India imported paper and paper products worth over $1.5 billion in 2021. To boost domestic manufacturing and achieve self-reliance in paper production, the Indian government introduced the Paper Import Monitoring System (PIMS) in 2022.
In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about PIMS including its features, applicability, registration process, and step-by-step procedure to obtain a PIMS import license.
Table of Contents
What is the Paper Import Monitoring System (PIMS)?
The Paper Import Monitoring System or PIMS is an online portal and monitoring mechanism launched by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
It aims to digitize and streamline the process of importing paper into India. PIMS introduces stricter monitoring and regulations for paper imports to support the growth of domestic paper manufacturing.
Key Features of PIMS:
- Digital platform – PIMS functions through an online portal for paper importers to register and apply for licenses. This replaces the earlier manual processes.
- Importer registration – All importers need to register on the PIMS portal to obtain a unique PIMS Registration Number which is mandatory for applying for a license.
- Minimum Import Price – PIMS enforces a Minimum Import Price (MIP) for different types of paper based on weight and grade. This is to prevent unfair competition from imports.
- Import license – A PIMS import license with unique number is required for customs clearance of paper consignments. The license is generated online.
- Real-time tracking – PIMS allows real-time tracking of import data including volume, value, and customs alerts to monitor compliance.
- Easier compliance – Customs officials can now verify PIMS registration and licenses digitally through the portal for faster clearance.
- Data analysis – DGFT can analyze useful import trends and statistics through PIMS to take informed policy decisions.
Applicability of PIMS:
PIMS is currently applicable for imports of the following types of paper:
- Newsprint, in rolls or sheets
- Uncoated writing or printing paper for printing of educational textbooks
- Paper or paperboard used in the manufacture of cream containers (poly-coated/ laminated)
- Base paper for dairy products, food, and cosmetics
Any importer dealing with the above paper types needs to follow the PIMS registration and licensing procedure. The system is expected to expand to include more paper categories soon.
Obtaining a PIMS Registration Number:
Follow these steps for PIMS registration before importing paper to India:
Step 1: Visit the PIMS portal and click on ‘New Registration’. Fill in all essential details of the importer entity.
Step 2: Submit required documents like IEC code, PAN, GST certificates, etc.
Step 3: Pay the registration fee of Rs 500 online on the portal.
Step 4: The unique PIMS Registration Number will be generated once the application is approved.
Step 5: This number must be quoted in all future import applications.
How to Apply for a PIMS Import License:
Here is the step-by-step process for PIMS registered importers to obtain an import license:
Step 1: Login to the PIMS portal with your credentials and Registration Number.
Step 2: Fill the online application form for the import license. Provide necessary shipment and pricing details.
Step 3: Upload scanned copies of required documents including Purchase Order, Shipment Details, Payment Proof, etc.
Step 4: Submit the completed application online along with an application fee of Rs 500.
Step 5: The system will automatically generate a PIMS Import License Number if your application is found valid.
Step 6: Download the PIMS import license from the portal dashboard. Print 2 copies to present to customs.
The license will be valid for 75 days and a new application is required for every consignment. The import shipment must match the details submitted in the license application.
Benefits of PIMS:
- Enhances transparency in paper imports
- Helps monitor import volumes and compliance centrally
- Simplifies import procedures through online processing
- Analyzes useful data on imports for informed policymaking
- Supports growth of domestic paper industry
- Achieves self-reliance in paper manufacturing
By regulating paper imports into India, PIMS aims to boost local production and create a self-reliant paper industry. Paper importers must register on the portal and obtain the mandatory PIMS license for hassle-free customs clearance.
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