Directions Regarding Raids on Godowns and Warehouses

Directions Regarding Raids on Godowns and Warehouses

Directions Regarding Raids on Godowns and Warehouses: Earlier I am directed to refer to the subject cited above and to state that complaints have been received in the Board that the field formations of Customs raid the godowns/warehouses situated within municipal limits of different cities during the wee hours in the absence of the Owners and the recovered goods are transported to the stateware houses without proper inventory.

However, when the importers/owners present the import documents justifying the legal import of such goods, the goods are released to the lawful owners/importers but as per the complaints, significantly less quantities are handed over to the lawful owners/importers.

Therefore, besides fulfilment of the legal provisions as stipulated under the Customs Act, 1969, the following SOP shall be followed by the concerned field formations of Customs in letter and spirit for raiding the godovvns/warehouses:

The raids on warehouses/godowns shall be made during the day time and such raids shall be avoided during the night time except in the cases, where the owner or his representative is available.

In case, the owner or his representative is not available at such premises, the same shall be sealed and the Customs staff may be deployed to avoid any removal of the goods from such warehouse/godown.

The owner or his representative should be provided with an opportunity to provide documents justifying the legal import/possession of the goods.

iii. In case, the goods are detained, the inventory should be made in the presence of the owner
or his representative and independent witnesses.

In case, the goods are to be returned, the same shall be returned as per the inventory made at the time of detention. On production of legal documents justifying import or legal possession of goods, the concerned Collector shall ensure that the full quantity of the detained goods is being handed over to the owner or his representative.

In case, where there is a fear that goods shall be removed or some law and order situation shall be created, if raid is delayed till the day time, approval shall be taken from the concerned Chief Collector of Customs or the Director General of I&I-C case may be to raid the premises during the night.

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