Documents Verification for First Time Importers

The following Public Notice was issued by the Commissioner of Customs (Export) Air Cargo Complex, Mumbai on 21st May 2010.

[Customs Public Notice No. 21 dated 21st May 2010]

Sub: First time import of goods- Verification of documents.

It has been observed that some unscrupulous importers are importing / attempting to import goods using the IEC No. of other persons, who, on verification, turn out in many cases to be fictitious in the sense that they do not exists at the given address or do not have any knowledge / idea about the import consignment, nor do they have any finance for / experience in the business of imports and in fact they are dummies.Such imports by the said unscrupulous importers set a chain of economic offences starting from mis-declaring the description, value and quantity to Customs down to non-payment of Sales Tax / VAT, Income Tax, Octroi, Money Laundering, generation of black money and violations of foreign exchange laws.

2.†† As a preventive measure, it has been decided to look into the aspect of the genuinity of the importers, who are importing goods for the FIRST TIME through ACC, SAHAR. This will be done from documents like the following:

(i)†† Copy of VAT/Sales Tax Registration certificate.

(ii)Certificate from the Bank with whom the Bank Account is being maintained by the importer certifying the signatures, name and address of the importer.

(iii) Proof of payment / remittance through the importerís account.

(iv) Balance sheet of the previous year.

(v)Copy of the last Income Tax Return/VAT or Sales Tax Return filed,

The above documents will have to be submitted by the importer or his Clearing Agent (CHA) to the concerned Assessing Officer.†† The CHA are expected to play a positive role in this regard in terms of Regulation 13 of Customs House Agents Licencing Regulations, 2004.Once the documents (i) to (v) above are filed, import will be allowed on payment of duties applicable. If there is any difficulty in making available any of these documents, the importer may approach Additional Commissioner incharge of the Group to make relaxation.

3.†† In respect of RMS facilitated B/Es, documents as prescribed above shall be submitted to the officer who has to grant Out Of Charge.

4.†† This practice / requirement shall come into course with immediate effect.

F.No.S/3-Misc- PRO-147/2010