Licences of 56 Customs brokers suspended since August 2019

Container Terminus of Container Corporation of India.

New Delhi, (Asian independent) The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on Sunday said that licences of 56 Customs brokers, including 37 from Delhi, have been suspended since August 2019.

In a statement, the CBIC said that the Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management (DGARM) had carried out data analytics of Customs brokers linked with fraudulent or unscrupulous exporters and the findings have resulted in suspension of licences of 56 Customs brokers.

According to the CBIC, this exercise revealed that 62 Customs brokers, including 37 from Delhi, had handled more than 15,290 export consignments of 1,431 untraceable exporters.

“In one particular case, a Customs broker has handled exports of 99 untraceable exporters who claimed Rs 121.79 crore of IGST refund. These Customs brokers’ activities were under strong suspicion for quite some time and the officials were able to block IGST refunds of Rs 226 crore in these cases so far,” it said.

The matter is under further investigation, it added.

The 62 Customs brokers were placed in three categories based on the extent of their linkage with the non-existent or untraceable exporters.

According to the CBIC, all these suspended Customs brokers cannot transact business anymore. An alert for 100 per cent examination of all import consignments have been inserted considering the likelihood of malpractice in imports as well by the doubtful Customs brokers, as per the board.

Customs brokers are governed by Section 146 of the Customs Act, 1962 and the Customs Broker Licensing Regulations (CBLR), 2018. They are under legal obligation as per Regulation 10 of the CBLR to verify correctness of IEC, GSTIN, and identity of the client and functioning of the client at the declared address by using reliable, independent, authentic documents, data or information.

This requirement has been violated in the case of 1,431 non-traceable exporters by these Customs brokers, the CBIC said.