NEW DELHI: Importers will have to file just one ‘Integrated Declaration’ electronically from April 1, compared to nine forms currently for clearances of consignments from different government agencies, a move aimed at improving the ease of doing business.

The CBEC has developed the ‘Integrated Declaration’ under which all information required for import clearance by the government agencies has been incorporated into the electronic format of the Bill of Entry.

Customs broker or importer will submit the ‘Integrated Declaration’ electronically to a single entry point — the Customs Gateway (ICEGATE), the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) said.

Integrated Declaration is being tested on the ICEGATE facility and “will go live with effect from April 1,” the apex body responsible for collection of indirect taxes said.

The Integrated Declaration replaces nine separate forms that an importer or his broker files with various agencies.

These include Customs Bill of Entry, Customs valuation declaration, application for import of livestock products, application for import of pet animals/aquatic/other animals, birds and poultry (chicks), application for quarantine inspection and form for NOC from FSSAI to import food items.

The Integrated Declaration would also gather information and data for implementation of a system of selective inspection and testing by all Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) like animal quarantine¬†and drug controller, “which is crucial for promoting Ease of Doing Business,” the CBEC said.

Following the decision of the Committee of Secretaries, all PGAs will select consignments for documentary examination, physical inspection and testing based on risk.

The Integrated Declaration will be applicable for consignments to be cleared under the Indian Customs EDI Systems.

For the clearance of imported goods in the manual mode, separate documents prescribed by the respective agencies will continue to apply.

The Integrated Declaration will also include different types of undertakings, declarations, and letters of guarantee that are presently required to be submitted on company letter heads.

It is being implementing under the Indian Customs Single Window.

CBEC further said that i is in the process of procuring IT infrastructure to capture digitally signed copies of the supporting documents. Once this facility is implemented, the need to provide hard copies of supporting documents will be dispensed with.