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'Importers of goods free to re-export for forex'

Read more on:    Cbec | Chat Room | Foreign Trade Policy
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We had imported certain goods and stored them in a bonded warehouse. Now, we want to export the same to another party (not the supplier). Are we allowed to do that, and if so, are there any conditions?
As per Para 2.36 of the Foreign Trade Policy, “Goods, including those mentioned as restricted for import (except prohibited items) may be imported under Customs Bond for export in freely convertible currency without an Authorisation provided that item is freely exportable without any conditionality/ requirement of Licence/ permission as may be required under ITC (HS) Schedule II.”. So, there is no restriction that you must re-export only to the supplier. You can re-export to any person so long as the item is freely exportable but you must get payment in foreign currency.

You may also take note that as per Section 69 (1) of the Customs Act, 1962, “Any warehoused goods may be exported to a place outside India without payment of import duty if — (a) a shipping bill or a bill of export has been presented in respect of such goods in the prescribed form; (b) the export duty, penalties, rent, interest and other charges payable in respect of such goods have been paid; and (c) an order for clearance of such goods for exportation has been made by the proper officer.” You have to comply with those conditions and follow due procedure. Besides, you may note in exercise of powers conferred under Section 69 (2) of the Customs Act, 1962, certain restrictions have been imposed. You may refer to Customs notifications 45, 46 and 47 all dated 1st February 1963 for details. 

Can you inform me about the time limits for filing application for fixation of brand rate of duty drawback?

As per Rule 6 of Customs, Central Excise Duties and Service Tax Drawback Rules, 1995, the time limit is three months from the date of exports. This time limit can be extended by a further three months by the concerned Assistant/Deputy Commissioner of Central Excise/Customs upon payment of a fee of one per cent of the FOB value of exports or Rs 1,000, whichever is less; and by a further six months by the concerned Commissioner of Central Excise/Customs upon payment of a fee of two per cent of the FOB value of exports or Rs 2,000, whichever is less. Similar provisions are there in case of applications for determining the Special Brand Rate of duty drawback under Rule 7 of the said Rules.

Does fumigation of export cargo fall within the ambit of ‘cleaning services’?
The Circular no. 132/1/2011-ST dated 12.1.2011 clarifies that the definition under Section 65(24b) of the Finance Act, 1994, as amended, taxes cleaning of ‘objects or premises’ of (i) commercial or industrial buildings and premises thereof; or (ii) factory, plant or machinery, tank or reservoir of such commercial or industrial building and premises thereof, and so does not cover fumigation of export cargo, including agricultural/horticultural produce, whether loaded into containers or otherwise.

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