What is "Container Freight Station"(CFS)?
What is Inland Container Depot (ICD)?
What is the Procedure to Export Goods through ICD ?
What is the procedure to Import Goods through ICD ?
What is the procedure in case the Containers are to be stuffed in the Factory premises?


Q.1 What is Inland Container Depot (ICD)?


A The present trend in the international trade is containerization of cargo. The full benefits of containerization can be derived only when the containers are, permitted to be moved to points in close proximity to important industrial station so that the importers can get clearance of the imported goods at the nearest point to their factory/premise. The facility is helpful to the exporters as they can export the goods from the nearest point of their factory/premise in order to provide this facility some statutory conditions are to be fulfilled and necessary infrastructure provided.

To start with, the Government of India issued a notification under Section 7 of the Customs Act 1962 appointing a suitable place as inland container Depot for the unloading of the import goods and the loading of export goods or any class of such goods. After issue of such notification, the Commissioner of Customs having jurisdiction over that place issues a notification under Section 8 of the Customs Act, 1962 approving proper places in the ICD for the loading and unloading of the goods and also specify the limits of Customs area and post Customs Officers and staff to attend to work.




Q2. What is the procedure to Import Goods through ICD ?


A. The container movement is, generally operated by the Container Corporation of India. When the importers intend to import the goods through a particular ICD they should suitably advise the foreign suppliers so that the containers are manifested to that particular ICD. When such containers are landed in a gate way port, (Seaport) they are arranged to be transported to the ICD concerned by the Steamer agent through the Container Corporation of India or any other authorized agency, either by rail or road. Once the containers are received in the ICD, they are transported to the Container Freight Station where the importers have to file the Bill of Entry and other documents as they do in the case of clearance through gateway ports or Airports.




Q.3 What is the Procedure to Export Goods through ICD ?


A. The exporters may take the goods to the ICD/CFS and file the Shipping Bill and other documents. The goods are examined by the Customs Officers and they are stuffed into the containers and thereafter the containers are sealed. Such containers are transported to the Seaports (gate way ports) by the Container Corporation of India or any other authorised agency, either by rail or road, when the containers are loaded into the vessels (ships) for delivery of the same at the specified foreign port.

In the case of export through ICD, the exporters are requested to file two additional copies of Shipping Bills known as "Transference Copies" along with other documents as discussed. The rest of if the procedure is the same as in the case of exports through Customs Port/Airport.





Q.4 What is the procedure in case the Containers are to be stuffed in the Factory premises?


A. Whenever the exporters intend to stuff their export cargo into the container at their factory premises the exporters should requisition empty containers from steamer agents who normally supply the containers and also seek the permission of the Customs authorities to remove the empty containers from the port to their factory premises. This permission is necessary as the containers are generally of foreign origin and when they are allowed to be taken out from the customs area necessary precautions shall be taken by taking a Bond /Guarantee from the steamer agents concerned to ensure that the empty containers permitted to be taken out are brought back to the port/ICD. The exporters after obtaining the permission from the Customs authorities my take empty containers to their factory. The exporters should requisition the services of central excise officers’ in charge of the factory to examine the export goods and supervise loading into the container. The central excise officers examine the goods with reference to the export invoice etc., and permit the exporters to load their goods. After the loading is completed, the containers are sealed with the Central excise seal and the Export invoice and other connected documents are signed by the Central Excise Officers. A sample of the seal used to seal the container is forwarded to customs officers of the PORT/ICD along with the other signed documents. On receipt of the container and on presenting the shipping bill and other connected documents the customs officers may verify the seal and allow export if the Central Excise seal is found intact without further examination of the goods. However, if the seal on the container is found broken or tampered with or on a reasonable suspicion regarding the correctness of the value or quantity or quality of the goods in the container, the customs officers may re-examine the goods before allowing export.




Q.5 What is "Container Freight Station"(CFS)?


A For the purpose of examination, assessment of the containerized cargo, both import and export container freight Station (CFS) are set up . They are appointed as custodians of the imported goods by the Commissioner of Customs, under Section 45 of the Customs Act, 1962. The imported goods shall remain in the custody of such person as approved by the Commissioner of Customs until they are cleared for home consumption or are warehoused or are transshipped. The procedure to clear the imported goods for home consumption or warehousing or export goods is the same as discussed.