KP Sharma

To simplify and modernise customs procedures and facilitate legitimate trade with all the procedures across the borders, the Department of Revenue and Customs (DRC) will implement an electronic Customs Management System (eCMS) across the country in the fourth quarter of 2023.

eCMS is a web-based application that is accessible to all citizens and business units, which involves customs agents as trade brokers, importers, exporters, freight forwarders, and private citizens through the internet.

According to the finance ministry, the eCMS is currently in the development stage.

The implementation of this system is expected to ease the clearance procedures at the point of entry and exit, reduce turnaround time as customs clearance and payment would be done online.

According to the finance ministry, eCMS is expected to increase the collection of duties and taxes while minimising fraud.

“The system has features that will help DRC analyze and process data from within the system as well as from participants in other integrated systems,” said the ministry.

Once the system is implemented, DRC will be able to conduct smarter investigations and risk management, thereby improving fraud detection,   conducting more targeted enforcement, and increasing revenue collection.

It is further expected to improve transparency and accountability among the parties involved in facilitating the trade at the entry and exit points.

eCMS will be integrated with the business licensing system and Bhutan trade financial network to ensure effective management of the system.

As per the notification from DRC on April 3, individuals and business entities who wish to export, import, or transit goods across the border are required to submit their declaration electronically through eCMS.

The online declaration can be done by the applicants themselves or through the authorised clearing and forwarding agent.

The system would be implemented at the entry and exit points in Phuentsholing, Gelephu, Samtse, Samdrupjongkhar, and Paro International Airport.