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Electronic Exchange of Customs Data

  • 28 Oct 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Department of Posts, Government of India (India Post) and United States Postal Service signed an agreement for electronic exchange of customs data related to postal shipments between the two countries.

Key Points

  • Objective: The primary objective of this agreement is to facilitate ‘ease of exports’ for small and large exporters through postal channels from different parts of the country.
  • Features: The agreement will make it possible to transmit and receive electronic data of international postal items prior to their physical arrival at the destination and would enable customs clearance of postal items in advance in line with the evolving global postal framework.
    • Exchange of Electronic Advance Data (EAD) will be a key driver towards promoting mutual trade with emphasis on the exports.
      • USA is the top export destination for India (~17%) which is also reflected in exchange of goods through postal channels.
      • In 2019, around 20% of international Express Mail Service (EMS) and 30% of Letters & Small Packets transmitted by India Post were destined to the USA whereas 60% of the Parcels received by India Post were originated from the USA.
  • Benefit: This will fulfill a major demand of the export industry to expedite customs clearances of export items and will contribute towards making India an Export Hub for the world.
    • The agreement will also improve the performance of postal services in terms of reliability, visibility and security.

India Post

  • India Post is the trade name for the Department of Posts (DoP), a government-operated postal system in India under the Ministry of Communications.
  • With 1, 55,531 Post Offices, the DoP has the most widely distributed postal network in the world.
  • Functions:
    • Delivering mails, accepting deposits under Small Savings Schemes, providing life insurance cover under Postal Life Insurance (PLI) and Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) and providing retail services like bill collection, sale of forms, etc.
    • It also acts as an agent for the Government of India in discharging other services for citizens such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) wage disbursement and old age pension payments.

Source: PIB

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