The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on June 15, 2023, released the National Time Release Study (NTRS) 2023 report. Time Release Study (TRS) as a performance measurement tool aims to present a quantitative measure of the cargo release time, defined as the time taken from the arrival of the cargo at the Customs station to its out-of-charge for domestic clearance in case of imports and arrival of the cargo at the Customs station to the eventual departure of the carrier in case of exports.
Findings of NTRS 2023 reaffirms the 3-fold ‘Path to promptness’ comprising advance filing of import documents enabling pre-arrival processing, risk-based facilitation of cargo and benefits of trusted client programme – Authorised Economic Operators. Cargoes wherein all the three features under the Path to Promptness are combined, achieve the NTFAP release time target across all port categories.
Further, in line with the high priority accorded by Government of India on export promotion, NTRS 2023 has placed much greater focus on measurement of export release time. NTRS 2023 recognises the distinction between regulatory clearance (also referred as customs release), which gets completed with the grant of Let Export Order (LEO) and the wider aspect of physical clearance which occurs on completion of logistics processes with departure of the carrier with the goods.
NTRS 2023 presents port-category-wise average release time for the current year, based on the sample period of January 1-7, 2023 (both days included), comparing the same to the performance during the corresponding periods of 2021 and 2022 to, inter alia,
• assess the progress made toward the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan targets;
• identify the impact of various trade facilitative initiatives, notably “Path to Promptness”; and
• identify the challenges to a more expeditious reduction in release time.