To implement the land mark decision taken at a recently held PTFC (Permanent Trade Facilitation Committee) meeting, Delhi International Airport (DIAL) in collaboration with Delhi Customs Brokers Association (DCBA) on June 1, 2020 launched paperless e-Gate Pass with QR coding at their cargo terminals in IGI Airport in New Delhi. Introducing of e-Gate Pass has been the first such facility in India and a long pending demand from Customs Brokers, Freight Forwarders and other stakeholders in this region.
The concept of paperless and contactless is the vision initiated by the Chairman, CBIC. Jointly initiated by DCBA and DIAL Cargo, the e-Gate Pass concept received tremendous appreciation and support from Customs apart from terminal operators (Celebi and DCSC) and other stakeholders for fast implementation, in view of the exigency owing to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In the recently held PTFC meeting it was decided that the e-Gate pass facility would be open to all stake holders effective July 1 as an optional service and effective July 15 it will be made compulsory.
Formally launched by the Chief Commissioner of Customs through virtual inauguration, the event was also participated by Principal Commissioner of Customs, DCBA office bearers, its managing committee members, Ms Vandana Aggarwal (Senior Economic Advisor, MoCA), DIAL cargo officials and terminal operators.
The e-Gate Pass facility for Import cargo delivery will not only help in ensuring social distancing by reducing human contact at the terminals, but will also expedite the process and save time. The move has been highly appreciated by the Customs and other stakeholders.
The airlines, consolidators or freight forwarders will now upload the scanned copy of Master Airway Bill/ House Airway Bill in the custodian system. The Bill of Entry (BoE) and Out of Charge (OoC) is being transmitted electronically by the Customs to the custodian system. With these details, the Custom broker agent will submit the request for issuance of E-gate pass for the delivery of goods and will generate the QR code at his office itself after due verification by the Cargo terminal operator, saving time and resources.
Earlier, the cargo clearing agents had to go through various documentation processes and stand in queues at designated counters at the cargo terminal for issuance of gate pass.
Commenting on the pioneering launch Mr S. Ramakrishna, President of Delhi Custom Brokers Association (DCBA) maintained that digitization is need of the hour and the entire committee of the association in one of the meeting with DIAL conceptualized the idea, when there was no pandemic. “We are proud and happy to see the very successful outcome of our endeavor, i.e implementation of e-gate pass, when we need it the most. The collaborative efforts would go long way,” he shared.
“Most importantly all stake holders have to play their role properly. The Airlines and Consol Agents have to upload the AWB and their Delivery orders correctly on the AFMS system. The Custom Brokers would be generating the gate pass from their office. The Custodian would be generating the QR code with the Gate pass. This have been tested and tried,” Mr Ramakrishna pointed out.
He also reiterated that the Principal Commissioner of Customs has been a great support for this initiative. “DCBA thank the entire Customs, Custodians, DIAL, and volunteers of DCBA who tested the software. We do hope this would of immense help to all concerned,” the DCBA President added.
Pondering on the development Ms Vandana Aggarwal, said that the introduction of e-Gate Pass is a timely stitch which will help to strengthen the digitisation of the supply chain at the airport. After 100% EDI mode and eAWB acceptance, e-Gate Pass is a natural progression in furtherance of the vision of digitalisation of the supply chain processes initiated by all cargo stakeholders in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
According to Ms Aggarwal, it is also vital for the collaborative approach being adopted between the Customs Brokers/Agents and the Custodian/Airport. E-Gate Pass will help optimise on timely delivery of services by air cargo community while adhering to the social distancing norms which are so essential in the present circumstances.
“The Ministry of Civil Aviation compliments DIAL and the Customs Brokers and other stakeholders and looks forward to seeing each gateway airport in India become an international hub in the fullest sense of the term. Developing the digital world class facilities with the redistribution centre – infrastructure and processes – would be a game-changer. I wish eGate Pass all the success,” she maintained.
“DIAL has always been committed in introduction and use of new technologies at its passenger and Cargo terminals at the airport. This new paperless and contactless E-gate pass facility is the need of hour in this pandemic situation, aimed towards minimizing human interface at the cargo terminals. This will not only bring more efficiency in the process but also reduce paperwork strengthening DIAL’s commitment in taking measures to save the environment. We would like to thank all the stakeholders for their collaboration, enthusiasm and making Delhi as the first airport in the country in introducing this facility,” a DIAL Spokesperson.
According to Mr Burak Kurt, CEO, Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal Management, the launch of e-Gate Pass is a path breaking initiative. “We have been committed to ensuring paperless transactions at our terminal and are excited to be a part of this prime initiative. We appreciate the concerted efforts of the key stake holders viz the Customs, DIAL and DCBA that ensured effective collaboration and timely launch of this trend setting initiative of issuance of e-Gate Pass,” he said.
Mr Avinash Razdan, CEO, DCSC, it is heartening to note that IGI Airport Delhi is pioneering paperless delivery and replacing the paper Gate Pass with a QR Coded e-Gate pass. “It goes to the credit of the officers of Delhi Airport Customs of being the prime movers of this initiative. We are all proud of being a part of this historical milestone in achieving e-processing of the exim cargo. I also appreciate the relentless efforts of the DCBA leadership in driving this mission and bringing it to reality,” he added.
The launch of e-Gate Pass has been praised by trade practitioners as well. “We appreciate the efforts of DCBA along with custodian to make the e-Gate Passes online. We have experienced this new facility as very convenient and user friendly. It will be another step towards making custom clearance paperless, speedy and cost effective. To make this facility more beneficial and successful to trade we suggest timely submission of documents by the related stakeholders like airline, forwarders and custodian,” viewed Mr Sanjeev Jain from trade.
Mr Bhim Singh Jain, Honorary Treasurer, DCBA was of the view that in the pandemic condition such an effort is appreciable. This would reduce the influx of people at the gate pass location.
“We have tried this system it worked well. Only thing is that the Consol Agents or the Airline should upload the documents on their own which is more authentic. Though we are told that we can also upload but the owner of the document is the airline of consol agent. They must upload,” added Mr Rajbir Singh, MC member, DCBA.
Mr P S Atree, immediate Past President DCBA and Vice Chairman, FFFAI observed that e-Gate Pass would go a long way. The association and custodians should work further on this to come out with more such initiatives to help the fraternity members.
“The e-Gate Pass and Auto Clearance Compliance with specific customs requirements is one of the most appreciated aspects of Customs Clearance for All Customs Brokers and Trade,” opined Mr Vikrant Gogia, MC member, DCBA.