Identity verification now mandatory for new importers and exporters

Identity verification now mandatory for new importers and exporters

The centre has made identity verification such as incorporation documents, Aadhaar, PAN, physical verification of place of business mandatory for new importers, exporters, and customs brokers.

The Customs (Verification of Identity and Compliance) Regulations 2021 also gives customs authorities power to undertake identity verification of existing importers, exporters, and customs brokers. The entity selected for verification would have to furnish to the customs authorities documents or information on the common portal within 15 days of such intimation of selection.

These include documents of incorporation, documents evidencing authorised signatories' appointment, Permanent Account Number (PAN), GST identification number, bank statement, income tax return, among others, evidencing the person's financial standing.

Following this, customs authorities would undertake a physical verification of the address provided in the principal place of business within 45 days from the date of submission of the documents; and evaluate the person's financial standing.

Similar provisions have been introduced under the customs law, whereby the new importers and exporters will have to undergo identity verification, including verification of incorporation documents, Aadhaar, PAN, and the physical verification of the place of business. In case any default is discovered, clearance of goods, drawbacks, and refunds can be suspended.

Customs authorities have also been granted the power to undertake this identity verification for existing players as well.

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