The post and customs administrations of India are making further progress with their plan to exchange advance electronic data (AED) on inbound and outbound postal items by 2020, according to the World Customs Organization (WCO).
WCO and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) last month reviewed the progress of the initiative and provided further assistance to India Post and Customs on their implementation of electronic advance data.
The WCO-UPU joint technical assistance mission aimed to strengthen the existing cooperation between Customs and Post and further enhance digital solutions for information exchange between them for effective risk-management and improved customs-postal clearance processes.
During the mission, experts from WCO and UPU guided over 50 participants from Customs and Post through all the steps and processes in initiating, establishing, testing and launching the EAD exchange mechanism, said WCO.
Legal and regulatory frameworks, cooperation arrangements, business processes, technical specifications and IT systems, as well as associated WCO and UPU instruments, standards, and tools were also examined and discussed.
The WCO and UPU experts carried out a thorough diagnostics of the progress of the project and reviewed ongoing preparedness, in particular the IT preparedness for the electronic interface between customs declaration systems (CDS) currently being tested by India Post and the Customs EDI system.
Currently, India is testing the CDS and exploring its interface with Customs EDI system and eventually with Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade-Indian Customs Single Window.
India Post has already been accredited as an authorized economic operator (AEO). Indian Customs and Post have acknowledged the need to enhance postal chain security through a harmonized implementation of the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards and the UPU Security Standards (S58 and S59). They also recognized the need to take tangible steps to enhance compliance with AEO requirements and to enjoy AEO benefits.
Based on the standards, tools and best practices, India Post and Customs have outlined a broad action plan for 2020 to exchange advance electronic data on inbound and outbound postal items, once the CDS goes into the full production phase and they start receiving advance electronic data from origin posts.