• Bribe Fighter
  • 10 years ago

We got relocated to Kolkata from USA and shipped our household goods…

Reported on October 9, 2014 from Kolkata , West Bengal  ι Report #44846

We got relocated to Kolkata from USA and shipped our household goods from USA to Kolkata port. After being notified by the shipper, we contacted an authorized customs agent (as we had no experience of filling in all the forms for clearance of goods) to guide us and process the paperwork. As we chose to pay only the agent fee, said a big NO to the additional fee recommended by the agent (the bribe payable in custom houses), we were asked by the agent to personally go to the customs house and manage clearance of the file from desk to desk. In customs house, we (me and my wife) spent the whole day running from desk to desk/patiently waiting for the officer clearing the file without showing any sign of paying anything to anyone. Next day, we even personally went to the port/its filthy godown to identify our goods, but did not pay anything except few hundreds to laborers/porters. My take is, it is primarily the middlemen, be it customs agents/tax consultants/driving schoosl/passport agents who induce the bribe as they have a vested interest in the whole process. Second, stand firm to your principle and be patient and never try to break the queue. I truly appreciate the support given by the PRO of Kolkata customs and found everything just and fair. The only suggestion is, why can't we have a single window clearance system and make it easy for the people ? why can't we eliminate the need of an agent ?

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