Note on Self-Sealing Procedure for Exporters

Implementation of electronic sealing for containers by exporters under self-sealing procedure has been prescribed by circular 26/2017-Cus dated 1.01.2017, 36/2017-Cus, dated 28.08.2017 and 37/2017-Cus dated 20.09.2017. The revised procedure of the CBEC vide Circular No. 41/2017-Customs dated 30 October 2017 has been notified and the said procedure is to be finally implemented from 8th November 2017. Some highlights of the said circulars are extracted here under for your ready reference.

  1. In pre-GST regime, there were three ways through which sealing of containers could take place, namely:
  2. Containers stuffed at factory premises or warehouses under self sealing procedure.
  3. Containers stuffed/sealed at factory premises or warehouse under supervision of Central Excise officer.
  4. Containers stuffed and sealed at Container Freight Stations/Inland Container Depots.
  5. For ease of business, the provision of sealing of containers under supervision of central excise officeris being done away with. Thus, all exporters registered under GST law and filing returns can follow the procedure of self sealing of containers. With implementation of GST, the existing procedures in relation to exports were realigned viz., claim of refund, stuffing of container, etc. One of the key aspects relating to simplified sealing procedure for export of goods is use of tamper proof electronic seals of standard specifications. Existing exporters availing sealing at factory premises will be automatically entitled for self-sealing procedure and existing operators need not approach the authorities for the self-sealing permission. The list of stations where vendors would provide RFID e-seals are annexed in circular no 41/2017- Customs dated 30th October, 2017. Vendors have to share their data at the port of export including to Risk Management Division and make available scanners/ readers for reading the data including integrating such data with ICEGATE. At the Kolkata Port formations have been familiarized regarding use of RFID container seals – fixed readers and handheld readers.
  6. Following classes of exporters are obligated to adopt RFID e-sealing:
  7. Exporters already enjoying the facility of self-sealing after having been approved by jurisdictional formations under the erstwhile procedures;
  8. Exporters who have hitherto been availing of supervised sealing and have been automatically entitled to avail of self-sealing using RFID e-seals, without having to expressly seek any permission/approval of the jurisdictional commissioner for this purpose;
  9. AEOs, regardless of whether they were self-sealing or undertaking supervised sealing, have also been entitled to avail of the new procedure;
  10. Lastly, all exporters have been extended this facility subject to their filing GST returns but after seeking permission for self-sealing from the jurisdictional Commissioner as per procedure prescribed under para 9 (iii) of circular 26/2017-Cus dated 1st July 2017.

The above procedure applies only to cargo in full container load, sealed at an approved premise by an entitled exporter.  In case of partly filled containers or in case of full containers brought to ports without RFID e-seals shall be taken to a CFS or allowed direct port entry and will be subject to RMS treatment. Existing exporters permitted self-sealing facilities and AEOs would have to mandatorily seal containers with prescribed RFID e-seal with effect from 8th Nov, 2017.  In case of non compliance, the containers would be subject to standard RMS parameters.

Team GST Law India

GST Law India is a blog on GST and allied commercial laws managed by members of the law firm ALA Legal.