The pharma industry has raised concerns that India is facing duplication of KYC work at each port and this is causing a delay in the shipping of pharma consignment. Therefore, the industry has requested the Directorate General of Systems to establish a centralised depository system and promote ease of doing business.
Presently, Indian Customs and CBIC have enabled Electronic data interchange (EDI) at all ports and Customs offices and exporters are free to export from any port of India. However, they need to register with the customs authority for the first time exporter KYC when they make their first export. Even if one has been exporting for years, as soon as an exporter uses a new port (Sea/ Air), he/she needs to resubmit the same KYC documents.
Sandeep Modi, Secretary and Director, Federation of Pharmaceuticals and Allied Product Merchant Exporters (FPME) and Director, Infugen Pharma, highlights, “As merchant exporters, we source goods all over from India. Many times orders are urgent for life-saving drugs and if that drug is available at the nearest airport, say Delhi or Chennai for the first time we have to register. It takes three to four days for the registration, which delays shipment. When we have single GST registration with IEC, it makes no sense to duplicate work which causes delays.”
He said, “Resubmission of KYC at a new port each time is duplication work for an exporter, customs officials and all other teams who are backed with the system. Therefore, we urge to have a centralised depository system where, once KYC approved at one port for an exporter, it should be accessible to any port official and customs official from the said database. Also, if it is mapped to the IEC number itself than as one IEC, it is accepted across the country and data can become accessible all over India.”
Nipun Jain, Chairman, Small and Medium Pharma Manufacturers Association (SMPMA) stated that the KYC requirements on each port amount to avoidable harassment. He said that the association has requested the Directorate General of Systems to establish a centralised system wherein the exporters need to submit the KYC only once. This way, the system could be streamlined and hassle-free.”