India to boost import monitoring systems to check ‘below radar’ shipments

Friday, 09 April 2021 12:20:43 (GMT+3)   |   Kolkata

India’s Ministry of Commerce is strengthening import monitoring systems including the existing Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMS) in order to check “below the radar imports” and correlate imports with domestic manufacturing capacities, in a precursor to imposition of fresh trade remedial measures, a government official said on Friday, April 9.

The official said that data compiled by the ministry has revealed that every product category under import monitoring has ‘others’ as a section and that 80 percent of imports under 10 product categories come under the ‘others’ classification with a total value of $128 billion or 33 percent of total imports into the country.

Citing an example, he said that ministry scrutiny has revealed that in January 2020 and January 2021 97 percent of metal scrap imported into the country was disclosed as ‘other’, thereby falling outside the ambit of import monitoring systems.

To check imports outside the import monitoring system, the commerce ministry inter alia is planning to bring all products under Harmonized System (HS) Codes covering every product category in ferrous and non-ferrous metals, steel and engineering capital goods, electrical equipment, chemicals and plastics and plant and equipment.

Under the SIMS, all importers of iron and steel have to submit advance information online on payment of registration fees enabling the government to keep granular data on all inward shipments, in terms of product and category, the official said.

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