Update on India Regulatory Changes – Sea Cargo Manifest and Transhipment Regulations effective date updated to 15 April 2021

Updated April 7, 2021 - The effective date of the Sea Cargo Manifest and Trans-shipment Regulations 2018 has been updated to 15 April 2021

As testing of the system will continue for some more time, the existing IGM (Import General Manifest) & EGM (Export General Manifest) process will continue even after 1st Aug, 2020 & will run parallel with SCMTR until further notice. For more information, click here.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs – CBIT vide notification No. 17 / 2019 – Customs (N.T) dated 27th Feb 2019 for Sea Cargo Manifest and Transhipment Regulations (SCMT), have made changes in the regulation for filing of Sea Cargo Manifest for all Cargo arriving on vessels calling and departing India. The implementation date of SCMTR will be 15 April 2021.

The key highlight of the new revised regulation specifies that it is compulsory and mandatory for the Shipping Line, Importer, Exporter and other custodians of cargo to comply with the regulation by strictly adhering to the defined timeline for filing of all cargo arriving and departing any Indian port.

[This rule is applicable for all cargo discharging, loading, transhipping and going via (FROB – Freight Remain on Board) Indian Port.]

Arrival Manifest: Import Manifest has to be submitted to Indian customs prior to the departure of the vessel from the last foreign port.

Departure Manifest: Export manifest has to be submitted to Indian customs prior to departure of the vessel from any Port of Loading in India.

To adhere to these timelines we need your support to submit the Shipping instructions within the timeline along with the below-mentioned details well in advance of manifest submission.

Details required on Shipping Instructions are:

  • 6 Digits HS (Harmonized) Code and HS Code wise cargo description updating in Shipping Instructions (SI).
  • IEC (Import and Export Code) of consignee
  • Pan Number of Notify Party (If Notify Party is from India)


Clarity is still sought from Customs on certain requirements. We will keep you informed of the development in this matter once further information is available.

Non-compliance of the above specifications can lead to cargo/containers not being loaded and/or issuance of BL may be withheld. All costs and consequences in this regards will be on account of the shipper/consignee (Customer).

Transitional Provision update: 

15. Transitional provisions. –

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in regulations 4, 5 and 7, the authorised carrier may deliver the cargo declaration in Form-VIA or Form-VIB and Form-VIIA or Form-VIIB or arrival and departure manifest in Form-VIII or FormVIIIA, for the period of forty-five days from the date of commencement of these regulations.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in these regulations, the authorised sea carrier shall continue to deliver the cargo declaration in Form III of the Import Manifest (Vessels) Regulations, 1971 and Form I of the Export Manifest (Vessels) Regulations, 1976, in the manner as was applicable before the commencement of these regulations, till 1st November, 2019.”;

Sources: Indian Ministry of Finance, BDP International, Indian Customs National Trade Portal