Powers of Adjudication to Customs Officers

[Custom Public Notice No. 62 dated 10th September 2009]

F. No.S/22-Gen-221/2009 AM(I) JNCH

Subject: Powers of adjudication of the officers of Customs.

Attention of all Importers, Custom House Agents, Members of the Trade and all concerned are invited to Boards Circular No.87/2002-Customs dated 17.12.2002 regarding the powers of adjudication of the officers of Customs.  The Board has reviewed and enhanced the monetary limits prescribed for adjudication of cases under section 28 of the Customs Act, 1962 by Additional / Joint Commissioners of Customs vide Circular No.23/2009 dated 1st September, 2009 [F. No.450/117/2009-Cus.IV] as detailed in the following table:


Level of Adjudication Officer

Nature of cases

Monetary level
(Rs. in lakh)





All cases.

Without any limit.

Additional / Joint Commissioner

SCN in cases involving collusion, willful mis-statement or suppression of facts etc.

Duty involved upto Rs. 50 lakhs.

Additional / Joint Commissioner

Other cases

Value of goods upto Rs. 50 lakhs.

Deputy  / Assistant Commissioner

SCN with / without invoking extended period.

Value of goods upto Rs.2 lakh.

3.   In the case of Baggage, the Additional Commissioner or Joint Commissioner would continue to adjudicate the cases without limit, since such cases are covered by the offences under Chapter XIV and it is necessary to expeditiously dispose off the cases in respect of passengers at the airport. In other cases, such as short landing, drawback etc., the adjudication powers would continue to be the same as provided under the Customs Act, 1962 or the Rules/Regulations made thereunder.

4.   As per definition under section 2 (8) of the Customs Act, 1962, Commissioner of Customs includes an Additional Commissioner of Customs except for the purpose of appeal and revision. Therefore, Commissioner may review the status of cases pending for adjudication, which fall within the powers of Commissioners only, and depending on the workload may consider allocating some of these cases to Additional Commissioners to ensure speedier disposal. An appeal against the Order-In-Original passed by an Additional Commissioner shall lie before Commissioner of Customs (Appeal) and not before the CESTAT.

5.   In so far as the issuance of Show Cause Notice for demand of duty under Section 28 is concerned, the same can be issued by the respective adjudicating officers depending upon the powers of adjudication.

6.   It is clarified that notwithstanding this revision, in all cases where the personal hearing has been completed, orders will be passed by the Adjudicating Authority before whom the hearing has been held. Such orders would normally be issued within a month of the date of completion of the personal hearing.

7.   In all cases where personal hearing is yet to be commenced, the adjudications will be done by the appropriate level of officers as per the revised instructions.

8.   The Board has rescinded/modified all its previous Circulars and instructions such as instruction F.No. 437/8/91-Cus.IV dated 13.5.1992, Circular No.47/97-Cus dated 6/10/97 and Circular No.87/2002- Cus dated 17/12/2002 relating to adjudication of Show Cause Notices to the above extent.

9.   The contents of this Public Notice may be brought to the notice of all the members of the trade and CHA associations.