Training of Customs Officials at RCED (CSIR-CLRI)

Training of Customs Officials

Dr. Dipankar Chaudhuri, Chief Scientist and Head, RCED (CSIR-CLRI), Kolkata, explaining a point to the customs officials

Training of Customs Officials

A moment from the demonstration session. Mrs. Anusha Mediconda examining a piece of leather under microscope.

Training of Customs Officials

Mr. Nayan Sarkar, Technical Officer, RCED (CSIR-CLRI), Kolkata in a theory session. Officers attending the session (from the left) are Mr. Suryadipt Kumar Singh, Mr. Anil Verma and Mr. Devendra Kumar.

Training of Customs Officials

A photo of the factory visit by the team under the guidance of Mr. Nayan Sarkar (Technical Officer,CSIR-CLRI) . Customs officers seen in the photo (from the left) are Mr. Lalit Kishor Merdwal, Mr. Harsh Mittal, and Mrs. Anusha Mediconda.

Training of Customs Officials

Dr. Sandipan Chatterjee, Scientist, RCED (CSIR-CLRI), Kolkata demonstrating the TLC technique. The Officers seen in the photo (from the right) are Mr. Vikki Kumar, Mr. Vishal Kumar (face blocked) and Mr. Manish

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Leather industry in India is still largely export dependent. The industry not only exports leather and leather products, it also imports a variety of inputs including hides, skins and finished leather in compliance with the country’s foreign trade norms. It is often said that complicated foreign trade procedure and inordinate delay in clearing the consignments is one of the important reasons why the country is losing out to its competitors in leather trade. Therefore, if the country has to facilitate the foreign trade of leather and leather products significantly, it has to put in place a system to clear promptly all consignments which satisfy the norms while bringing meticulously under scanner all those that show deviation. One of the major impediments that block speedy clearance of consignments at port and country border is lack of adequate number of Customs officers having specialized knowledge in leather, leather products and components.  Therefore, Indian Customs authority, which is responsible for monitoring the foreign trade and checking the level of compliance with foreign trade norms, felt the need to undertake capacity building exercise for its people to enable them to make quick decisions in respect of import-export consignments.  

As a part of the capacity building exercise to enable its officers to distinguish crust from finished leather and make distinction between leather and non-leather articles clearly, quickly and confidently to achieve the larger goal of prompt clearance of export-import consignments, the Customs Office at Air Cargo Complex of NSCBI Airport nominated ten officers to receive training at RCED(CSIR-CLRI), Kolkata.  The Kolkata office of CSIR-CLRI designed a special programme titled‘Examination of Finished Leather & Products for Export’ for the Customs officers. It was a 4-day training programme having a blend of theory and practice supplemented by plant visit, discussion and self-study.  The programme covered a number of key areas like i) Microstructure of different hides and skins, their commonalities and distinctive features, ii)Leather making operations and their impact on leather properties and physical appearance, iii)Finishes of various types and their distinctive features and classification. iv)Characteristics of various types of finished leather and their assessment in the light of finish leather certification norms, v)Standard protocols for physical & chemical testing needed for finish leather certification, vi) Leather non leather distinction and guidelines for ascertainment of leather product in India and abroad, and vii)Over view of Indian leather industry, its export dependency, economic importance, growth potential, development constraints and expectations such as simpler export procedure and faster customs clearance, etc. which can place this region and the country at par with the competing regions. 

The programme commenced on 17th Feb, 2017 and it came to an end on 06th Mar, 2017. During the programme the Customs officers were taken to three leather making units in CLC for visit. The officers, who took keen interest in learning, went around the units, watched the on-going operations and interacted with the unit managers/proprietors to get a comprehensive view of leather making processes. The lecture-discussion and demonstrations that formed an important part of the programme were held at RCED, Kolkata Office. It was observed during and after the programme that the officers could identify the animal species and distinguish finished leather from the crust leathers independently and with confidence. They also became very familiar with the prevailing country norms for assessment of finished leather and leather articles. At the end of the programme feedback was collected. In the feedback the officers expressed their full satisfaction over the training course.  

This initiative for capacity building taken by the Customs authority to achieve faster clearance of all export-import consignments is a welcome move for the exporters in this region and the trade in general. Appropriate and timely support from CSIR-CLRI to enable the Customs authority to achieve its goal will be a great boost. It is hoped that this programme will help the regulatory authority achieve the stated goal and facilitate the export trade from this region in a very significant manner.

For Further Information Please Contact

Dr. Dipankar Chaudhuri
Scientist-in-Charge 
CSIR-Central Leather Research Institute Regional Centre,
3/1C, Mathewartola Road
Kolkata 700046
Tel: 033-23292381 
Email: clri.dipankar@gmail.com, dipankar@clri.res.in