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India is conducting its first National Time Release Study

The Central Board of Indirect Tax and Customs, placed under the Department of Revenue of the Ministry of Finance of India, with notice dated 1 August 2019 communicated that India is conducting its first national Time Release Study (TRS). The exercise will be institutionalised on an annual basis, during the month of August.

TRS are one of the measures recommended by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and conducted following a precise methodology (see the WCO Guide to measure the time required for the release of goods), in order to assess the performance of Customs and other border agencies.

TRS measure the average time taken between the arrival of the goods and their release, as well as other relevant aspects of the effectiveness of operational procedures that are carried out by Customs and other regulatory actors in the standard processing of imports, exports and in transit movements. Their aim is to identify bottlenecks in the trade flow process so that the relevant authorities can take the corresponding remedial actions (both at policy and operational level), for reducing the cargo release time measures and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of border procedures, without compromising efficient trade control.

This initiative will help India to improve its positioning on Ease of Doing Business, particularly on the Trading Across Borders indicator (World Bank's Doing Business report) which measures the efficiency of the cross border trade ecosystem.

The Indian TRS will analyse 15 ports including sea, air, land and dry ports which cumulatively account for 81% of total Bills of Entries for import and 67% of Shipping Bills for export filed within India. The national TRS will establish baseline performance measurement and have standardized operations and procedures across all ports.

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