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News Indirect Tax-Customs

  • Sep 01, 2022
  • Customs to begin uniform faceless assessment system for clearance of imported goods in phases from Sep 5

    The Customs department will begin a standardised risk-based faceless assessment system across the country for clearance of imported consignments in phases starting with metal, from September 5. This would promote ease of doing business as it would bring uniformity in customs examination, and reduce the time taken for clearing consignments. The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in a circular to field offices said the National Customs Targeting Centre (NCTC) has developed system generated centralized examination orders for Bills of Entry (BoE), based on various parameters, and this will be rolled out in phases.

  • Aug 18, 2022
  • Customs violations: Monetary limit for legal action raised

    The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on Wednesday increased the threshold monetary limit for prosecution and arrest for customs violations. In baggage and outright smuggling cases, the threshold market value of goods or foreign currency has been increased from over Rs 20 lakh to over Rs 50 lakh for legal action. In the case of commercial frauds, the threshold value of offending goods has been enhanced to Rs 2 crore from Rs 50 lakh.

  • Jul 22, 2022
  • CBIC vetting paperless customs rules for SEZs

    A proposal for a completely paperless customs compliance framework for special economic zones (SEZs) is being reviewed by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), said officials.

    The framework will be in sync with new legislation proposed by the Centre to turn the SEZs into comprehensive economic hubs, with larger participation of states and further ease of compliance to attract investment.

    A working group of officers recently submitted a detailed report identifying processes which can be migrated to the ICES (Indian Customs EDI System) or the Indian Customs Electronic Gateway (ICEGATE) system to make the customs process automated and smooth. The CBIC has identified processes, including filing bills of entry, filling shipping bills and risk-based examination of cargo which will be migrated to the ICES systems. "We did a very comprehensive review of part of the touch points between the customs and SEZ units and the processes involved and how we can automate them," a senior official told ET.

  • Jul 15, 2022
  • CBIC notifies controlled delivery regulation; authorised officials to place tracking devices on consignments

    The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has notified controlled delivery regulation, which allows customs officials to install tracking devices to monitor the movement of "suspect" consignment.

    The new regulation, aimed at curbing smuggling, has included gold and silvers, narcotic drug and psychotropic substances, precious and semi-precious stones, liquor; currency; cigarettes, tobacco; wildlife products and antiques in its list.

    This will allow a customs officer at the ports to earmark both export and import consignments for controlled delivery on "reasonable belief" that it is "suspect" and can monitor the movement.
    The notification says that if a proper officer having a reasonable belief, that a suspect consignment, is being imported into or exported out of India, in the form of the baggage or otherwise, shall file a report in FORM-I proposing to undertake controlled delivery of such consignment.

    The report has to be approved and authorised by the specified officer, which will be principal additional director general or Additional Director general of Directorate General of Revenue Intelligence (DGRI).

    As per the notification, the customs officer must seek approval as soon as possible, but no later than 72 hours after making the controlled delivery, if the officer is unable to get it before doing so.

  • Jul 09, 2022
  • Finance Ministry pegs dollar value at Rs 79.90 for computing import duty

    The Finance Ministry Thursday pegged the exchange rate for dollar at Rs 79.90 for calculation of import duty with effect from July 8, as against Rs 78.95 a fortnight ago. The sharp revision is due to depreciation of rupee against dollar following outflow of capital caused by various external factors, including the hardening of interest rate globally.

    Similarly, in case of pound sterling, the value has been fixed at Rs 96.10 as compared to Rs 96.70 earlier, according to a finance ministry statement.

    As regards euro, the conversion rate for calculating taxes on imported goods has been fixed at Rs 82.15 as compared to Rs 83.10 on June 16, it said.

    The sharp revision in exchange rates comes in the backdrop of the rupee depreciating by 4.1 per cent against the US dollar during the current financial year so far (up to July 5). However, it is modest relative to other EMEs and even major advanced economies.

  • Feb 03, 2022
  • Explained: Import duty changes in Budget 2022, and its significance

    Signalling a move to protect domestic industries which are not necessarily capital, technology or labour intensive, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday introduced a slew of higher custom duties on items of daily use such as umbrellas, headphones, earphones, loudspeakers, smart meters, and imitation jewelry.

    Who do the duty changes help and what do they signify?
    Most of these products are imported from China, either as complete units or as knocked down units which are then assembled in factories in India. For example, the customs duty on umbrellas was doubled to 20 per cent, while exemptions provided on import of parts of umbrellas were withdrawn. Similarly, the customs duty on single or multiple loudspeakers, whether or not mounted in their enclosures was hiked to 20 per cent from 15 per cent.

  • Feb 03, 2022
  • Customs duty exemptions on 350 items withdrawn to push 'Make in India'

    As many as 350 customs duty exemptions have been withdrawn in the Budget 2022-23 to boost domestic manufacturing. A comprehensive review of customs duty exemption on capital goods and project imports undertaken and more than 40 customs exemptions to be gradually phased out, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) tweeted.

    In total, 350 customs exemptions are being withdrawn, the CBIC said.

    The Budget tabled in Parliament on February 1 had rationalised customs duty rate on a host of goods.

    Duty on capital goods and project imports was rationalised by phasing out concessional rates and applying a moderate tariff of 7.5 per cent.

    However, exemptions for advanced machineries that are not manufactured within the country will continue.

  • Jan 20, 2022
  • Importers of denatured ethyl alcohol drag government to court over GST classification issue

    Importers of denatured ethyl alcohol, a raw material used in hand sanitisers and disinfectants, and a constituent used in Remdesivir, have approached the Bombay High Court after the customs department initiated investigations into the classification of imported products.

    Hearing the writ petition filed by one of the companies, Satyam Petrochemicals, the court asked the customs department to give at least a week’s notice before taking any "coercive steps".

    The importers had claimed that the customs department had conducted seizures that could have impacted their supply and created a shortage of the raw material.

  • Dec 27, 2021
  • India imposes antidumping duty on 5 Chinese goods for 5 years

    India has imposed antidumping duties on five Chinese products, including certain aluminium goods and some chemicals, for five years to guard local manufacturers from cheap imports from the neighbouring country. According to separate notifications of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the duties have been imposed on certain flat rolled products of aluminium; sodium hydrosulphite (used on dye industry); silicone sealant (used in manufacturing of solar photovoltaic modules, and thermal power applications); hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) component R-32; and hydrofluorocarbon blends (both have uses in refrigeration industry).

    These duties were imposed following recommendations of the commerce ministry's investigation arm Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR).

  • Sep 29, 2021
  • DGTR for extending anti-dumping duty on trailer axles from China

    The commerce ministry’s investigation arm DGTR (Directorate General of Trade Remedies) has recommended an extension of the existing anti-dumping duty imposed on the imports of axle for trailers from China. The anti-dumping duty on the product was imposed by the finance ministry in November 2016.

    “Recommends extension of the existing anti-dumping duty on imports of axle for trailers, originating in or exported from China,” DGTR has said in a notification.
    The recommendation was made by the directorate after conducting a probe into an alleged circumvention of the anti-dumping duty imposed on the imports. It had received information from Commissioner of Customs (imports) Nhava Sheva that the duty is being circumvented as the product is being imported in CKD (Complete Knock Down)/ SKD (Semi-Knock Down) form and then assembled as axle for trailers.

    In a separate notification, the directorate has recommended imposition of the duty on Caprolactum, used in the nylon industry, to guard domestic manufacturers from cheap imports from Russia, Korea, the European Union, and Thailand. The recommended duty ranges between USD 67.79 per tonne and USD 560.82 per tonne.

    Anti-dumping duty was also suggested on imports of Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) Blends, used in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector, exported from China into India. The recommended duty ranges from USD 1553.45 per tonne to USD 2250.56 per tonne.

  • Sep 25, 2021
  • Commerce Ministry for imposing anti-dumping duty on pharma API from China

    The commerce ministry has recommended imposition of anti-dumping duty on a pharma raw material – Ceftriaxone Sodium Sterile – from China to guard domestic players from cheap imports. Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has recommended the duty after concluding in its probe that the API (active pharma ingredient) from China has been exported at dumped prices into India, which impacted the domestic industry.

    “The authority recommends the imposition of the anti-dumping duty on the imports of subject goods…,” the directorate has said in a notification. Ceftriaxone Sodium Sterile is an API used in formulation for treating disease like lower respiratory tract infection, skin and skin structure infection, and surgical prophylaxis. DGTR had conducted the probe following a complaint from Nectar Life Sciences and Sterile India about the dumping of the chemical.

  • Sep 11, 2021
  • Comm Min recommends anti-dumping duty on certain aluminium items from China

    The commerce ministry’s investigation arm DGTR has recommended the imposition of anti-dumping duty on certain aluminium products from China to guard domestic manufacturers from cheap imports.

    The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has concluded in its probe that the dumped imports of ‘Certain Flat-Rolled Products of Aluminium’ from China have impacted the domestic industry. The material injury suffered by the domestic industry has been caused by the dumped imports, DGTR has said in a notification.
    “The Authority, therefore, considers it necessary to recommend imposition of the definitive anti-dumping duty…on all imports of the subject goods…originating in or exported from China,” it added.
    The DGTR has recommended USD 65 per tonne and USD 449 per tonne on imports. The finance ministry takes the final decision to impose the duty.

    In international trade parlance, dumping happens when a country or a firm exports an item at a price lower than the price of that product in its domestic market.

    Dumping impacts the price of that product in the importing country, hitting the margins and profits of the manufacturing firms. According to global trade norms, a country is allowed to impose tariffs on such dumped products to provide a level-playing field to domestic manufacturers. The duty is imposed only after a thorough investigation by a quasi-judicial body, such as DGTR, in India.

    The imposition of anti-dumping duty is permissible under the World Trade Organization (WTO) regime. India and China are members of this Geneva-based organisation, which deals with global trade norms. The duty is aimed at ensuring fair trading practices and creating a level-playing field for domestic producers vis-a-vis foreign producers and exporters.

  • Aug 23, 2021
  • Customs commissionerates not to issue reports interpreting law: CBIC

    The CBIC has asked customs commissionerates not to issue any circular or reports which are in the nature of interpretation or clarification on matters covered under the Customs Act, a move aimed at avoiding any possible contradiction and ensuring ease of doing business.

    In an instruction to all Principal Chief Commissioners of Customs, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) said in order to establish a standard practice on all matters of classification of goods, with respect to levy of duty and for the implementation of any other provision of the Customs Act, 1962, directorates/commissionerates/audit will not issue any circular which are in the nature of clarification or interpretation.

    Currently, circulars/reports/alerts are issued by the directorates/ commissionerates/audit to all the Customs zones in order to promote information sharing on the modus operandi, findings or observations detected during the investigation, audit or risk analysis.

  • Aug 21, 2021
  • Govt cuts basic customs duty on crude, refined soyoil, sunflower oil till September 30

    The government has halved basic customs duty on crude soyoil and sunflower oil to 7.5 per cent to boost domestic supply and bring down prices.

    The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in a notification also cut basic import duty on refined soyoil and sunflower oil to 37.5 per cent, from 45 per cent with effect from August 20.

    The reduced levies would be applicable till September 30. The reduced duties are intended to boost domestic supply and ease rising prices of vegetable oil in the domestic market.

    On top of the basic customs duty, crude soyoil and sunflower oil attract a 20 per cent agriculture infrastructure and development cess and a 10 per cent social welfare cess. The refined versions of soyoil and sunflower oil attract only the social welfare cess.

    On June 29, the government had slashed import duty on crude palm oil, refined, bleached and deodorised palm oil, palmolein, palm stearin and other palm oils till September 30.

    The import duty on crude palm oil was cut to 10 per cent, and that on refined, bleached and deodorised palm oil, palmolein, palm stearin and other palm oils to 37.5 per cent.

  • Jul 12, 2021
  • Govt identifies items for customs exemptions review, seeks industry views

    The government has identified a host of customs exemptions for review and has invited suggestions from trade and industry bodies on the same.

    Importers, exporters, domestic industry and trade associations are invited to give views on the subject for consideration by the government by August 10 on the ‘MyGov.in’ portal.
    Some key products covered under the list include fabrics, games/sports requisites, magnetron for microwave manufacturing, specified parts for PCB, set-up box, routers, broadband modem, contraceptives and artificial kidney.

    The list also includes magnetic tapes, photographic, filming, sound recording/ radio equipment, parts/ raw material for manufacture of goods supplied for off-shore oil exploration, specified machinery/ parts covered in textile industry.

  • Jul 10, 2021
  • Clearance for customs set to get quicker

    Customs clearance is set to get easier for businesses from July 15 with the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) introducing several procedural changes to facilitate cross-border trade.

    CBIC communicated the new measures aimed at speeding up assessment and clearance of shipments in a more anonymous way to the top brass of the customs department on Thursday. The idea is to further streamline the faceless assessment scheme rolled out last October and process shipments without direct interface with the merchant.

    The faceless assessment units in the department are accordingly being revamped. The measures were outlined in a circular issued by CBIC. The key new steps include streamlining customs procedures, making decisionmaking time-bound at the level of individual officers and optimising output in terms of clearing bill of entries.

  • Jul 03, 2021
  • Faceless Assessment under Customs Law: Brings in transparency, less human intervention; objectives, challenges

    The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) initiated and implemented several reform measures in the recent past focusing on simplifying cross-border trade. India currently ranks 63rd in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Index, ascending 17 notches in a year. This was made possible due to the reduced time and cost of clearance of goods at various Customs ports owing to the implementation of measures such as SWIFT, e-Sanchit, revised AEO programme, RFID e-seal programme, etc. To bring in transparency, more digital acumen, and less human intervention, CBIC introduced the ‘Turant – Faceless Assessment’ for cross-border operations. This is also referred to as Electronic Custom Clearance in developed countries.

  • May 21, 2021
  • India may impose anti-dumping duty on Phthalic Anhydride imports from China, others

    India may impose anti-dumping duty on Phthalic Anhydride imported from China, Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand, based on an application filed by IG Petrochemicals Limited, SI Group India Private Limited and Thirumalai Chemicals. The Directorate General of Trade Remedies under the commerce and industry ministry, has recommended duty between $40.08- 140.17 per MT on the imports of the chemical intermediate used in the plastic industry.

    “The domestic industry has suffered material injury. There is a causal link between dumping of product under consideration and injury to the domestic industry,” DGTR said in a notification.

    While DGTR recommends the duty, the final call to impose it is taken by the finance ministry.

    It said that factors such as no quantification of adverse impact of duties by the interested parties, significant capacity expansions in the country which will ensure no demand and supply gap, inter-se competition between Indian producers, and absence of any evidence of adverse impact of anti-dumping duties imposed in the past on the subject goods reasonably demonstrates that imposition of duties will not be against public interest.