Importance of Importer’s Mis Declaration acceptance letter to Customs – Think twice before you Ink !
In a HMS scrap import clearance, hollow profiles and pipes weighing about 10 MT found in the consignment. There was a question whether the goods are actually pipes and profiles and to be classified as such or merely as part of scrap. The only documents, on the basis of which decision was made in this regard are the examination reports and the letter given by the importer to the Customs authorities both of which confirm that they were indeed hollow profiles and pipes and not scrap as declared. The importer first accepted that the mis-declaration and waived the Show Cause Notice by asking for a spot adjudication.
If the importer had contested the nature of the goods, a Show Cause Notice would have been issued and the remaining procedures followed. Once the importer gave in writing that they have mis-declared the goods they should be classified as profiles and pipes only and duty should be charged accordingly. It is worth noting that the goods were examined and on the request of the importer re-examined and after both these reports confirmed that the goods were hollow profiles and pipes, the importer also accepted the mis-declaration in writing. If the pipes and profiles were indeed old, the appellant could have, instead of accepting a mis-declaration, requested for mutilation of these goods as per Section 24 so that they can no longer be used as pipes or profiles but need to be used as scrap only.
However, the importer made a request for spot adjudication accepting the mis-declaration and the order was passed accordingly. The importer cannot now say that although they wanted a spot adjudication the department should have still issued a Show Cause Notice.
Therefore, Hon’ble CESTAT upheld the demand of duty in the adjudication order.
M/S PRIME STEEL PROCESSORS VERSUS COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS, LUDHIANA CESTAT CHANDIGARH, Customs Appeal No.51766 Of 2015, Order No. - A/60872/2021 Order Dated: - 10 August 2021
KEY TAKE AWAY – In such kind of situations, importers should ask for mutilation of goods and make it 100% scrap without any doubts hence they can avoid higher duty, penalty and redemption fine etc