AMENDMENT OF SHIPPING BILL TO AVAIL MEIS BENEFITS - IMPORTANT MADRAS HIGH COURT JUDGEMENT
As we are aware most of the times, shippers / Customs Brokers selected option “ No” instead of “Yes” against MEIS benefits when filing online shipping bills for which subsequent amendment of Shipping Bills is not an easy task. Refer below Madras High Court Judgement which is a big relief for shippers to avail MEIS benefits after getting NOC from customs.
MADRAS HIGH COURT
M/S. PASHA INTERNATIONAL VERSUS THE COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS, THE ASSISTANT/DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS (EXPORTS) , THE JOINT DIRECTOR GENERAL OF FOREIGN TRADE
Amendment in shipping bills - Benefit under Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) - petitioner inadvertently opted for “No” instead of “Yes” in the shipping bills - Corrections to be made is denied on the ground that now the EDI system is being followed and not manual system is in place - Held that:- Identical issue decided in the case of SAINT GOBAIN INDIA PVT. LTD. VERSUS UNION OF INDIA [2018 (11) TMI 536 - KERALA HIGH COURT], where it was held that petitioner shall produce the said NOC before the 4th respondent and seek the benefits from the 4th respondent.
In the present case also, the second respondent can be directed to issue N.O.C. to enable the petitioner to avail the benefit from the third respondent - petition allowed.
No.- W.P.(MD)No.25252 of 2018 And W.M.P.(MD)No.22857 of 2018
Dated.- January 10, 2019
1. SAINT GOBAIN INDIA PVT. LTD. Versus UNION OF INDIA - 2018 (11) TMI 536 - KERALA HIGH COURT
Mr. Justice G.R. Swaminatha
For the Petitioner : Mr.A.K.Jayaraj
For the Respondents : Mr.R.Aravindan
Heard the learned counsel appearing for the Writ petitioner and the learned Standing counsel appearing for the respondents.
2. The Writ petitioner is a manufacturer and exporter of “Bags and made-ups”. They had filed shipping bill Nos.5450964/09.06.2018, 5671009/20.06.2018 and 5146758/26.05.2018 for export of cotton shopping bags. The Writ petitioner actually intended to claim benefit under what is known as Merchandise Exports from India Scheme(M.E.I.S).
But while filling up the shipping bills, the Writ petitioner inadvertently opted for “No” instead of “Yes”. When the system was done manually, the corrections can be made in view of the enabling provision in Section 149 of the Customs Act, but now that E.D.I. system is being followed, the corrections cannot be done. But then, the petitioner cannot suffer for an inadvertent mistake committed by him.
3. The learned counsel appearing for the Writ petitioner points out that in an identical situation, the High Court of Kerala in the decision reported in 2018 (361) E.L.T. 1000(Ker.) (Saint Gobain India Pvt. Ltd., V. Union of India), held as follows:-
“6. ... it is the specific contention of the 3rd respondent that there can be no amendment in the shipping bills, since the entire procedure is operated by the system.
However, it is stated that the 3rd respondent is ready to issue 'No Objection Certificate' to enable the petitioner to avail the benefits from the 4th respondent. In the above view of the matter, there will be a direction to the 3rd respondent to issue the necessary 'No Objection Certificate' to the petitioner.
The petitioner shall produce the said NOC before the 4th respondent and seek the benefits from the 4th respondent. The 4th respondent shall consider such claim and pass orders thereon expeditiously, at any rate within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this Judgment.”
4. I am of the view that a similar direction can be given in the present case also. Of course in the present case, the learned counsel for the respondent is only seeking time.
Considering the facts and circumstances of this case, the second respondent can be directed to issue N.O.C. to enable the petitioner to avail the benefit from the third respondent.
The third respondent shall consider the claim of the Writ petitioner and pass appropriate orders thereon expeditiously.
This order is passed, taking note of the fact that only due to inadvertence, the Writ petitioner instead of putting “Yes”, had put “No” in the form.
5. The Writ petition stands disposed of, accordingly. No costs. Consequently, connected Miscellaneous petition is closed.