2016 International Customs Day: India Central Board Of Excise and Customs

27 January 2016

India's Central Board Of Excise and Customs (CBEC) celebrated International Customs Day 2016 on 27 January 2016. Mr. R. Chandra Shekhar, President, National Association of Software and Services Companies and Former Secretary in the Department of Telecom was the Chief Guest. Mr Najib Shah, Chairman, CBEC; Members of the Board; and other senior Customs officers were present on the occasion.

In observance of the theme, 'Digital Customs: Progressive Engagement', the Directorate General of Systems delivered a presentation on the present status and future roadmap of digitization in Indian Customs, highlighting the level of maturity reached within the Department in automation and further plans to use ICT to progressively engage with stakeholders. Mr. Shah in his address drew attention to the successful operation of the Electronic Data Interchange and the Risk Management Systems in CBEC and the recently-introduced Digital Signature scheme. Mr. Shekhar complimented the department for the strides made in this vital area and stated that the department has set benchmarks for other departments to emulate.

WCO Certificates of Merit were awarded to CBEC officers from across the country, and to officers from the National Informatics Centre who worked on the various digital Customs initiatives, as well as to representatives of Trade for demonstrating a commitment in this field.

Three digital initiatives were also launched: 

  • Ántarang, an intranet and knowledge management portal developed by the CBEC to allow its officers to communicate securely with each other using their ICEGATE email IDs. Antarang aims to provide users a forum where they can engage in discussions on different issues by sharing files, creating blogs, and updating wikis. The portal is designed to accommodate various reports and important information on a wide range of topics, to be made readily available to authorized users.
  • Indian Customs – Guide to Travellers, a mobile app developed in-house that provides information on Customs baggage rules and passenger entitlements, as per the need of users. The app can work in offline mode upon installation, and provides 24x7 contact details of Customs officers in major Indian Airports. The app is available for free download on Google Play Store, and will soon be available on Apple App Store and Windows Market Place.
  • DIGIT, an application that assists CBEC's intelligence and investigation agency, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, by digitizing investigation monitoring. It creates a comprehensive offence database and enables digitization of the offence register. Different stages of a Customs investigation is recorded in the app, starting from the time the case was registered until its conclusion.

Messages from India's Finance Minister, Minister of State for Finance, the Revenue Secretary, Chairman, CBEC and Member (Customs) CBEC were published in all leading newspapers in India on the occasion of the International Customs Day.

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