19 March 2018
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Indirect Tax Customs

  • Customs hike to hit $65 billion imports, may lead to WTO dispute
    Feb 05, 2018
    The government's decision to increase import duty on a number of products will impact at least $65 billion worth of imports, and could even land the country in a trade dispute at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), experts say.The Union Budget has proposed higher customs duty on goods including mobile phones, completely or semi-knocked down automobile parts, electronics, capital goods, edible oils, footwear, imitation jewellery and juices, whose imports in the first seven months of this fiscal are valued at more than $38.3 billion. Higher import duties are intended to discourage imports from China and propel the Make in India mission forward, and domestic manufacturers have welcomed them.
  • Arun Jaitley raises rates to boost Make in India
    Feb 02, 2018
    The government is hoping to garner Rs 60 billion by raising import duties on about 50 items — ranging from phones and TV parts to juices and edible oil — in the Budget for 2018-19. The customs duty hike in the range of 5 to 10 percentage points is aimed to encourage local manufacturing under the government’s flagship Make in India programme launched in 2014. This is the second hike in two months by the government, as it aims to achieve twin objective of boosting domestic manufacturing and garnering additional revenue amid floundering goods and services tax (GST) collections.
  • Customs duty to hog the limelight
    Jan 25, 2018
    The indirect tax structure has undergone a complete transformation with the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax in July 2017. Multiplicity of taxes and too many tax-levying authorities were the factors impeding the ease of doing business in the country. Revenue leakages due to tax evasion, lack of transparency and cascading taxes, were the other ills that plagued the previous indirect tax regime.
  • India mulls 70% safeguard duty on solar equipment imports
    Jan 10, 2018
    India has proposed to levy a 70 per cent safeguard duty on import of solar power equipment from countries like China for 200 days to protect domestic industry from "serious injury". The Directorate General of Safeguards in a January 5 recommendation to the finance ministry said solar cells are "being imported into India in such increased quantities and under such conditions so as to cause or threaten to cause serious injury to the domestic industry manufacturing like or directly competitive products."The existing "critical circumstances" justify the immediate imposition of a provisional Safeguard Duty to save local units from further serious injury, which would be difficult to repair in case the safeguard measure is delayed, it said.
  • Customs duty on colour TVs, phones, microwave ovens hiked
    Dec 16, 2017
    To curb surging imports of electronic items such as mobile phones and TV sets, the Finance Ministry on Friday increased the basic Customs duty on a host of products, which makes them more expensive. The move will also give a boost to the ‘Make in India’ programme. According to the notification, the Customs duty on mobile phones has been hiked to 15 per cent. The duty on TV sets and microwaves has been doubled to 20 per cent while the duty on video cameras has been hiked to 15 per cent from 10 per cent.
  • Government raises basic customs duty on mobile phones to encourage Make In India
    Dec 15, 2017
    India has raised basic customs duty on mobile phones to 15 per cent from 10 per cent, imposed in July as it looks to encourage Make In India. Duty has also been raised on coloured television sets and microwave ovens to 20 per cent. "This to encourage industry to make in India....Those already manufacturing should also remain competitive," an official told ET. The government had imposed customs duty on mobile phones for the first time from July One, coinciding with the roll out of goods and services tax.
  • Soon, imported items may be released without upfront payment of duty
    Dec 05, 2017
    India may release imported items without any upfront duty payment as part of a revamp of the Customs framework to speed up movement of goods across borders, which can currently take more than a week. Such a move would provide a massive boost, industry said. The upcoming budget, the first after the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST), is likely to include several measures aimed at relaxing the Customs regime for businesses. Other measures could include allowing traders to know their tax liability in advance even for existing transactions.
  • Customs duty on polyester fabric raised to 20%
    Oct 31, 2017
    The central government has decided to increase the basic customs duty on polyester fabric to 20 per cent, from 10 per cent, with effect from last Friday. In the Goods and Services Tax regime, countervailing duty has been replaced with Integrated GST and Special Additional Duty (SAD) has been scrapped. Polyester fabric attracted 10 per cent basic customs duty, 12.5 per cent countervailing duty and four per cent SAD in the pre-GST regime. After scrapping of the SAD and levy of five per cent GST on the fabric, the imported variety attracted 10 per cent basic customs duty and five per cent IGST.
  • Mandatory self-sealing of export containers deferred to Nov 1
    Sep 25, 2017
    The finance ministry has deferred by a month the mandatory self-sealing of export containers and use of radio-frequency identification tags to November 1 as traders are facing difficulties in locating vendors of the tracking devices. In a bid to improve ease of doing business, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) in the ministry has decided to do away with the sealing of containers with export goods by officials and move towards a trust based compliance environment.The process had to come into force from October 1, but "considering the difficulties expressed by trade associations in locating vendors for RFID seals, the Board had decided that the date for mandatory self-sealing and use of RFID container seals is deferred to November 1, 2017", said a CBEC circular.
  • With Rs 1.56 lakh cr stuck in litigation, CBEC orders officers to target Rs 10 cr and above cases, deliver quick solutions
    Sep 19, 2017
    With legal cases piling up and blocking revenue flow, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has urged its field formations across the country to expedite resolution of disputes that are worth over Rs 10 crore. There are over 3,000 such pending cases with an accumulated revenue demand of Rs 1.56 lakh crore. In a ‘litigation management’ meeting last month, the revenue secretary is believed to have asked the CBEC to pay special attention to pending cases involving over Rs 10 crore.
  • Self-seal export cargoes without Customs monitoring from October 1
    Sep 06, 2017
    The Customs department has allowed self-sealing procedure from October 1 for containers to be exported, as it aims to move towards a 'trust based compliance environment' and trade facilitation for exporters.In a circular to all Principal Chief Commissioners, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) said exporters who were availing facility of sealing at the factory premises under the supervision of customs authorities will be automatically entitled for self-sealing facility. It said that permission once granted for self-sealing at an approved premise will remain valid unless withdrawn. However, in case of change in the premise, a fresh approval from Customs department will be required.
  • Customs department to do away with supervised sealing of containers from October
    Aug 26, 2017
    Keen to reduce inspector raj from movement of India's exports, the customs department is devising a plan that will allow goods to move from factory to ships without any checks. From October, consignments would not be required to be sealed in the presence of inspectors. Instead they will sport an RFID chip with details of the consignment that can be accessed by a reader. "Supervised sealing of containers will be discontinued from October," said a government official. Instead, electronic self-sealing with RFID chip will be introduced, the official added. Only those consignments with perceived risk will be closely examined.
  • Gold consignments from South Korea to face strict customs scrutiny
    Aug 21, 2017
    The Customs authorities have decided to examine thoroughly the consignments of gold coming from South Korea to ensure that there is no violation of provisions of free trade agreement, a senior official said. The issue was deliberated upon in details during a meeting last week of the department of commerce, customs authorities, officials of economic affairs and the Reserve Bank. The government is worried over sudden surge in imports of the precious metal from South Korea, with which India has a free trade agreement (FTA) since January 2010.
  • Anti-dumping duty likely on a chemical from Canada, China, EU
    Aug 17, 2017
    The government may impose anti- dumping duty of up to $120.14 per tonne on a chemical used in sectors such as dyes and pharmaceuticals from Canada, China and the European Union (EU). The duty aims at guarding domestic players from cheap imports. Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) has found that domestic industry is impacted due to the “dumped imports” of ‘sodium chlorate’ from Canada, China and the EU. “The authority recommends imposition of anti-dumping duty …so as to remove the injury to the domestic industry,” DGAD, the investigation arm of the commerce ministry, said in a notification. It recommends imposition of the duty, while the finance ministry imposes the same.
  • Govt imposes anti-dumping duty on 93 Chinese products
    Aug 10, 2017
    Indian markets are flooded with cheap products from China directly affecting the profitability of the domestic industry. The issue got highlighted when the big players in the Indian tyre industry requested Indian government to impose anti-dumping duty on import of Chinese truck and radial tyres.As a result, the government imposed anti-dumping duty on 93 products on Wednesday. "Anti-dumping duty is in force on 93 products concerning imports from China," said Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.These 93 products belong to a broad group of chemicals and petrochemicals, products of steel and other metals, fibres and yarn, machinery items, rubber or plastic products, electric and electronic items and consumer goods, among others.
  • Government imposes 10% customs duty on chargers and adapters
    Jul 18, 2017
    The government has imposed a 10% basic customs duty (BCD) on imported chargers and adapters, while exempting parts or raw material used for making these products out of the duty ambit. The move reinstates an advantage that local manufactures had before the introduction of GST. The industry welcomed the move, saying the step would provide stimulus to local manufacturing and take care of a loophole in rules that allowed for the import of chargers or adapters without paying any duty.
  • CBEC relaxes norms on bonds under GST to help exports take off
    Jul 10, 2017
    In a significant relief for exporters who have been facing difficulties under the new tax regime, the Finance Ministry has now relaxed rules for Goods and Services Tax and has said that exports can continue under existing bonds and letters of undertaking till July 31. Exporters can now submit bonds or LUTs in the revised format for GST by the end of the month.Various communications have been received from the field formations and exporters that difficulties are being faced in complying with the procedure prescribed for making exports of goods and services without payment of integrated tax with respect to furnishing of bonds or LUT,” said the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) in a recent circular.Under rule 96A of Central GST, exporters have to furnish a bond or LUT in Form GST RFD-11 instead of payment of integrated GST to release their consignments. The CBEC has clarified that exporters can submit a running bond instead of a consignment-wise bond, which would cover the amount of tax involved in the export as estimated by the exporter.
  • Centre imposes 10% basic customs duty on mobile phones
    Jul 03, 2017
    The Centre has imposed 10 per cent basic customs duty on cellular mobile phones. This levy will be applicable from July 1.This will also be applicable on specified parts of cellular mobile phones including the charger, battery wire headset, microphone and receiver, keypad and USB cable.The present exemption from basic customs duty on specified parts of mobiles namely Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA), camera module, connectors display assembly, touch panel/ cover glass assembly, vibrator motor/ ringer will continue, an official release said.
  • Government imposes 10% customs duty on imported mobile phones
    Jul 01, 2017
    India will begin imposing basic customs duty (BCD) on smartphones of 10% from July 1 making imported devices more expensive than locally made ones, a move that will bring relief to international investors like Foxconn and iPhone maker Wistron, as well as Indian companies that have invested heavily in setting up factories in the country.The move will stimulate investments of more than Rs 1,000 crore that have been on the fence for lack of clarity on the price differential incentive as India shifts to the goods and services tax (GST) regime. Before GST, the duty structure made imported phones more expensive than locally made ones, but that difference was set to be evened out after GST.
  • I-T return gets simpler for salaried individuals
    Jun 26, 2017
    The Income tax return for salaried individuals (having income up to Rs. 50 lakh) just got simpler with the CBDT coming up with a single page form, as against seven page one earlier.The new income tax return form-1(SAHAJ), which would apply for assessment year 2017-18, could be used for those receiving income from Salary/One House Property/other income (interest etc). This simplified one page form is expected to benefit more than two crore taxpayers.
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