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Excise and Customs Tariffs amended from 1st January, 2012

3rd January, 2012
Central Excise and Customs Tariffs have been overhauled from 1st January, 2012. As mentioned in this column before, the changes have been made as per relevant provisions of Finance Act, 2011 wherein the effective date of the present changes was mentioned as 1-1-2012. The Central Board of Excise & Customs has issued a host of notifications to make consequential changes in exemption notifications which carried pre-amended tariff headings.
On the Central Excise side, notifications specifying the general effective rates of duty, namely Nos. 3/2006-C.E., 4/2006-C.E., and 5/2006-C.E. and the notification providing for a reduced peak rate of basic excise duty [No. 2/2008-C.E] have been amended. Amendments have been made in Notification Nos. 1/2011-C.E., 2/2011-C.E. and the MRP notification to provide for change of classification of diapers, sanitary towels etc. Notification nos. 62/95-C.E. and 74/93-C.E. providing for exemption to goods manufactured by Central Government and State Government factories respectively for various government departments have also been amended accordingly.
As regards tobacco products, while amendments have been made in Notification Nos. 20/2005-C.E. and 9/96-C.E. providing for effective rate of additional duty, Notification Nos. 21/2005-C.E. and 26/2001-C.E. providing for effective rate of NCCD have also been amended. Certain consequential changes have been made in Notification No. 18/2009-C.E. which provides for effective rate of duty on petroleum products.
As per the latest amendments in the schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985, duty rate of 5% has been specified for khandsari sugar (Chapter 17) and for furniture bases for sewing machines (Chapter 84). These two items were under NIL rate before this amendment. But exemption has been granted to these commodities under a new Notification No. 1/2012-C.E., dated 3-1-2012 which means these items were attracting duty at the rate of 5% for two days.

On the Customs front, several notifications have been issued to amend classification of goods in the notifications relating to FTAs and PTAs. These notifications include those relating to imports from Malaysia, imports under agreement with ASEAN countries, imports from Pakistan and Sri Lanka under SAFTA and imports from Japan, Korea, Chile and Thailand. Necessary amendments have also been made in jumbo Notification No. 21/2002-Cus. to reflect the changes incorporated in the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act, 1975. Consequently, notifications relating to exemption from Education Cess and Special CVD have also been amended.
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