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CBEC should develop a vision, strategic plan for Customs department: TARC
September, 29th 2014

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) should immediately commence work on the development of a Customs vision and strategic plan, the Tax Administration Reforms Commission (TARC) has suggested.

In its second report submitted to the Government on Friday, the TARC said the Vision document and the strategic plan should set out the goals and the implementation strategy that will ensure Customs department’s place among “best-in-class” customs administrations.

The strategy must enhance customer focus and proactively promote voluntary compliance and should include measures like customer guidance in the form of self-assessment check-lists, manuals containing standard operating procedures and fully updated, user-friendly and reliable website.

TARC also said there is a need to institute a robust framework which will address data and information exchange.


The CBEC should revamp its core clearance process and aim at aligning with the best international practices to ensure that cargo moves seamlessly through Indian ports and airports and build substantial capacities to the area of post-clearance audit, the TARC has said.

It should abandon the “gatekeeper” approach underlying the current control mechanism as it is ineffective and promotes rent seeking, the TARC report said.


Parthasarathi Shome-headed TARC has also suggested that CBEC should commence work on building a new generation system to replace the current ICT systems.

Customs should leverage the adoption of the emerging “internet of things” by the logistic industry to real-time tracking of movement of goods across the supply chain, including to container freight stations, inland container depots and special economic zones and eliminate dilatory, costly and unreliable paper based processes.

TARC also wants customs to move away from their traditional administrative approach towards a more proactive and wholesome compliance management approach.

They (Customs) would need to transform their governance, change their control paradigm and become a highly technology driven organisation with a robust and reliable risk management based approach to governance.

Customs should also move away from excessive revenue orientation to be able to fulfil their mandate in areas such as supply chain security and effective implementation of their responsibilities in trade related areas, the TARC report said.

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