touch new heights and nearby States such as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu too will come to seek the services, they add.
It was in 2015 that all the leading seaports and airports were provided with round-the-clock Customs clearance facility. The Ministry of Finance issued a special order too in support of the extension of the same as manual documentation and procedural delays were found impeding trade growth. It was projected as an administrative reform to rev up the economy and give more focus to minor ports.
Port officials say they started container shipping from Beypore six months ago under the State government’s coastal shipping promotion initiative. Though the port had been facilitating container movement since 2017, only its unloading was done here instead of tapping export potentials.
With the introduction of round-the-clock Customs clearance, more exporters, who currently depend on the service of Cochin Port will make use of the service here, they add.