IMPORTERS RIGHT FOR SPEAKING ORDER EVEN AFTER GIVING CONSENT LETTER FOR VALUE ENHANCEMENT
CMR NIKKEI INDIA PVT LIMITED VERSUS COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS, AHMEDABAD No.- CUSTOMS Appeal No. 12856 of 2019-DB with Customs Appeal Nos. 10369 to 10431 of 2021-DB and Customs Appeal Nos. 10432 to 10451 of 2021-DB Order No.- A/10822-10905 / 2022 Dt : August 1, 2022 CESTAT AHMEDABAD
The Brief facts of the case are that Appellants have imported Aluminium scrap under various Bills of Entry and the price was declared in the Bills of Entry is as per the invoice of the foreign supplier. The Assessing officer did not accept the transaction value declared in the Bills of Entry and reassessed the Bills of Entry by enhancing the value on the basis of Circular issued by Director General of Valuation.
During the reassessment the Appellant did not have any other option but to pay the excess duty demanded by the assessing officer at enhanced value in order to clear the consignment without delay, in order not to incur additional damages by way of detention charges, demurrage, ground rent, loss of interest and production loss. For this purpose, the Customs Authorities had pressurized the Appellant to give a consent letter agreeing to increase the unit price of the goods as dictated by the Customs authorities.
The importer has challenged the said reassessment and filed the Appeals before the Commissioner (Appeals). The Commissioner (Appeals) rejected the Appeals on the grounds that the importer has given a consent letter accepting the enhanced value of the Assessing authority, therefore, the Appellant is not an aggrieved person. Being aggrieved by the impugned orders-in-appeal the importer has filed the Appeals before CESTAT.
The Importer argued that there is no provision anywhere under the Customs Act, 1962 or Rules framed thereunder for any importer to give “consent letter”. In absence of any such provisions the consent letter given by the importer has no meaning in law and the same cannot be used against the importer.
In this case CESTAT held as follows ;
1. No doubt acceptance of the enhanced value in writing waives the requirement of the issue of speaking order under Section 17(5). Nothing is forthcoming from the record of the case that what is the basis for such re-assessment.
2. Other than the admission on the part of the importer, no basis for the adoption of the enhanced value is given. The assessment orders do not assign any reason for discarding the transaction value nor do they mention under which rule of Customs Valuation Rules, the value has been determined.
3. In spite of the admission on behalf of the importer, the Revenue is required to satisfy the requirements prescribed under Section 14 of the Customs Act read with Customs Valuation Rules before any enhancement of valuation.