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July 5, 2021
All Articles by: Mr.M. GOVINDARAJAN       View Profile
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Testing of samples

The department is having right to draw sample from any consignment, on a surprise check or for any other purpose.  Samples will be drawn in duplicate. One sample will be used for testing and the other retained in the laboratory as control sample.  If so desired by the importer/exporter, a sample may be drawn and furnished to them. The fact of drawl of samples should be indicated in the Bill of Entry or Shipping Bill and entered by the Preventive Officer with time and date.   All samples drawn should be kept in custody, control and supervision of the Preventive Officer between the time they are drawn and they are sealed. Bill of Entry and Shipping Bill involving drawal of samples should be attended to separately at the end of each visit to the sheds/CFS.

With the .objective of completing the testing formalities within a week, the Chemical Examiner may, taking into account the workload and testing facilities available in the laboratory, refer the samples to outside laboratories including private ones, in consultation with Additional Commissioner of the Group concerned.   Test conducted by outside laboratories would be subject to random and surprises re-test.

Central Revenues Control Laboratory

Central Revenues Control Laboratories (CRCL), assist the field formations in chemical analysis of samples of various trade commodities to enable appropriate assessment of duties. These laboratories also assist in enforcement of Customs Act, NDPS Act, GST Laws, Central Excise Act and other allied Acts including for the purpose of environment protection, food safety etc.

The Central Revenues Control Laboratory, New Delhi functions under the administrative control of Director (Revenue Laboratories), whereas other Revenue Laboratories of Central Revenues Control Laboratory are attached to the respective Customs House/CGST Commissionerates. These are headed by Joint Director/Chemical Examiner Gr.-I. Laboratories are under the administrative control of the Commissionerate. Names and locations of various chemical laboratories of Central Revenues Control Laboratory are as under:

  1. Customs House Laboratory, Chennai
  2. Customs House Laboratory, Kochi
  3. Customs House Laboratory, Goa
  4. Customs House Laboratory, Kandla
  5. Customs House Laboratory, Kolkata
  6. Customs Laboratory, Custom House, Mangaluru
  7. Customs House Laboratory, New Custom House, Mumbai
  8. Customs House Laboratory, Nhava Sheva
  9.  Customs House Laboratory, Tuticorin
  10.  Customs House Laboratory, Vizag
  11.  Central Excise& Customs  Laboratory, Vadodara
  12.  Govt. Opium & Alkaloid Works, Ghazipur
  13.  Govt. Opium & Alkaloid Works, Neemuch

Functions of Chemical Laboratories

The following are the functions of Chemical laboratories-

  1. To analyze the samples sent to them by the Revenue Authorities of Customs, CGST & Central Excise for the purpose of classification under Customs Tariff, Central Excise Tariff, Export Import Trade Control Policies and for Drawback purposes.
  2. To furnish technical opinion to the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs and its field formations with regard to classification, duty aspects on various goods etc. 
  3. To provide technical support to Opium & Alkaloid Factories for production of Export Opium.
  4.  To analyze and certify the Export Opium. 
  5. To analyse Narcotic Drug & Psychotropic Substances and Precursor Chemicals e

Director (Revenue Laboratories) is the technical and administrative head of the organization. He is also appellate authority in respect of retest of samples.  He supervises overall technical functions of all revenue laboratories and also offers advice to Dept. of Revenue/CBEC in technical matters.  Joint Director is head of concerned laboratories, supervises the overall functioning of the Laboratory and offers technical opinion.  Chemical Engineer, Grade – I assists Director and Joint Director  in day to day technical and administrative works.  He  Issues the test reports under his signature and offer technical opinion as may be required in the field of function.  He is declared examiner under Section 293 of Cr. P.C. for issuing of reports of NDPS samples.  He is in-charge of small laboratories and supervises the overall functioning of the Laboratory and offers technical opinion.


Laboratories have broadly two types of documents – controlled documents and uncontrolled documents.  The controlled documents are-

  • Record of samples received& dispatched.
  • Copy of test reports
  •  Record of issued test reports, tests, opinions etc.
  • Administrative files, Purchase document etc.
  • All files of Administration, Service Books. ACR dossiers of employees etc.

The uncontrolled documents are-

  • Technical Literature Books,
  • Journals, S
  • tandard Operating Procedure,
  • Work Instructions etc. issued by institutions such as  ISO, BIS, ASTM, AOAC etc.

Upgradation of laboratories

CRCL and other Revenue Laboratories have been upgraded with the several new state of the art equipment thereby enabling the testing of a wider variety of commodities in lesser time with greater accuracy.  Eight of these Laboratories, namely,-

  • CRCL, New Delhi;
  • CH Laboratory, Kandla;
  • Customs & CX Laboratory, Vadodara;
  • NCH Laboratory, Mumbai; JNCH Laboratory,
  • Nhava Sheva;
  • CH Laboratory, Kochi;
  • CH Laboratory, Chennai; and
  • the CH Laboratory, Vizag, have been accredited by the NABL,

as per ISO/IEC 17025:2017 for defined scope of tests. 

CRCL, New Delhi and Customs & CX Laboratory, Vadodara have been recognized as FSSAI labs and are, now, mapped with the FSSAI portal.

CRCL modules in ‘ICES’

For ease the testing process, DG Systems has enabled a ‘CRCL module’ in ICES with the objective of automating all paperwork related to sampling, forwarding of test memos to CRCL and other Revenue Laboratories, and electronic receipt of test reports, instantly by the Customs Officers.  The CRCL module is also seamlessly integrated with current modules of ICES.

Salient features of CRCL

The salient features of the CRCL module are as follows:

  • Customs Officers will be able to select the CRCL/other Revenue Laboratory using the ‘Lab Code’ on the basis of directories incorporated therein and generate a Test Memo for sending a sample to the said laboratory.
  • The option of recording the drawal of samples by the Shed Examiner is also provided.
  • Post physical receipt of sample by the laboratory concerned, it would be accepted under acknowledgment to the Customs officer and verified to assess whether the sample is adequate for testing. If the sample is not considered adequate for testing, a return memo would be sent back to the Customs officer along with reason for non-acceptance. The grounds for return/rejection of a test sample could be on account of improper packing, missing/ tampering with seals, insufficient quantity, non-receipt of requisite technical documents or non-observance of other test parameters etc.
  • If the sample is in order and is considered adequate for testing, it is allocated to any one of the Chemical Examiners in the said laboratory.
  • The date of receipt of the sample at the laboratory is provided in the system. There is also a provision of a ‘suspend queue’ to indicate reasons for delay or suspension of testing, for any reason.
  • Post testing of the sample, the module provides the facility to enter the respective Import/Export Test Report in the system.
  • The Customs Officer at the site would be able to view the Test Report electronically in ICES and take further action.
  • Specific MIS reports would enable the monitoring of the pendency and time taken for sending of the Test Report by the laboratory.


The object of CRCL is aimed at leveraging technology for bringing efficiency, transparency and reduction in the cost of compliance for the trade in regard to the sampling process, which impacts the clearance of import/export goods. The said module would also help in better monitoring of the sampling process for faster processing at all the levels.

Mandatory use of CRCL

All field formations are advised to mandatorily make use of the CRCL module to forward Test Memos for testing of samples to CRCL and other Revenue Laboratories from 01.07.2021 onwards.   The Laboratories shall not accept samples unless the Test Memo has been transmitted electronically on the CRCL module. In other words, the laboratories will not accept samples based on paper.   in case of any unforeseen systems issue/glitch that prevents the use of the said module, the sample can be accepted based on paper Test Memo, provided this is sent with the due approval of the Additional/ Joint Commissioner of Customs of the concerned field formation.


By: Mr.M. GOVINDARAJAN - July 5, 2021



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