Handset makers can save costs due to GST-customs portal integration

NEW DELHI: Mobile phone makers can save custom compliance costs on imports of devices and components as the government has linked two mammoth databases by integrating GST portal with the customs portal.

The data uploaded for bills of entry filed up to August 6, 2020 by SEZ (special economic zone) units “has been done on a trial basis to give a feel of the functionality and to get feedback from the taxpayers on the same,” a notification issued by the ministry of finance dated August 27 said.

“ICEA welcomes linkage of customs portal for auto upload of import IGST for set-off against domestic GST, reform will cut compliance burden and boost ease of doing business,” industry body India Cellular and Electronic Association (ICEA) said in a statement on Thursday.

ICEA represents most global and Indian manufacturers including Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, Apple, contract manufacturer Foxconn, Lava, Micromax and Karbonn.

Indian Customs Electronic Gateway (ICEGATE), the national portal of Indian customs provides e-filing services to the traders, cargo carriers and other trading partners.

This means that the IGST (tax on inter-State transfer of goods) on imports will be auto-populated in GSTR-2A, which will in turn help the industry to process their GST refunds or take input tax credit automatically.

“This will save the industry huge data entry costs of manually filling up the IGST paid on imports,” ICEA said.

Sustaining this reform will also drive new investments including overseas investment, said Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman, ICEA.

The body, back in June had recommended the aforesaid provision to the ministry for ensuring ease of transactions for importers.

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