REFUND OF BILL OF ENTRY LATE FILING CHARGES – IF DELAY DUE TO CUSTOMS THEN IMPORTER CAN GET REFUND
It is clear that the importer is required to present the bill of entry before the end of the next day following the day (excluding holidays) on which the Aircraft or Vessel or Vehicle carrying the goods arrives at a Customs station at which such goods are to be cleared for home consumption or warehousing.
Bill of Entry (Forms) Regulations, 1976 - Amendment of 2017
Regulation 4 (2) Where the bill of entry is not presented within the time specified in sub-regulation (1) and the proper officer of Customs is satisfied that there was no sufficient cause for such delay, the importer shall be liable to pay charges for late presentation of the bill of entry at the rate of rupees five thousand per day for the initial three days of default and at the rate of rupees ten thousand per day for each day of default thereafter:_
Provided that where the proper officer is satisfied with the reasons of delay, he may waive off the charges referred to in the second proviso to sub-section (3) of the section 46 of the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962).
As per regulation 4(2), it is provided that the penalty for late presentation of bill of entry shall be liable to be paid, if there was no sufficient cause for delay in filing the bill of entry.
In a case, what we are discussing now, entire event from time of import till the filing of bill of entry is known to the Custom Department that the importer intended to claim the exemption notification but due to apparent error in the notification, the importer was not in a position to file the bill of entry on EDI System.
Since, the Importer had strong belief that they are entitled for exemption Notification, they followed up the matter with the Customs. However, the Customs Official even after knowing that the goods are exempted, insisted the importer to file bill of entry and pay the entire custom duty and said that the importer can claim the refund later.
Once it is admitted that the goods are exempted, no business men will pay the custom duty and clear the goods and this is the reason the importers were reluctant to file the bill of entry and delayed presentation of BE.
Since the Customs Official did not clear the goods under exemption, the importer had no option but to file bill of entry without claiming the exemption notification. Later he got sanction of refund of duty but refund of late filing charges Rs.5,87,047/- denied by the customs.
This entire episode is a sufficient cause for delay in filing the bill of entry, therefore, invoking the sub-regulation-(2) of regulation 4, no charges for late presentation of bill of entry should have been demanded from the importer.
Accordingly, Importer has made out a fit case for non-imposition of charges for late presentation of bill of entry. Hence the charges paid for late filing of bill of entry is ordered to be refunded to the importer.
M/S. BAEROCHER INDIA ADDITIVES PVT. LTD. VERSUS COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS., -INDORE, CESTAT, NEW DELHI, Order pronounced on 20.02.2020
Takeaway for readers – If importer can prove the delayed presentation of Bill of Entry is not due to his fault and can prove the delay due to Customs Department, he can get refund of BoE late filing charges.
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