Handset makers seek FM’s intervention for urgent release of Chinese cargo


NEW DELHI: The mobile phone manufacturing industry has urged the Finance Ministry to urgently intervene in the matter of stalled custom clearance of Chinese imports and immediately stop 100% examination at ports and airports.

In a letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, dated July 26, the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) said, the supply chain impediments have hit the industry which “is already in very deep distress having lost production of over Rs 40,000 crores and has only recovered to less than 40% of normalcy.”

ICEA, which represents the likes of Apple, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and contract manufacturer Foxconn pointed that even goods already cleared and loaded in trucks for transport to the users’ warehouse are being recalled and examined.

“Opening up finished products for full examination will soil them, making it impossible to sell in the market leading to millions of dollars of losses, a shortage in the market and spook large foreign investors,” Pankaj Mohindroo, Chairman, ICEA said.

Normally, goods are cleared automatically without examination for regular importers recognised under AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) system. The RMS computer software gives auto clearance with delivery order for users to collect the goods directly from the port after auto payment of duty, the auto route is a faceless 24 x 7 clearance system under the “ease of doing business” initiative of the Government, the letter said.

The India-wide 100% physical inspection of Chinese imports, which has been leading to delays in the release of cargo, was sparked by an IT system-based alert, ET had reported. All ports, including Nhava Sheva, Mumbai and Kolkata, as well as airports have initiated physical checks since Monday midnight. Chennai port was the first to start inspecting all Chinese cargo and other ports followed suit.

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