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  • 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.

  • Dec 05, 2020
  • Nirmala Sitharaman urges DRI, customs to ensure every economic offender is taken to task

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday urged the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and customs authorities to ensure that every offender of India’s economic frontiers is taken to task.

    Speaking at the 63rd Founding Day of the DRI, the apex anti-smuggling intelligence and investigation agency functioning under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), she congratulated its officers on their performance and commendable service, especially in times of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The minister also lauded DRI’s 800 officer-strong ‘lean and mean force’ for their relentless efforts despite imminent risks.

    “The Finance Minister encouraged the officers of DRI to continue working hard as the cases booked and arrests affected by DRI, while large, are just the tip of the iceberg and urged DRI and Indian Customs to ensure that every offender of India’s economic frontiers is taken to task,” an official statement said.

  • Dec 02, 2020
  • India extends anti-dumping duty on methylene chloride imports from China till Jan 31

    India has extended anti-dumping duty on imports of methylene chloride from China till January 31, 2021, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) said in a notification issued Tuesday.

    The Board said that the decision has been taken after the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) initiated a review and sought for extension of the duty.

    "Notwithstanding anything contained in paragraph 2, the anti-dumping duty imposed on the subject goods shall remain in force up to and inclusive of the 31st January, 2021, unless revoked, superseded or amended earlier.” the notification said.

  • Nov 28, 2020
  • Government cuts import duty on crude palm oil to 27.5 pc effective November 27

    The government on Thursday reduced the basic customs duty on crude palm oil to 27.5 per cent, a move that would increase availability of the commodity in the domestic market. The duty cut would also help cool off rising edible oil prices in domestic markets.

    The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in a notification said the basic customs duty (BCD) rate on crude palm oil has been revised to 27.5 per cent with effect from November 27.

    The BCD on crude palm oil is 37.5 per cent currently.

    Palm oil constitutes over 40 per cent of India's total edible oil consumption. Edible oil is India's third-largest imported commodity after crude oil and gold.

    India is the world's largest importer of edible oil, and buys around 15 million tonnes annually from countries including Malaysia and Indonesia.

  • Oct 29, 2020
  • Circular No. 48/2020-Customs

    Manufacturing and other operations undertaken in bonded warehouses under Section 65 of the Customs Act, 1962-reg.

  • Sep 21, 2020
  • 5% import duty on open cell used in TV manufacturing from October 1

    A 5 per cent customs duty will be reimposed on the import of open cell for TVs from October 1 following the end of one year exemption period, a finance ministry source said.

    The government had last year exempted customs duty on open cell, a kep component of TV, for a year till September 30 as the domestic industry had sought time to build capacity.

    With the exemption coming to an end, 5 per cent duty would be reimposed on open cell from October 1, a finance ministry source said.

    The source further said that this move is elemental to the Phased Manufacturing Plan (PMP) of television and its components to bring the industry out of mere television assembling while being totally dependent on imports for all its parts.

    “Manufacturing in India cannot survive on support of import forever,” the source said.

    Till last year televisions worth Rs 7,000 crore were being imported. The government has supported the television industry through custom duty structure.

    A customs duty of 20 per cent has been imposed on imports of television since December 2017.

    Television import has also been put on the restricted category with effect from July end this year. Television manufacturers are enjoying full reasonable protection from imports, the source added.

  • Sep 07, 2020
  • Customs to roll out pan-India faceless assessment for all imports by October 31

    The Customs Department will roll out pan-India faceless assessment for all imported goods by October 31, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has said. While faceless assessment for import of certain goods was already rolled out in Bengaluru and Chennai ports on June 8, it was extended to Delhi and Mumbai Customs on August 3. This will now be extended in phases to all ports across the country by December 31.

    “Board has decided to roll out the Faceless Assessment at an all India level in all ports of import and for all imported goods by October 31, 2020,” the CBIC said in a circular. Faceless assessment enables an assessing officer, who is physically located in a particular jurisdiction, to assess a Bill of Entry pertaining to imports made at a different Customs station, whenever such a Bill of Entry has been assigned to him through an automated system.

    The CBIC has constituted 11 National Assessment Centres (NACs), consisting of the Principal Commissioners/ Commissioners of Customs.

  • Aug 27, 2020
  • DGTR recommends anti-dumping duty on chemical imported from China, Malaysia, Vietnam

    The commerce ministry’s investigation arm DGTR has recommended imposition of anti-dumping duty for five years on ‘choline chloride’, a chemical imported from China, Malaysia and Vietnam, to guard domestic players from cheap inbound shipments.

    The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has recommended duty in the range of $94 per tonne to $315 per tonne after conducting a probe on alleged dumping of Choline Chloride in all forms by these countries, following a complaint by a domestic manufacturer.

    The chemical is used in animal feed and the oil and gas sector.

    The finance ministry will take the final call to impose the levy.

    Jubilant Life Sciences filed an application for imposition of anti-dumping duty on the imports from these three countries.

    “The authority recommends imposition of anti-dumping duty…so as to remove the injury to the domestic industry,” according to a notification of the DGTR.

    It said the product has been exported to India from these countries below its normal value, resulting in dumping and due to this, the domestic industry has suffered material injury.

    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 margins and profits of domestic manufacturing firms.

  • Aug 25, 2020
  • DGTR recommends a 10% safeguard duty on single-mode optical fibre imports

    The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) on August 24 recommended a 10 percent safeguard duty on single-mode optical fibre imports. This duty would be imposed over a one-year period as it found that there has been a significant surge in imports for the product.

    This decision came after Sterlite Technologies and Birla Furukawa Fibre Optics, approached the DGTR and said they were unable to compete with imports and regain their market share.

    The DGTR also conducted a probe following an application filed by the firms.

    Currently, the majority of single-mode optical fibre imports come from China. In fact, the imports increased from 1,903 FKM in FY 17 to 9,918 FKM in FY19.

  • Aug 28, 2020
  • Circular No. 38/2020-Customs

    Guidelines regarding implementation of section 28DA of the Customs Act,
    1962 and CAROTAR, 2020 in respect of Rules of Origin under Trade Agreements (FTA/PTA/CECA/CEPA) and verification of Certificates of Origin- reg.

  • Aug 14, 2020
  • India imposes provisional anti-dumping duty on black toner from China, Malaysia, Chinese Taipei

    India has imposed anti-dumping duty on black toner in powder form, used in printers and photocopiers, imported from China, Malaysia and Chinese Taipei for six months to guard domestic players. The duty was imposed following recommendation by Commerce Ministry’s investigation arm Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR).

    DGTR had in June recommended the duty after conducting a probe in alleged dumping of the product by certain companies from these countries, following a complaint by domestic manufacturers. The duty imposed is in the range of USD 196 per tonne to USD 1,686 per tonne. “The provisional anti-dumping duty imposed under this notification shall be effective for a period of six months (unless revoked, amended or superseded earlier)…,” Department of Revenue has said in a notification.

  • Jul 30, 2020
  • Govt imposes safeguard duty on solar cells for one more year till July 2021

    The government has imposed safeguard duty on solar cells for one more year till July 2021 to protect domestic manufacturers and discourage cheap imports from countries like China. The move followed recommendation by the commerce ministry’s investigation arm Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) for continued imposition of the duty for one more year.

    In its probe, the DGTR had concluded that after a decline in imports in 2018-19 due to the imposition of safeguard duty on solar cells whether or not assembled in modules or panels, imports have increased during April-September 2019 due to reduction in rate of the duty from July 30, 2019.

    After considering the findings of the DGTR, the department of revenue in a notification has said that it is imposing “a safeguard duty” on the product. The department “seeks to continue the levy of safeguard duty on imports of solar cells whether or not assembled in modules or panels for a period of one year, in pursuance of final findings of review investigations issued by DGTR,” it said.

    A duty of 14.9 per cent will be levied during July 30, 2020, to January 29, 2021, and then 14.5 per cent during January 30, 2021, to July 29, 2021, it added. The directorate had stated that there has been a significant increase in imports of the cells.

    “The domestic industry is continuing to suffer serious injury which is evidenced from an overall consideration of its performance, particularly on the basis of its capacity utilisation which is sub-par considering the demand of the product, increasing levels of inventory and negative profitability,” it had said.

  • Jul 20, 2020
  • BAT signal: New tax likely on certain imports to provide domestic players a level-playing field

    Amid a policy push for Atmanirbhar Bharat, the government has revived a proposal to levy the so-called border adjustment tax (BAT) on certain imported goods – including steel and certain related products – to provide domestic manufacturers, who are subject to various embeded taxes, a level-playing field against overseas suppliers.

    Alternatively, the government may consider a proposal to refund these taxes – including duties on electricity and fuel, clean energy cess, mandi tax, royalties and biodiversity fees — that are not subsumed by the goods and services tax (GST) to domestic manufacturers. While the Centre has approved a scheme, RoDTEP, to reimburse all such levies paid on inputs consumed in exports, it doesn’t cover goods sold in the domestic market.

    Indian industry has been complaining about the plethora of local levies inflating their cost of production. This is because these are not subsumed by the GST and, therefore, input tax credit isn’t extended against such imposts. But imported goods, in most cases, aren’t loaded with such levies in their respective countries of origin, thus, enjoying price advantages vis-à-vis products manufactured in India.

    A BAT will be designed to nullify this unfair edge to overseas suppliers and will be in sync with WTO norms, a senior government official told FE. It will require an amendment to the Customs Act.

    Another official source said the steel ministry recently wrote to the finance ministry, seeking the imposition of the BAT. The commerce department had earlier suggested to the revenue department to consider such a levy on imported goods. If finally approved, the impost will be levied over and above the existing customs duties.

  • Jul 17, 2020
  • Government plans to impose 20% customs duty on solar power equipment to cut imports: Anurag Thakur

    The government is considering a proposal by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to impose 20 per cent basic customs duty on solar modules to provide an edge to domestic manufacturers and discourage imports, particularly from China, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said on Thursday.

    While the government has taken a number of steps to increase capacities in the renewable energy sector in the last few years, it is now time to cut down reliance on imports of solar equipment and components, especially from China, the minister said.

    Currently, Chinese firms supply about 80 per cent of solar cells and modules in the Indian market.

    “We are also planning to impose, as the MNRE suggested and they have been taking up with us (Finance Ministry), 20 per cent basic customs duty on the solar modules to discourage import from other countries,” he said while addressing a webinar organised by CII.

    India imported solar power equipment worth USD 1.2 billion during April-December 2019, he said.

    Thakur further said the government is in discussions with various stakeholders and most of the policies in the coming times will be long-term, aimed at making India self-reliant.

    Speaking about the emphasis of the Narendra Modi-led government on green energy, he said, “The focus on renewable energy shows our ambition, intent and commitment to the world to shift towards a green future. India no longer talks about mega watts, we are taking giant strides towards giga watts capacity building to power our industries and cities of the future.”

    The government has set up a green energy corridor with an estimated investment of USD 5.8 billion to ensure evacuation of renewable energy from generation points to the load centres by creating transmission infrastructure.

    Besides, he said, MNRE has announced a provision for bank loans up to a limit of USD 2.3 million to borrowers to set up solar-based power generators, bio-mass based power generators, wind power systems and micro hydel plants.

  • Jul 08, 2020
  • Govt eases export, import process; lays out ‘Turant Customs’ plan for faster clearance

    Govt eases export, import process; lays out ‘Turant Customs’ plan for faster clearance
    By: Samrat Sharma | Published: July 7, 2020 5:57 PM
    The government has introduced a contactless process in customs, which would enhance the in-house testing capability of the customs.
    customs, custom clearance, contactless customs, turant customs,

    The government has unveiled new and modern testing equipment inducted into the Central Revenues Control Laboratory (CRCL), aimed at making imports and exports clearances faster.
    In an effort to smoothen the process of imports and exports in India, the government has introduced a contactless process, which would enhance the in-house testing capability of the customs. M Ajit Kumar, Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) unveiled new and modern testing equipment inducted into the Central Revenues Control Laboratory (CRCL), aimed at making imports and exports clearances faster, said a statement by the Ministry of Finance. Under the CBIC’s flagship programme — Turant Customs — the government has equipped the testing facilities of the CRCL with state-of-art equipment, costing about Rs 80 crores.

    With the new upgradation, the exporters can self manage changes in their bank account and AD Code through ICEGATE as well as register on ICEGATE without having to approach a Customs officer. The facility of an automated debit of bonds for importers has also been announced today. It has also been decided that the balance in the bond would be indicated in the import document, which would help importers in planning their imports.