NEW DELHI: Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders are gearing up to comply with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, which is likely to be implemented from July 1, 2017. Accordingly, Noida Customs House Agents Association (NCHAA), one of the 28 members of the Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India (FFFAI), is planning to organise a Seminars for its members and trade associates after the meeting of GST Council, scheduled for May 18-19 in Srinagar.
“As far as preparedness is concerned it is not only the Logistic sector, I think each sector is prepared or getting prepared for implementation of GST. The logistics sector especially the international players in Freight Forwarding and Custom Brokers have challenges which would bother for some time. However since we as an industry rejig ourselves in adapting the changes fastest ever, therefore our challenges would be very temporary,” said Mr S Ramakrishna, President, Noida Customs House Agents’ Association and Vice Chairman, FFFAI on the recent development on GST and preparedness of Freight Forwarders & Customs Brokers.
Meanwhile, FFFAI along with other associations of logistics industry have joined together in educating the practicality of the GST to their members in all 28 locations through local associations. According to Mr Ramakrishna, now that all rules and regulations related to GST are almost clear, with the help of professional and Lawyers FFFAI and its member associations are able to dwell upon the intricacies and nuances of GST.
“Noida Association would also be taking similar efforts in organising such seminars locally as well. We are awaiting the Decision of the GST Council meeting scheduled for May 18-19 in Srinagar on the rate structure for both goods and services, which we will cover in our seminars and meetings conclusively in all spheres,” shared Mr Ramakrishna.
On expectations from GST Council the FFFAI Vice Chairman said, “As logisticians our only expectation from the Government of India is smooth transition both at the Central level and State level. The first stage of Migration did have challenges not mapping the entire indirect tax department like Central Excise, VAT etc., however on sending the messages to their help desk did resolve quite a bit of issues. On the whole I think we as an industry have to give right information as well as problems in the right perspective to the authorities, which is important to resolve the issues.”
According to Mr Ramakrishna, major benefit would be the smoother credit flow and likely withering away the challenges related to Service Tax. He however, highlighted the following challenges that need attention of the GST Council.
a) E- Token for the vehicles especially from freight forwarding industry perspective, where the containers or goods are offloaded at the premises of the Export-Import trade; the dropping of the containers would be at empty yard would be a challenge
b) In the case of closer proximity States (like NCR) where the operation is managed from one State (like Delhi) with fixed establishment but work is done at other State (like Haryana, UP etc) without any establishment, a Custom Broker will likely to face challenges from other States
c) Export Freight paid to Indian registered shipping companies & Airlines for the goods that are exported