India simplifies goods imports with single point of contact

In India, administrative obstacles to importing goods will soon likely decline markedly. This is made possible by SWIFT, an Internet platform for processing all import formalities via an interface.
Importing goods into India can now be managed via a central office.

SWIFT, a brainchild of the Central Board of Excise and Customs, stands for Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade. And it is likely that it will in fact facilitate trade. SWIFT has unified on a single information platform some 50 offices from six different authorities (Food Safety, Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage, Drugs Control, Animal Quarantine, Wild Life Crime Control, Textile Committee), and this notable achievement alone is reason to expect that administrative efforts will decline significantly.

In practical terms, this means, e.g. that henceforth it will be sufficient to notify the involved offices by providing a single electronic customs declaration about the goods being imported. Until now, nine declarations were required. Other procedural steps for importing goods into India will also be reduced to a similar extent. And this applies to nearly all goods: According to the competent authorities, import procedures can be managed through SWIFT for 97% of all goods imported into India.

The Hindu Business Line: CBEC (Central Board for Excise and Customs) launches “SWIFT” for quick, single-window import clearances

India Country Consulation (various dates in June)

Impulse: Asian Growth Stories (June 22 in Zurich)

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