Provisional assessment allowed when Customs doubt origin of goods: Expert

Topics Customs | Customs duty

You have to surrender the excess drawback received with interest, as well as the excess GST refund received in cash along with interest
Q. We learnt that recently, the Customs brought in new laws asking importers to satisfy themselves that they are claiming zero duty under free trade agreements correctly, and where necessary, the Customs can hold up goods, call for records of importers and verify that the certificate of origin is correctly issued. Is there any way to get goods cleared while the Customs investigate the matter?


In case there is a doubt regarding origin of goods, the Customs will first ask the importer to furnish the information in terms of rule 5 read with rule 4 of the Customs (Administration of Rules of Origin under Trade Agreements) Rules, 2020, before initiating verification with the partner country in terms of rule 6. Compulsory verification of assessment will be discontinued once the importer demonstrates that he has established adequate system of controls to exercise reasonable care as required under Section 28DA of the Customs Act, 1962.


On the request of the importer, the Customs may provisionally assess and release the goods, subject to the importer furnishing a security amount equal to 100 per cent of the difference between the duty provisionally assessed under section 18 of the Customs Act, 1962 and the preferential duty claimed. All classes of importers, including Authorised Economic Operators, are required to furnish 100 per cent of differential duty as a security if provisional assessment is requested by the importer when inquiry is initiated in terms of rule 5, or when verification is initiated in terms of rule 6(1)(a) or 6(1)(b) of the said Rules.


Q. Can export packing credit be availed of by an exporter sending goods to a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), and can the interest equalisation benefit be given to the exporter? The exporter has received the order in Indian rupees.


RBI Notification no. IECD 16/04.02.02/2002-03 dated April 1, 2003 says that supply of goods and services from Domestic Tariff Area to SEZ area would be eligible for export credit facilities. The scheme for interest equalisation that applies to pre-shipment credit does not exclude supplies to SEZs.


Q. We are a small scale unit. In our export documents, by mistake, we mentioned euros instead of US dollars. For example, if our order is for $100, in all documents such as GST invoice, shipping bill, etc., the amount shown is 100 euro. We have received GST refund as well as drawback on the basis of invoice and shipping bill prepared in euro. We are likely to receive payment in US dollars only. How to rectify this?


The shipping bill cannot be amended at this stage. So, you can explain the matter to your bank and seek a write-off for the shortfall in realisation of export proceeds. You have to surrender the excess drawback received with interest, as well as the excess GST refund received in cash along with interest. If for any reason your bankers hesitate to grant the write-off, you can approach the RBI through your bankers.


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