Following a directive from the Prime Minister’s Office, round-the-clock customs clearance will begin at Chennai sea port and airport from September 1.

The directive was issued by the PMO on August 7 to facilitate trade. The operations would be carried out on a pilot basis for four months at select four airports and four sea ports in the country, of which Chennai featured in both the sectors.

Even though the Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) operated on 24-hour basis, Customs clearance was carried out from 9.45 a.m. to 5.45 p.m. and exporters were forced to go to Central Warehousing Corporation Madhavaram as it had round-the-clock clearance facility.

The proposed move would facilitate Bills of Entry where no examination and assessment is required; and factory stuffed export containers, export consignment covered by free shipping bills and Central Excise sealed containers.