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Indian importers get single window scheme

The single window clearance mechanism for importers which India has launched could significantly cut cost and time and help improve ease of doing business. To further simplify inbound shipments, all physical import licenses will be uploaded online with a digital signature. This will do away with the cumbersome compliance measures requiring importers to show physical copies of import licenses or rules of origin certificates to the authorities each time.

The next step will be to do away with the need to present physical copies of licenses each time one imports. The import facilitation move is expected to benefit a large volume of imports and, in turn, economic growth and manufacturing, which is largely import-dependent.

Currently a bill of entry requires an average of three documents. An importer has to go and present physical copies of documents for approval from the authorities. The proposed initiative will allow importers to upload scanned documents with digital signatures.

The single-window mechanism framework launched in April is seeing 17,000 bills of entries every day. Now an importer is not required to go through various other agencies while making a consignment declaration. They are automatically routed through.