Customs issues notification for international courier operations at Tiruchi airport

Airports Authority of India to be custodian of courier terminal

At long last, international express courier shipments are poised to take off at the Tiruchi international airport soon with the Customs authorities here issuing a notification.

The notification issued by the Commissioner of Customs (Preventive), Tiruchi, on January 4 has paved the way for the launch of the much delayed international courier operations at the non-metro Tiruchi airport.

As per the Customs notification, the Airports Authority of India, Tiruchi, will be custodian of the International Express Courier Cargo Terminal where loading, handling, storage and transhipment of courier consignments would be done in accordance with the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962. The authorities have also notified the Customs area in respect of the International Express Courier Cargo Service Terminal at the airport for handling courier goods.

The custodianship has been granted for a period of five years from the date of issue of the notification subject to a set of conditions stipulated. The notification has laid down the condition that only customs authorised courier agency could perform various activities on the premises for import, export or transhipment in accordance with the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962.

The notification has also specified that the custodian should provide office space for customs officers for performing the duty as mutually agreed besides making arrangements for sanitary facility, water supply and other facilities for officers who work in the international express courier cargo terminal. The custodian was also required to provide increase in space and infrastructure as and when requisitioned by the Customs, another condition said. Security of the approved premises would be the responsibility of the custodian subject to the prior approval of the Commissioner of Customs. The cost of the security would have to be borne by the custodian, the notification further stated.

Tiruchi Airport Director S. Dharmaraj said all infrastructure for international courier operations were ready. “We have applied for the security clearance to the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security for the courier complex”, he added.

Customs authorities here said the customs officials would only be involved in clearance of the courier goods. As regards manpower, the authorities said the courier terminal would be provided with an Assistant Commissioner of Customs, a Customs Superintendent and a Customs Inspector adding that depending on the day-to-day requirement and workload, they would take a call on increasing the manpower.

The international courier operations would yield revenue for Tiruchi airport as well as Tiruchi Customs Commissionerate, says S.A. Sayeed, president, Express Courier Operators Association, Tiruchi. Further, public could send gift items to their loved ones abroad through courier from Tiruchi instead of dispatching them through Chennai and Bengaluru airports, he further said.

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