Custom House Agent (CHA)

Custom House Agent (CHA) is a person who is licensed to act as an agent for transaction of any business to the entry of import and export of goods such as hot rolled steel coil at any customs station. A CHA manages detailed and up-to-date accounts. CHA can be any person who holds a valid license which is issued by commissioner of Customs under section 146 of the Custom Act 1962. CHA license can be temporary or permanent. Basically, CHA is a person who has acquired a license to act as an agent for transaction of any business related to transportation or import/export of any goods at any custom station. Mostly, the businesses that import or export don’t knowledge about rules and regulations of the government, thus an agent is appointed to act on their behalf. All duties performed by the CHA are administered by a government body known as “Customs House Agents Licensing Regulations”.

Eligibility Criteria: To be eligible to become a custom house agent, a candidate should:

  • Graduated from a recognized university.
  • Contain a pass in form ‘G’ as an employee of the firm or company.
  • have 3 years experience in customs - clearance work. This experience must be at least a set amount of time. In most of the cases it is about 3 years but a commissioner may reduce this to one year.
  • If there are more candidate than licenses, the commissioner selects by seniority of holding a G pass.

Types of License

Regular: Regular License is non-transferable. Regular license is valid upto 5 years. This license may be renewed by an application which is made by commissioner of the license before the expiry of the validity period. 3000 rupees fees is required for renewal of the license. A temporary license holder is eligible to get a regular license on a condition that the holder must be qualified in the written as well as in oral examination. An applicant must qualify the examination within a period of two years with maximum of three chances from the issuing of temporary license. After qualifying examination, he can apply to the commissioner in the prescribed form. He also required to pay the prescribed fees of 5000 rupees. And also required to execute a bond in the prescribed form. An applicant must satisfy following conditions to issuing regular license:

  • Clearance of value of cargo or quantity as a holder of temporary license confirming to the norms prescribed by the commissioner.
  • Delay in the clearance of goods or in the payment of duty and complaints of misconduct including non compliance of any of the obligations of a Custom House Agent.

Temporary: Temporary license is about 1 year. For this an applicant must execute a bond on forms D and E. It is transferrable. Temporary License is issued by commissioner of customs in the month of january every year with specifying last date for receiving the applications. For issuing a temporary license an applicant must satisfy following conditions:

  • An applicant must be an employee of a valid Custom House Agent.
  • He/She have a permanent identity card and have experience not less than one year of work relating to clearance of goods through the Customs in the capacity of holder of a permanent pass.
  • An applicant also required to have bank guarantee or national saving certificate in the name of the commissioner of customs with 25000 rupees for carrying out business at customs stations.

Temporary License is granted for a period of one year. This period can be extended by another six months also. This extension is granted for giving the third chance for qualifying in the examination.

Qualification for License

If somebody has temporary license, they have around one year to become a regular license holder. It is done by passing an examination, which is held twice a year. If a candidate could not pass the examination by the end of their first year, they may be granted one year or six month extension to for further attempts. This extension allowed for those candidate who carry a set level of work during their time as a temporary license holder. Maximum three attempts allowed to a candidate for passing the examination.

Duties and Responsibilities of CHA

  • A CHA can clear all the import and export goods against the approval from the principle and is also required to produce the authorization letter when asked by commissioner.
  • A CHA is supposed to pay all the duties and taxes money to government that he has received from the client.
  • A CHA should maintain all the transactions up-to-date and also maintainsexport documents such as shipping bills, bills of entry etc.