Indian Customs, Indian Post set to exchange electronic advance data

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Indian Customs and Post have acknowledged the need for enhancing postal chain security through a harmonized implementation of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) SAFE Framework of Standards and the Universal Postal Union (UPS) Security Standards (S58 and S59), as well as taking tangible steps for enhancing compliance to AEO requirements and enjoying AEO benefits.

However, India Post has already been accredited as an Authorized Economic Operator (AEO).

Currently, India is testing the CDS and exploring its interface with Customs EDI system and eventually with Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade (SWIFT) – Indian Customs Single Window. Based on the standards, tools and best practices, India Post and Customs have outlined a broad action plan 2020 to exchange advance electronic data on inbound and outbound postal items, once the CDS goes into the full production phase and they start receiving advance electronic data from origin posts.

Under the auspices of the SECUREX Project1 , the WCO and the UPU conducted a joint national technical assistance mission to India form 16 to 19 July 2019 to review the progress and provide them further assistance with the implementation of electronic advance data (EAD) between Customs and Post.

This joint WCO-UPU technical assistance mission was aimed at strengthening the existing cooperative relationship between India Customs and Post and further enhancing digital solutions for information exchange between them for effective risk-management and improved Customs-postal clearance processes.

Based on the current national situation, experts from the WCO and the UPU guided the participants through all the steps and associated processes for the initiation, establishment, testing and launch of the EAD exchange mechanism. In this context, legal and regulatory frameworks, cooperation arrangements, business processes, technical specifications and IT systems, as well as associated WCO and UPU instruments, standards, and tools were examined and discussed. Over 50 participants from India Customs and Post benefited from the mission.

During the mission, the WCO and UPU experts, through detailed face-to-face interactions with Postal and Customs officials, as well as field studies, carried out a thorough diagnostics of the current situation with regard to the progress under the project and reviewed ongoing preparedness, in particular the IT preparedness for the electronic interface between Customs Declaration Systems (CDS) currently being tested by India Post and Customs EDI system.

Additionally, participants deepened their knowledge on practical aspects of the data capture, processing, transmission and use for effective risk management and service delivery, along with related best practices and case studies. Key issues relating to the establishment of Data Sharing Agreements (DSAs) with other designated operators were also discussed.

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