CUSTOMS CHANGES IN FINANCE BILL 2018
- For Advance Ruling purposes, the definition of ‘applicant’ in Section 28E(c) is proposed to be aligned to the Trade Facilitation Agreement and broad based to include importers, exporters and other persons seeking justifiable cause before the Authority.
- The definition of ‘Advance Ruling’ under Section 28E(b) is proposed to be extended beyond the aspect of determination of duty and made applicable for instances specifically defined under Section 28H.
- The existing Authority for Advance Ruling for Customs Act is proposed to be designated as “Appellate Authority” by amending Section 28E and a new Authority with the name of ‘Customs Authority for Advance Rulings’ is proposed to be constituted to provide advance rulings specifically for the Customs Act by inserting Section 28EA. However, till the said authority is appointed, the existing Authority for Advance Rulings under the IT Act is proposed to be continued, to provide Advance Rulings under the Customs Act.
- Section 28F is proposed to be amended to enable the transfer of cases from existing Advance Rulings Authority to newly constituted Customs Authority for Advance Rulings, as and when appointed.
- Clause (f) in Section 28H(2) is proposed to be inserted to empower the Central Government to notify cases other than those specified in that Section and where Advance Ruling can be sought.
- Sub-section (5) is proposed to be inserted in Section 28H to extend a facility to an applicant where he may be represented by a duly authorized person who is a resident in India.
- The definition of ‘non-resident’ given under the IT Act is proposed to be made applicable for the purposes of a non-resident applicant seeking Advance Ruling.
- The time frame prescribed for pronouncement of an Advance Ruling is proposed to be reduced from 6 months to 3 months.
- An amendment is proposed in Section 28K by virtue of which it will stand clarified that in situations where any Advance Ruling becomes void by virtue of misrepresentation or suppression of facts, for the purpose of calculating time limit for issuance of notice of recovery, the period during which the matter has remained with the Advance Ruling Authority shall be excluded.
- Consequent to the proposed introduction of Appellant Authority for Advance Ruling under the Customs Act,
The following changes have been made in the relevant provisions for Advance Ruling:
- A new Section 28KA is proposed to be inserted to introduce the concept of appeal in respect of Advance Ruling under the Customs Act. An appeal against the order passed by Customs Authority for Advance Rulings can be filed by the Applicant or the officer authorised by the CBEC. This said Section will come into force only after appointment of Customs Authority for Advance Rulings under Section 28E.
- Section 28L which provides for the “Power of Authority” in relation to discovery and inspection, enforcing the attendance of any person, examining him on oath etc. is proposed to be amended to substitute the term ‘Authority’ with ‘Authority or Appellate Authority’ so as to confer the powers of a civil court upon both the Authority as well as the Appellate Authority.
- Section 28M is proposed to be amended to provide that the Appellate Authority have power to regulate its own procedure for the purpose of conducting its proceedings.