Monday, 13 July 2015

What can be imported by post? - Bangalore Customs Instructions

THE Bangalore Customs Commissioner has reviewed the current practice of assessment of goods imported by Post as followed by the Postal Appraising Department, keeping in view the stakeholders feedback, provisions of the Customs Act, 1962, Foreign Trade Policy, notifications issued by the government, from time to time, instructions of the Board and practice followed at Mumbai Customs. He has issued instructions for guidance of the officers in respect of assessment and clearance of the various categories of articles imported by post.
1. Import of goods for personal use:
(a) Goods intended for personal use upto a value of Rs.2000/- (CIF), other than bona fide gifts, may be cleared on payment of duty at 10% BCD + 3% Cess + 4% SAD (14.712%) without a Licence.
(b) Goods intended for personal use of value beyond Rs.2000/- (CIF) and /or those falling under clause 3(1)(i) of the FTO, 1993 may be cleared after adjudication for policy violation under CTH 9804 and on payment of the merit rate of duty as applicable under 9804 at 35% BCD+3% Cess 4% SAD (41.492%).
2. Import of bona fide gift articles:
(a) Bona fide gifts of value upto Rs.10,000/ - (FOB), other than those falling under clause 3(1)(i) of the Foreign Trade Order, 1993, may be cleared duty free.
(b) Bonafide gifts of value beyond Rs.10000/- (FOB) may be cleared on payment of duty as per CTH 9804 of Customs Tariff Act, 1975, i.e., @ BCD 35% + ACD 4% + Cess 2%(= 41.492%) and adjudicated for policy violation. It may be noted that the duty is chargeable on the full value of such goods if the value exceeds Rs.10000/- (FOB) even if they are declared as gift.
(c) If the articles are declared as a bona fide gift are found to be otherwise or are imported in commercial quantity, regular adjudication proceedings may be undertaken and duty may be charged in the merits of each case.
3. Import of goods by online purchases:
(i) Goods imported for personal use by online purchases upto Rs.2000/ - (CIF) assessed to duty at 10% BCD + 3% Cess + 4% SAD (14.712%), without a licence.
(ii) Goods imported for personal use by online purchases above Rs.2000/- (CIF) may be cleared after adjudication for policy violation and on payment of the merit rate of duty under CTH 9804, i.e., 35% BCD + 3% Cess + 4% SAD (41.492%).
4. Beer, Books etc.,:
(i) Beer imported for personal use may be assessed under the relevant CTH at the appropriate rate of duty as applicable under the said CTH and adjudicated for violation of the FTP provisions for import by post.
(ii) Alcoholic Beverages imported for personal use, may be assessed under the relevant CTH at appropriate rate of duty, as applicable under the said CTH, and may be adjudicated for violation of the FTP provision for import by post under CTH 9804.
(iii) Books, magazines, journals , etc if not prohibited or restricted by the Policy or under the provisions of the Section 11 of the Customs Act 1962, or under any other law, for the time being in force, and for personal use, upto a value of Rs.2000/- (CIF) may be assessed under CTH 9804 at 10% BCE (in terms of Notification No.12/2012 - Cus dated 17.03.2012 (SLNo.517) + 3% Cess + 4% SAD (14.712%) without a licence.
(iv) Fire-arms and ammunitions may be permitted on strict compliance of policy provisions and other statutory requirements. It may be noted that the import of ammunitions by post is prohibited under Article 15(3.1) of the Universal Postal Convention.
(v) Consumer electronic items : Consumer electronic items (except hearing aids and life-saving equipment, apparatus and appliances and parts thereof) less than Rs.2000/- (CIF) may be assessed under CTH 9804 at 10% BCD + 3% Cess + 4% SAD (14.712%) without a licence.
Any imports of a value more than Rs.2000/- (CIF) may be assessed under the relevant CTH at the appropriate rate of duty as applicable under the said CTH and adjudicated for violation of the FTP provision for import by post under CTH 9804.
5. Import of Commercial Samples:
(a) Import of commercial samples by post upto a value of Rs.3,00,000/- or fifty units in number, will be permitted.
(b) Samples of tea not exceeding Rs.2000/-(CIF) in one consignment shall be allowed without an Authorisation by any person connected with the Tea Industry for import by post.
(c) In case of all other samples imported by post, the goods are to be assessed under the relevant CTH at the appropriate rate of duty as applicable and adjudicated for violation of the FTP provisions for import by post.
6. Import of Commercial goods by importers having valid IE Code
Goods imported by post by importers having valid Import Export Code may be assessed under the relevant CTH at the appropriate rate of duty as applicable under the said CTH and adjudicated for violation of the FTP provision for import by post under CTH 9804 and any other policy restrictions as per the ITC(HS). In any other case, the goods may be adjudicated for being imported without possessing valid IEC, as well.
The Commissioner's instructions are issued for guidance of the officers assessing and clearing the goods. There are several disclaimers, that:
(i) these are illustrative in nature and not exhaustive.
(ii) it is the duty of the officer concerned to assess the goods with reference to the statutory provisions and instructions issued etc, in the merits of each case.
(iii) the guidelines above have been framed keeping in view the extant provisions of law, FTP, ITC(HS), notifications etc. In case of any amendments/modifications thereof, these guidelines may have to be changed or followed with suitable modification(s).
The Commissioner deserves all praise for his bold decision to inform and educate his staff. Very rarely does a Commissioner compile the statutes, instructions, practice etc, to issue guidelines for his staff. Clear and precise instruction will help the staff work better. The Commissioner should have issued a Trade Facility Circular for the public. Anyway this is now public.

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