Customs – Cestat New Delhi: It is strange that the Customs department which has access to all the import data in its system requires the importer, who has no such access to provide contemporaneous import data – It is extremely unlikely that nobody else in the country has imported identical or similar goods - Revenue appeal dismissed [Order attached]
Order date – 15 December 2022
- The Respondent, M/s Wall Street Impex and M/s Forever Import & Export Co. were importers and suspected that the goods imported by the Respondent importers were mis-declared, undervalued, imported in violation of the restrictions on imports imposed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and initiated investigations and issued Show Cause Notices.
- Accordingly the original authority rejected the transaction value and re-determined it under Rule 7. The charge of violation of the restrictions imposed by MEITY rendering the imported goods was upheld and the goods were held to be liable for confiscation under section 111(m) and he allowed their redemption under Section 125 on payment of fine but only for export. He also imposed penalties.
- On an appeal filed by the respondents the Commissioner (Appeals) rejected the Revenue’s appeal. He partly allowed the appeal by the importers directing the values to be re-determined on the basis of contemporaneous imports and reducing the fine and penalties.
- Being aggrieved the Revenue filed an appeal.
- Whether the Commissioner (Appeals) correct in upholding the acceptance of the declared assessable value by the Adjudicating authority in respect of some Bills of Entry?
- Whether the Commissioner (Appeals) correct in remanding the matter to the Adjudicating authority in respect of other Bills of Entry with a direction to determine the value based on contemporaneous imports instead of determining it on the basis of the Chartered Engineer’s certificate under Rule 7?
- The Tribunal observed that in these two appeals, in respect of some Bills of Entry, the original authority and the Commissioner (Appeals) have not rejected the transaction value under Rule 12. The original authority found that none of the conditions which constrain the authorities to raise any doubt on the transaction value were present and therefore, he accepted the transaction values.
- Tribunal observed that the requirements for rejection of transaction value have been laid down by the Supreme Court in Century Metals. Both the lower authorities have found that the grounds for rejection of transaction values in respect of some Bills of Entry were absent in the case. Tribunal does not find anything in the appeal which convinces that there was indeed not only a reason to doubt but also reasonable doubt which would warrant rejection of the transaction value under Rule 12.
- Tribunal, therefore, uphold the decision of the Commissioner (Appeals) in this regard.
- Tribunal find it strange that the Customs department which has access to all the import data in its system requires the importer, who has no such access to provide contemporaneous import data.
- Tribunal does not agree with the Revenue’s submission that because the investigating officer indicated in the SCN that there is no contemporaneous data on imports and instead obtained a certificate from the Chartered Engineer, it means that there is no contemporaneous data and the Commissioner (Appeals) should not even remand the matter to the original authority directing valuation based on contemporaneous data.
- It was observed that there was no ground to not follow Rules 4 and 5 and directly move to Rule 7 in the factual matrix of this case. The Commissioner (Appeals) was correct in holding that the value should be determined based on contemporaneous imports and for that purpose remanding the matter to original authority.
- Hence the impugned orders are upheld and Revenue’s appeals are rejected.