Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Procedure of Clearance By Post in India

Procedure of Clearance By Post

                                      POSTAL APPRAISING SECTION (PAS) MUMBAI

 In the Foreign Post Office at Mumbai, two departments of the Central Government ie Postal Appraising Section Customs & Mumbai Foreign Post Office function side by side. The role of the Customs Postal Appraising Section Mumbai is to clear consignments that are received through the Postal Channel and are presented by the Mumbai Foreign Post Office (FPO) for Customs clearance. The Postal Appraising Section works from Monday to Saturday except on the second Saturday of each month. Deputy Commissioner of Customs is the in-charge of the Postal Appraising Section.

The Postal Appraising Section clears all  UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICES (USPS) packages  weighing under 30 Kgs. (whether insured or uninsured), Airmail, Sea Mail, and SURFACE AIR LIFTED (SAL) Mail.

The Office of the Postal Appraising Section is located at the Videsh Dak Bhavan, Ballard Estate  Near New Custom House Mumbai 400 001 .  The Office of the PAS may be contacted for any queries relating to Customs clearance of consignments that are received through the Postal Channel. The telephone/FAX number of the Customs Postal Appraising Section Mumbai is as below:-

Deputy Commissioner of Customs  in- charge Postal Appraising Section.

Tele/FAX-- 022- 2261 4585,


Mumbai Foreign Post Office has the jurisdiction over the post offices in the Maharashtra circle, Andhra Pradesh up to Hyderabad, Karnatka-Hubli andDharwad , Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Accordingly, consignments pertaining to the above said jurisdiction only; are Customs Cleared by Postal Appraising Section Mumbai.

The Import consignments are classified by the Mumbai Foreign Post Office into two categories viz. 
              1) Import Packets/ letters (consignments weighing less than 02 kgs).
        2) Import Parcels              (consignments weighing more than 02 Kgs).

Import consignments are received by the Postal Authorities in Bags. These bags are opened and parcels/packets are sorted out by the postal authorities. Only parcels/packets that pertain to the Mumbai F.P.O. Postal jurisdiction as mentioned above are retained at F.P.O for Custom clearance by Postal Appraising Section Mumbai.

Import parcels & Import Packets/ Letters are presented to the Postal Appraising Section by Mumbai Foreign Post Office for screeningsortingrespectively. These are the first stages of clearance. The Import parcels & Import Packets/ Letters parcels that are not cleared at the screening./ sortingstage are held back by the postal authorities who then present these parcels to the Customs for clearance, by way of Table Examination (Sheet Assessment)  which is the second stage of clearance.

 During the Table examination (Sheet assessment); the detained Parcels, and the Packets/ Letters that were held back by the postal authorities as mentioned above are examined by the Postal Appraising Section Mumbai at the examination table. At this stage of clearance , if the details such as  content of  Parcels/Packets/ Letters, nature , importability and  value of the goods are found to be in order , the Parcels & Packets/ Letters are released after proper assessment. The rate of duty and the total amount of duty is endorsed on the way bill.

At the Table examination (Sheet assessment), in either cases (ie Packets or Parcels /letters); consignments which are not being able to be assessed on the basis of the available documents/data viz., IEC, Invoice etc. or incomplete or vague description or there is suspected mis-declaration of value or contents, or both, or are subject to certain restrictions like No Objection Certificate from other agencies like Asstt. Drug Controller, Wild Life Regional Officer, Plant and Quarantine and Police   etc. or are restricted under other statutory requirement; are not cleared during the table examination, and are further detained. In all such cases, a call letter cum Show Cause Memo is issued to the consignee directing them to provide the necessary documents like invoice, payment details IEC etc…or to fulfill the conditions of the restrictions as the case may be. After the receipt of reply/ submission of relevant documents, fulfillment of any condition or obtaining required NOC as the case may be, the Parcels/ Packets/ Letters are released if otherwise in order.
Parcels /Packets/ Letters which are found to contain prohibited goods or goods that are in contravention to the laws and procedures for the time being in force, are further detained, and dealt with as per the law.

The present practice of assessment and clearance of goods at Postal Appraising Section Mumbai is carried out in the following manner:

a)   Goods which are meant for personal use are classified under CTH 98.04 and released on payment of duty as applicable.

b) Bonafide commercial samples and prototypes imported by post are exempted from Customs Duty, subject to a value limit of Rs. 10,000/- provided the samples are supplied free of cost. Importers having IEC code number can import commercial samples through post without payment of duty up to a value of Rs.1,00,000/- or 15 units in number within a period of 12 months.
Samples are cleared as per exemption notification No 154/94- Cusdated 13/07/94 .

c)   The goods for personal use sent as personal gift to the recipient, valued less than Rs 10,000/- (FOB) are cleared without payment of duty as per the Notification. 171/93-Cus dated 16.03.93.                                                 

All other goods, which are not classified under the category (a) (b) and (c) are assessed strictly as per Custom Tariff Act, 1975 existing Foreign Trade Policy and relevant Notification/ Circulars issued by the Board from time to time and it is ensured that the imports is in conformity with all other  Allied Acts and Rules.

There exits a procedure for Reassessment of the Customs duty levied. In case the consignee feels, that the goods require to be reassessed, the consignee should refrain from accepting the delivery of the consignment from the post office of delivery.  Instead, the consignee should send back the consignment to the Postal Appraising Section Mumbai through the Post Master of the delivery Office with a request for reassessment by the Customs. Reassessment of the duty is done on the strength of the documents available: unless physical examination is required.

If the consignee fails/refuses to take delivery of the consignment addressed to the consignee after it has been released by the Customs the consignment is returned to the PAS. Such abandoned/unclaimed consignments are then taken over by the Customs. The Customs thereafter will forward such consignments to the Customs warehouse after issuing a Show Cause Notice to the consignee asking the consignee to show cause why the   consignments should not be confiscated.

However if the consignee does not want to take the  delivery of the consignment addressed to the consignee either before or after it has been released by the Customs, the consignee may inform the PAS in writing,  to RETURN THE CONSIGNMENT BACK TO THE SENDER.

The Postal authorities being custodians of the Import parcels are at all times responsible for the safety, security, and handling and repacking of the contents of the consignments. Therefore, no claim for compensation on account of shortage, pilferage, improper handling, damage or defective packing lies with the Customs. The Postal authorities may be contacted for queries relating to the status of consignments at or Telephone number 022- 2261 1791.

Customs clearance of articles that are received through the Postal Channel is also carried out by the Airport Sorting Office (APSO), Air Cargo ComplexSahar Mumbai in a similar manner as mentioned above. The APSO clears all UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICES (USPS) packages weighing above 30 Kgs. (whether insured or uninsured), and all EXPRESS MAIL SERVICE (EMS) packages.

The APSO may be contacted for queries relating to Customs clearance at telephone numbers given below:-

Telephone nos. 022-2615 6125, 022-2615 6648, 022-2615 6703


  • The status of the consignment can be checked from the Postal Department website

  • For queries regarding pilferage, shortage, improper handling, damage or defective packing the Postal Department should be contacted.

  • For queries regarding Customs clearance the Postal Appraising Section Mumbai, or the Airport Sorting Office should be contacted.