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Jaideep Ispat & Alloys Pvt. Ltd. Vs. C.C., Indore - (Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal) (28 Jun 2018)

Payment of duty at enhanced value and clearance of goods in urgency cannot exclude or preclude Assessee form challenging assessed bill of entry



In facts of present appeal, the Appellant who is an importer had filed 200 bills of entry during the period w.e.f. 4th September, 2015 to 27th June, 2016 for clearance of their imported goods i.e. high melting scrap and light melting scrap classifying them under Chapter heading 7204 4900 of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975. The Assessing Officer has found the value of these imported goods to be lower than the value of import as per the data available in National Import Database (NIDB). The value was accordingly reassessed. The differential duty was charged and was paid by the Appellant. However, he challenged the said re-assessment vide various appeals. Earlier the Commissioner (Appeals), had remanded all initial 320 orders back to jurisdictional Assistant Commissioner of Customs to re-assess the bills of entry appealed against and to pass an appealable speaking order after affording the Appellant a reasonable opportunity of being heard. For 200 bills of entry thereof, appeal was filed twice and for remaining 4 bills of entry, appeal was filed thrice and common adjudication order was passed upholding the re-assessment by the Revenue. The Commissioner (Appeals) vide its order under challenge has partly allowed the appeal.

Complete reliance on NIDB Data for assessment of metal scrap is not proper. Though, the metal bulletin as per CCR/RMS Instructions for the valuation of metal scrap was preferred to be referred but in the order itself it has been mentioned that the metal Bulletin was also not reflecting the exact prices. In some cases the prices reflected in Bulletin were less than the value at which bills of entry were assessed and in some cases the prices reflected in metal Bulletin were higher than the said value. The law has been held by Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Eicher Tractors Ltd. vs. CCE, Mumbai has held that, the value according to Section 14(1) of the Customs Act, 1962 shall be taken to be the price at which such or other like goods are originally sold or offered for sale, for delivery at the time and place of importation in the course of international trade. The special circumstances have been statutorily particularized in the Custom Valuation Rules and in absence of these exception, it is mandatory for Customs to accept the price actually paid or payable for the goods in particular transaction.

Recently in Kuber India vs. CC, Jaipur has observed that, rejecting transaction value by merely saying that it does not represent correct value and seems to be on lower side without any findings on contemporaneous imports, is not legally sustainable. In the present case also, Revenue has not brought any finding on the contemporaneous imports, it is not the Revenues case that any proviso to Section 14(1) of Customs Act, 1962 are available in the present case. In such circumstances, rejecting the bills of entries of the Appellant and levying thereupon the differential duty thereof is not sustainable.

It is a matter of common experience that, the importers cleared the goods by payment of duty on the enhanced value, as the goods imported by them are required and cannot be allowed to be retained by the Customs as the same incurred demerits and other expenses. It is again a fact of common knowledge that, settlement of dispute take years and the imported goods cannot be allowed to be deteriorated in quality till the final outcome of the dispute. As the goods imported by the Appellant were required in assessees factory, the same were cleared by them on payment of duty on enhanced value and in the given circumstances, this fact by itself cannot be adopted as a ground for resolving the disputed issue of valuation.

The fact that the assessment of bills of entries were challenged by the Appellant before Commissioner (Appeals) by way of filing appeals, is itself indicator of the fact that, Appellants were not satisfied that such enhancement and have exercised their right of appeal provided under the statute. In case of Commissioner of Customs vs. Ganesh Trading Co., it was held that payment of duty at the enhanced value and clearance of goods in urgency cannot exclude or preclude the assessee form challenging the assessed bill of entry on the sole ground that goods stand cleared at the enhanced value. The appeal is allowed. Appellants are held entitled for the refund of the differential duty paid by them in accordance of the relevant rules in this regard.

Relevant : Eicher Tractors Ltd. vs. CCE, Mumbai - MANU/SC/0699/2000, Kuber India vs. CC, Jaipur - MANU/CE/0483/2016, Commissioner of Customs vs. Ganesh Trading Co. -MANU/CE/0891/2011


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