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News Indirect Tax-Customs

  • 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.

  • May 20, 2021
  • CBIC brings job work under IGCR Rules; may help MSMEs operating without complete manufacturing facility

    Trade, Import and Export for MSMEs: The Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) has now introduced the job work facility under the existing Import of Goods at Concessional Rate of Duty (IGCR) Rules, 2017. The move would allow importers, who don’t have an in-house complete manufacturing facility, to import goods at concessional rates for domestic manufacturing of goods and services. This followed the announcement made in the budget speech by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to amend the IGCR Rules to boost trade facilitation. This is also likely to help MSMEs that rely on contract manufacturing.

    “The absence of this facility had earlier constrained the industry especially those in the MSME sector which did not have the complete manufacturing capability in-house,” the Ministry of Finance said in a statement. However, sensitive sectors such as gold, articles of jewellery, and other precious metals or stones have been excluded from the facility of job work.

  • May 19, 2021
  • Importers to make prior disclosure to customs to avail concessional duty on goods: CBIC

    Importers taking advantage of concessional rate of import duty will have to give prior information to the customs officers about goods being imported and also its estimated quantity and value, the CBIC has said. The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has amended the Customs (Import of Goods at Concessional Rate of Duty) Amendment Rules, which lay down the procedures and manner in which an importer can avail the benefit of a concessional duty on import of goods required for domestic production of goods or providing services.

    One major change that accommodates the needs of trade and industry is that the imported goods have been permitted to be sent out for 'job work'. The absence of this facility had earlier constrained the industry, especially those in the MSME sector which did not have the complete manufacturing capability in-house.

  • May 17, 2021
  • Solar power: Levy of basic customs duty may hit tariff trajectory

    A question mark has arisen over the trajectory of falling solar tariffs in India since the Centre announced its decision to levy from FY23 basic customs duty (BCD) of 40% and 25%, on import of solar modules and cells, respectively. Given that modules account for about 60% of the total project expenditure in solar plants, the use of Indian products in place of the cheaper Chinese modules by project developers is expected to lead to a rise in solar tariffs, experts say.

    While domestic modules are currently priced in the range of 29-30 cents per watt-peak (c/wp), modules imported from China come for 23-24 c/wp. In fact, the substantial solar capacity addition India has seen in recent years has materialised through the use of foreign products, especially from China. The government has now ruled that all projects bid out after April 10 under central government schemes will have to source solar equipment from entities that are a part of the approved list of models and manufacturers (ALMM). No foreign module manufacturers have made it to ALMM for now.

  • May 15, 2021
  • CBIC asks officers to clear pending Customs, drawback refund claims by month-end

    The CBIC has asked field offices to clear all pending refunds of customs and drawback claims by month-end.

    The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the apex decision making body in customs matters, has issued an instruction to all customs Principal Chief Commissioners that a 'Special Refund and Drawback Disposal Drive' will be conducted with the objective of priority processing and disposal of all pending refund and drawback claims.

    However, all such refunds would have to be “considered on merit” following legal provisions.

    “This Special Drive shall be in place from 15th May 2021 to 31st May 2021. It is expected that during this period all refund and drawback claims that are pending as on 14th May 2021 shall be disposed,” it said.

    The CBIC also asked field offices to coordinate this refund drive with the major trade and industry associations, especially those that cater to exporters, for their assistance, including submission of required documents.

  • May 14, 2021
  • Commerce Ministry seeks anti-dumping duty on certain rubber imported from 4 countries

    The commerce ministry recommended imposition of anti-dumping duty on a certain type of rubber imported from China, European Union, Japan, and Russia, in order to guard domestic manufacturers from cheap inbound shipments.

    Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has recommended the duty after concluding in its probe that ”Acrylonitrile Butadiene Rubber” from these regions has been exported at dumped prices into India, which impacted the domestic industry.
    “The authority recommends imposition of definitive anti-dumping duties on import of subject goods originating in or exported from subject countries,” DGTR has said in a notification.

    The recommended duty is the difference between the landed value of the product and USD 2,086 per tonne.

    Apcotex Industries Ltd had filed an application before the directorate for imposition of anti-dumping duty on the imports. It had alleged that dumping of the product from these countries are impacting the domestic industry.

  • May 10, 2021
  • CBIC eases norm on furnishing bonds for import, export of goods till June 30

    The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on Saturday allowed businesses to import and export goods without furnishing bonds to the customs authorities until June-end, a move aimed at ensuring no delay or disruption in EXIM trade amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

    In a circular, the CBIC said importers and exporters will have to furnish an undertaking to the Customs authorities in lieu of the bonds till June 30.

    The indirect tax body said it has received representation from traders to accept undertaking in lieu of bonds in certain cases of Customs clearance, in view of the difficulties being faced in the ongoing lockdown/constraints imposed in different regions of India.

    To expedite Customs clearance of goods and for maintaining balance between Customs control and facilitation of legitimate trade, the CBIC said it has approved relaxation of the requirement to submit bonds.

  • May 10, 2021
  • Govt extends antidumping duty on seamless tubes, pipes till October

    The government has extended anti-dumping duty on certain types of seamless tubes, and pipes till October 31 this year with a view to guarding domestic manufacturers from cheap Chinese imports. The duty on ‘seamless tubes, pipes and hollow profiles of iron, alloy or non-alloy steel (other than cast iron and stainless steel), whether hot finished or cold drawn or cold rolled of an external diameter not exceeding 355.6 mm’ was first imposed in May 2016 for five years.

    “…the anti-dumping duty imposed under this notification shall remain in force up to and inclusive of the 31st October, 2021, unless revoked, superseded or amended earlier,” the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has said in a notification.The commerce ministry’s investigation arm Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) had recommended for extension of the duty, after concluding a probe. While DGTR recommends the duty to be levied, the finance ministry imposes it.

  • Apr 27, 2021
  • CBIC sets up helpdesk to handle queries on Covid related imports

    The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on Monday said it has set up a help desk to handle queries related to Covid related imports for their expeditious Customs clearance.
    The CBIC, which is the apex decision making body in customs matters, said it has been receiving queries relating to availability of duty exemption benefits, clearance procedures, registration requirements from various ministries etc.
    "In order to streamline this process and cater to all the queries and grievances of the trade, a dedicated cell has been set up by the CBIC. The requests being received at helpdesk will be closely monitored for early resolution" an official statement said.

  • Mar 25, 2021
  • Duty revisions after Oct to come with sunset clause, says FM Sitharaman

    Duty change notifications post October 1 will come with a sunset clause after the government meets stakeholders in April on rationalising customs and anti-dumping duty, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday.

    Sitharaman, during a discussion on the Finance Bill in the Rajya Sabha, said she had announced in the budget that the government would rationalise any duty brought against dumping over the years.

    Anti-dumping duty notifications announced over decades did not have an end date and continue. The government will meet stakeholders from April 1 to review such duties.

  • Jan 21, 2021
  • Govt considering a customs amnesty scheme to resolve legacy disputes

    The government is considering the launch of a one-time amnesty plan for the resolution of legacy disputes pertaining to customs duty after the success of two initiatives taken in the previous two budgets -- Sabka Vishwas for settlement of excise and service tax cases, and Vivad se Vishwas for income-tax issues, two people aware of the matter said on condition of anonymity.

    Industry has been demanding that they be given a chance to resolve past disputes related to customs in line with the two schemes. The government is actively considering the demand, the people cited above added. The government and businesses are embroiled in legacy disputes such as customs classification, disagreement over valuation and rules of origin issues, they added.

    “Previous dispute resolution schemes have been highly successful. They helped people, especially small businesses, immensely in getting rid of their past baggage of disputes and move ahead with a clear slate. A similar scheme is expected, possibly in this budget,” one of the officials said.

  • Jan 02, 2021
  • Centre allows import, export of Covid-19 vaccine without any value limitation

    The government has allowed import and export of COVID-19 vaccines without any value limitation, in order to ensure speedy clearance and distribution.
    The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has amended the regulations to facilitate the import/export of Covid-19 vaccines through courier, at locations where the Express Cargo Clearance System (ECCS) is operational.
    "Imports of and exports of vaccines in relation to Covid-19 has been allowed without any value limitation," said the amended Courier Imports and Exports (Electronic Declaration and Processing) Amendment Regulations, 2020.
    The CBIC said that Covid-19 has posed unprecedented challenges to Customs and other administrations the world over and efficient clearance and distribution of vaccines would be a critical requirement in the collective fight against the pandemic.

  • Dec 26, 2020
  • Commerce ministry for extension of anti-dumping duty on carbon black used in rubber industry

    The commerce ministry has recommended for extension of anti-dumping duty for five years on carbon black used in the rubber and tyre industry from China and Russia, with a view to guard domestic players from cheap imports from these two countries.

    In a notification, the ministry’s investigation arm Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has said there is a “positive” evidence of likelihood of dumping of ‘carbon black used in rubber applications’ and injury to the domestic industry if the existing anti-dumping duty would be removed.