Govt to build online repository of seals and signatures
The Dollar Business Bureau
To help ease the process of verification the Board has asked the Directorate General of Systems to build an online repository on ICES for storing the signatures/seals to facilitate comparison by the assessing officers. DRI has been entrusted with the task of uploading the data in the database. A customs notification no., 31/2016 dtd 12th September, 2016 detailing the instructions with regard to implementation of Rules of Origin under Free/Preferential Trade Agreements and the verification of Preferential Certificates of Origin was sent out today to the concerned ministries, boards and the public.
India has signed a number of Free/Preferential Trade Agreements/Comprehensive Economic Partnership/ Cooperation Agreement (FTA/CEPA/CECA) with a number of countries and trading blocks. In this regard the importer during importation has to submit a Certificate of Origin (COO) detailing a number of provisions to provide for verifying the authenticity of the COO and the information contained within.
Generally, it has been noticed that during the process of verification, needed to accept the certificate of origin, the Customs, Central Excise and the CBEC officials have a herculean task of verifying specimen and seals and signatures signed by the authorized signatories whose name, signature and seal have been communicated earlier by the FTA partner country.
Till the online repository is up and functioning the Board shall continue with the existing system of circulation of signatures and seals.