Mangaluru, Feb 17: R B Tiwari, Chief Commissioner of Customs, Bengaluru Zone launched the Unaccompanied Baggage Module in Customs EDI yesterday at New Custom House, Panambur, and also launched Online Customs Guide for International Passengers at Mangaluru International Airport today.
The Central Board of Excise and Customs has been taking several initiatives for smooth and quick clearance of cargo and baggage and passengers by reducing unwanted paper work. In this direction, in order to further expedite processing of unaccompanied baggage declarations, faster delivery of baggage, further improve transparency in clearance process and also to reduce interface with the department, the unaccompanied baggage module has been launched by the Mangaluru Customs.
The event was witnessed by Dr.M. Subramanyam, Commissioner of Customs, Mangaluru, Shri Suresh P. Shirwadkar, Deputy Chairman, New Mangalore Port Trust, Shri Krishnappa, Manager, CWC and representatives of Kanara Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Customs Brokers’ Association, Stevedores Association, Steamer Agents Association and other stake holders. During this year so far there has been an increase of over 25% in the baggage declarations filed as compared to the number of declarations filed during the corresponding period last year.
Further considering the passenger profile at Mangaluru airport wherein about 97.7% of passengers are facilitated through green channel, the need was felt to devise an online Customs guide for international passengers in the form of an interactive web page that could be accessed from any device viz. desktop, laptop, smart phone or tab and from anywhere. It was also necessitated considering the number of queries received from passengers about their eligibility of various items. This online guide has been devised to enable any passenger to know his entitlements of various items including gold jewellery, television, liquor, cigarettes, etc in an easy, simple and interactive way. The launching event was attended by the Airport Director, Shri J.T. Radhakrishna, Dr. M. Subramanyam, Commissioner of Customs, Mangaluru, officials of CISF, Immigration, Airlines and Airport Authority of India.
The Customs department in order to increase the levels of facilitation has been procuring several state-of-the-art equipment like baggage scanners. One such advanced scanner was also inaugurated by the Chief Commissioner today at Mangaluru International Airport.
During these occasions, the Chief Commissioner has highlighted the pro active measures taken by Indian Customs to further facilitate international passengers, educating them by providing the relevant information in a very easily accessible mode and strengthening of public grievance redressal mechanism. In this regard he highlighted the customer feedback survey conducted at Bengaluru airport which has revealed that more than 89% of passengers were satisfied with Customs processes. Detailing a mobile app launched for the benefit of international passengers, he added that the same has been translated into regional languages like Malayalam, Kannada and Tamil and that the feedback received evidenced that the passengers have been finding it very useful.
Dr. M. Subramanyam, Commissioner while informing the gathering about various measures taken to improve the levels of facilitation highlighted that all the agencies involved in the airport have been showing excellent cooperation and coordination in the direction of making Manglaluru a preferred destination for passengers.
Highlighting the necessity to have delicate balance between enforcement and facilitation, he added that the latest equipment being procured are enabling Customs officers in detection of contraband concealed in various modes. Simultaneously by developing online travel guide inhouse, the commissionerate is ensuring that the international passengers are aware of their eligibility of various items which in turn translates into hassle free clearance of passengers and baggage.
All the stake holders have been requested to give wide publicity to these measures taken for the benefit of international passengers.