What Is e-SANCHIT: Simplifying Digital Document Submission in India

e-sanchit digital document submissiion

In the digital era, simplifying and streamlining document submissions for international trade has become a priority for many countries, including India. Enter e-SANCHIT, or electronically stored information regarding Cargo Handling and Inventory Control by Terminal operators, an initiative by the Indian Customs to digitise the process of document submission for import and export. Launched with the intent to enhance the ease of doing business, e-SANCHIT aims to reduce paperwork, minimise physical touchpoints, and expedite the clearance process at customs. This article will delve into what e-SANCHIT is, how it operates, its applications, safety considerations in India, and its broader implications for businesses and the logistics sector.

Demystifying What Is e-SANCHIT?

e-SANCHIT, an abbreviation for the Electronic System for Advance Submission of Cargo Information Through Inventory Control, represents a significant leap forward in India’s customs clearance process. It is an online platform that enables the electronic submission of supporting documents for imports and exports, allowing traders, freight forwarders, and other stakeholders to upload the necessary documents before the arrival or shipment of goods. The system aims to facilitate a paperless, efficient, and transparent process, reducing the time and cost associated with customs clearance. By eliminating the need for physical document submission, e-SANCHIT streamlines the verification process, enhances operational efficiency and contributes to a more environmentally friendly approach to trade documentation.

What Is the Process of Using e-SANCHIT?

The process of using e-SANCHIT involves several straightforward steps that are designed to be user-friendly and accessible. Users first need to register on the e-SANCHIT portal through the Indian Customs Electronic Gateway (ICEGATE), providing the necessary details to create an account. Once registered, users can log in to their account and begin the document upload process, which includes attaching digital copies of all required documents, such as invoices, packing lists, and certificates of origin.

Each uploaded document is assigned a unique Image Reference Number (IRN), which is used to reference the documents during customs clearance. The system automatically processes and verifies the documents, integrating them with the customs clearance process. Users can track the status of their submissions and receive notifications on any actions required, ensuring a smooth and continuous flow of information.

The Uses of e-SANCHIT

e-SANCHIT is leveraged for a multitude of purposes aimed at optimising the customs clearance process in India, making it an indispensable tool for importers, exporters, and logistics professionals. Primarily, it is utilised for the paperless submission of all key import and export documents, significantly reducing the time required for customs clearance. By enabling stakeholders to upload documents electronically prior to the arrival of goods, e-SANCHIT ensures faster processing at customs, thereby accelerating the overall supply chain flow.

Furthermore, e-SANCHIT acts as a centralised digital repository for trade documents. This feature not only facilitates easy access and retrieval of documents for compliance and verification purposes but also minimises the risks associated with the loss of physical paperwork. The platform enhances transparency in the customs clearance process, allowing traders to track the status of their document submissions and receive timely updates on any required actions, which aids in the more effective planning and execution of logistics operations.

Moreover, e-SANCHIT supports the integration with other digital platforms and government initiatives aimed at trade facilitation, creating a cohesive ecosystem for managing international trade transactions. This interconnectedness simplifies compliance with regulatory requirements, streamlines the documentation process, and promotes a more efficient, transparent, and user-friendly approach to customs clearance in India.

The Safety of e-SANCHIT in India

Concerns regarding the safety and security of digital platforms are paramount, primarily when they handle sensitive trade documentation. In the context of e-SANCHIT in India, the platform is designed with robust security measures to safeguard user data and ensure the integrity of the document submission process. Utilising advanced encryption protocols, e-SANCHIT protects the data exchange between users and the customs database, preventing unauthorised access and data breaches.

The platform operates under the oversight of the Indian Customs authorities, adhering to strict data protection regulations and cybersecurity standards. Regular security audits and compliance checks are conducted to identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities, ensuring that e-SANCHIT remains a secure environment for its users.

Moreover, access to e-SANCHIT is restricted to registered users who must undergo a verification process, further enhancing the platform’s security framework. Users are also encouraged to adopt best practices in data security, such as using strong passwords and keeping their login information confidential.

Related reading: India’s National Logistics Policy


e-SANCHIT stands as a beacon of India’s commitment to digitising and streamlining the customs documentation process, significantly impacting how trade operations are conducted within the country. By facilitating the electronic submission of import and export documents, e-SANCHIT not only enhances the efficiency of customs clearances but also propels India towards a more integrated and transparent trade environment. This digital leap forward in the customs domain exemplifies the potential for technology to revolutionise traditional processes, ensuring that businesses can operate more smoothly and with greater compliance.

The trading community’s adoption of e-SANCHIT and its integration into the broader logistics and supply chain operations underscore its value in fostering a competitive and agile trade ecosystem. As we move further into the digital age, platforms like e-SANCHIT will continue to play a critical role in enhancing the ease of doing business and securing India’s position as a key player in the global market. The success of e-SANCHIT paves the way for future innovations in trade facilitation, promising a more efficient, secure, and sustainable trade landscape for India.

Related read: What Is an IEC Code and Why Do You Need It?

Frequently Asked Questions About e-SANCHIT

How do I register for e-SANCHIT?

To register for e-SANCHIT, users need to visit the Indian Customs Electronic Gateway (ICEGATE) website and sign up for an account by providing the required business details and documentation. Once the account is verified, users can access e-SANCHIT through their ICEGATE login credentials.

Can all types of documents be uploaded to e-SANCHIT?

e-SANCHIT is designed to accept a wide range of trade-related documents, including commercial invoices, packing lists, bills of lading, certificates of origin, and more. However, it’s essential to check the latest guidelines on the ICEGATE portal for any document-specific requirements or restrictions.

Is there a limit to the number of documents that can be uploaded to e-SANCHIT?

While there may be technical limits on file size per upload, e-SANCHIT generally allows for the submission of multiple documents as needed for each shipment. Users should ensure that documents are clear and legible to avoid rejection.

What should I do if my document uploads to e-SANCHIT fails?

If a document upload fails, users should first check for any technical issues, such as file size or format compatibility. If the problem persists, contacting the ICEGATE helpdesk for assistance and troubleshooting is recommended.

How does e-SANCHIT improve the customs clearance process?

e-SANCHIT improves the customs clearance process by enabling the advanced electronic submission and verification of documents. This reduces the need for physical paperwork, speeds up the verification process, and allows for quicker clearance of goods at customs.

Is training available for new e-SANCHIT users?

Yes, the Indian Customs and Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) periodically offer training sessions and tutorials for new users. Additionally, resources and user guides are available on the ICEGATE portal to assist with the e-SANCHIT submission process.