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Major relief for exporters and importers by CBEC

14 January, 2015

Central Board of Excise and Customs has last month given some major relief to Indian exporters and importers in terms of procedures to be followed while making imports and exports. While Packing list is not mandatory now, benefit of exemption from bank guarantee has been made available to authorization holders who were penalized earlier. Benefit of ACP status has also been further liberalized.

Packing List

Customs will henceforth not insist on filing of packing list by the importers or exporters. As per CBEC Circular No. 1/2015-Cus., dated 12-1-2015 issued for the purpose, in case an importer or exporter submits a commercial invoice cum packing list containing information on description of goods, mark and numbers, quantity, gross weight, net weight, number and types of packages, in addition to the details in a commercial invoice, a separate packing list is not to be insisted upon. The importer or exporter will however have the option to file such commercial invoice cum packing list or to continue filing of packing list and commercial invoice.

Bank Guarantee exemption

Importers who have been penalized in the previous three financial years under the Customs Act, Central Excise Act, FEMA or the FTDR Act are now eligible for exemption from providing bank guarantee in case of imports under various export promotion schemes. CBEC Circular No. 15/2014-Cus., dated 18-12-2014 issued for the purpose has added para 3.2(d) to basic Circular No. 58/2004-Cus. to provide for such exemption subject to satisfaction of jurisdictional Commissioner of Customs about absence of risk to revenue.

ACP status

The Accredited Clients Programme (ACP) status of importers which has been withdrawn or not extended on account of issuance of a show cause notice to the importer in terms of para 7(iii) of the Circular No. 42/2005-Cus. may now be restored i) after 3 months if the entity pays the duty demanded with interest and 25% penalty within 30 days of the show cause notice or if the entity’s application is allowed to be proceeded with by the Settlement Commission or (ii) after 6 months if the entity pays the duty demanded with interest, subject to conditions. CBEC Circular No.18/2014-Cus., dated 22-12-2014 in this regard additionally clarifies that ACP status would not ordinarily be denied if, Customs/Central Excise duty or Service Tax involved is up to Rs. 50 lakh and Rs. 25 lakh, respectively.

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