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Search date: 25-02-2023 Return to current date: Click here

Redetermination of duty rate not applicable after In-Bond Bill of Entry: SC

FE REPORT | February 25, 2023 00:00:00

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has ruled that if the In-Bond Bill of Entry is submitted once any subsequent development in case of determination of goods value or any redetermination of rate of duty or taxes shall not affect the value of the goods concerned or the rate of duty for the purpose of payment of duties and charges.

In the full text of a verdict, the apex court also said it is clear that the value of goods and the rate of duty shall be the one prevailing at the time of presenting the In-Bond Bill of Entry and not the Ex-Bond Bill of Entry document.

It also observed that the date for the purpose of calculating the value of the goods and the date for determining the rate of duty should be the same.

A three-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Justice Md Nuruzzaman delivered the verdict after hearing a leave to appeal petition filed by Chattogram Commissioner of Customs.

According to the verdict, Abul Khair Steel Mills Limited (U-2), a private limited company, opened a Letter of Credit (LC) on October 7, 1996 to import goods from abroad valued at US$ 486,000.00 which was amended on October 17 in 1996 increasing the value of the goods to US$ 487,500.00.

After arrival of the goods at Chattogram port, the petitioner through its clearing (C&F) agent submitted In-Bond Bill of Entry on February 1, 1997 for the purpose of assessment of duties and taxes and accordingly the customs authority assessed the goods and allowed the goods to be warehoused.

On November 2 in 1997 the petitioner company through its clearing agent submitted Ex-Bond Bill of Entry for release of a part of the warehoused goods on payment of duties and taxes on the basis of CRF value.

However, the Superintendent of Customs for Feni Circle refused to make assessment as per CRF certified value, as the authorities issued two notifications on May 11 in 1997 and September 11 in 1997 bringing change in the rules of enjoying benefit of CRF Certificate facility and tariff value.

Aggrieved, Abul Khair Steel Mills Limited (U-2) filed a writ petition with the High Court challenging the authorities' decision to re-determine the rate of duties and taxes under the new notifications issued after submission of In-Bond Bill of Entry.

After hearing the parties, a Division Bench of the High Court Division on July 19 in 2005 directed the respondents to make assessments of the petitioner's imported consignment on the basis of CRF Certificate value.

Having aggrieved, Chattogram Commissioner of Customs preferred to appeal against the HC verdict.

After hearing on the appeal petition the apex court on January 17, 2023 delivered its short judgment, the full text of which has been released on SC website recently.

The apex court in its judgment dismissed custom authorities' appeal, and maintained the High Court's decision.

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