KARACHI: – A division bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Chief Justice Syed Faisal Arab and Justice Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro on Tuesday allowed an appeal filed by Bismillah Traders against Additional Collector Customs, Valuation for assessing the custom duty at a rate of 20 per cent instead of 10 per cent.
Earlier the bench heard counsel for appellant; Naveen Merchant advocate who while citing a number of case laws submitted that Customs department is not implementing the landmark judgment in respect of Valuation Rulings. She maintained that petitioner imported the “Prime Cold Rolled Full Hard Steel Sheets in Coils”, Goods Declaration (GD) was filed under HS Code 7209.9010 which attracted levy of Customs duty at a rate of 10 per cent under Valuation ruling 560 of 2013. The respondents however assessed the consignment as “Secondary quality Cold Rolled Full Hard Steel Sheets in Coils”, and levied custom duty at a rate of 20 per cent at which the appellant disputed and challenged the assessment under new Valuation Ruling 717 0f 2015.
She maintained that appellant cannot be deprived of the benefit of valuation ruling, which held the field at the time of in bonding, and that assessment of custom duty on higher side by the custom officers is against the judgments of superior courts as well as rules in cases of identical nature.
Masooda Siraj advocate appearing for the respondents maintained that the appellant did not challenge assessment by the customs and they accepted the same when they filed an indemnity bond for release of the consignment. She said that it is a case falling under section 30 and 31 (a) of the Customs Act 1969.
The counsel for appellant rebutting the argument said that it was not a case of section 31 instead Custom officials are violating the section 25 and 25 (a) of the Customs Act.
The bench after hearing detailed arguments allowed the appeal ordering that consignment shall be treated to assessed as per GD filed by the appellant and VR 560/2013.