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All about SWIFT and e-SANCHIT for Customs Clearances

Updated on :  

08 min read.

After successful implementation of GST in July 2017, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) is rolling out systems that improve the way the business is conducted. It is continuously trying to bring simplicity, accountability, consistency, and transparency in the process of clearance of all import and export transactions. As a part of improvisation procedures, the CBIC has introduced SWIFT.

What is meant by SWIFT?

SWIFT is Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade. It is a transformative approach adopted by the CBIC to facilitate the ease of doing business. The word ‘Single Window’ plays a very vital role in improving the efficiency of import and export procedures. It will allow the importers and exporters to file their clearing documents online at a single window. Also, permissions from various regulatory authorities can be obtained online. This reduces the physical interaction with the government authorities. Thus, it saves time and cost of doing business.  

Introduction to e-Sanchit

SWIFT was introduced with an aim to reduce interface with different government bodies, thereby reducing time and cost. e-SANCHIT was launched under SWIFT to introduce paperless processing. e-SANCHIT is an integral part of SWIFT. e-SANCHIT means e-storage and computerised handling of indirect tax documents. It allows the trader to upload all supporting documents digitally for obtaining clearances. This eliminates the need for the trader to approach PGAs (Participating Government Agencies) for obtaining various clearances. Thus, e-SANCHIT makes the entire consignment clearance process paperless and faceless.  

Benefits and Features of SWIFT

  • Single point interface: The basic feature of SWIFT is providing a single platform for all import and export transactions. It allows the taxpayers to file a common electronic ‘Integrated Declaration’ on the ICEGATE portal. This declaration is a consolidation of all the data required for obtaining various clearances from different PGAs.
  • Reduces documentation work and cost of clearance: Now, clearances can be obtained online at a single point. This eliminates the need for coordinating with various government departments. Thus, reducing time and cost.
  • Ease of doing business: The most important motive behind the introduction of SWIFT is to facilitate ease of doing business. For this, a single platform for facilitating all services related to imports and exports is introduced.
  • Brings PGA (Participating Government Authorities) on a single platform: Clearances from primarily six PGAs namely Food Safety (FSSAI), Drug Controller, Plant Quarantine, Animal Quarantine, Textile Committee, and Wild Life Crime Control Bureau are required for all imports. But, now with the introduction of SWIFT, all these agencies are brought under a single platform. These clearances can now be obtained online under a single platform.

Benefits and Features of e-SANCHIT

  • Paperless processing: e-SANCHIT allows the traders to file supporting documents with PGAs online by way of submitting the ‘Integrated Declaration’. This declaration compiles the data required for obtaining clearance from six different government agencies. It can be digitally signed and submitted through the ICEGATE portal along with the supporting documents.
  • Increases the speed of clearance: Paperless processing reduces the hassles of physically visiting various government departments, thereby reducing cost and increasing the efficiency of import/export procedures.

Who can use SWIFT and e-SANCHIT?

Who can use it?SWIFTe-SANCHIT
ImportersAll importers registered under the ICEGATE portal can use SWIFT.All importers registered under the ICEGATE portal can use e-SANCHIT.
ExportersPresently, this facility is not available for exporters.All exporters registered under the  ICEGATE portal can use e-SANCHIT for document upload.
PGAsAll PGAs can use SWIFT.All PGAs can use e-SANCHIT for uploading of LPCOs. (Licences/Permits/Certificates/Other Authorisations)
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