KARACHI: An appellate bench of High Court of Sindh comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Abdul Maalik Gaddi allowed a Special Customs Reference Application (SCRA 70 of 2010) and connected/identical 23 SCRA’s.
The judgment was reserved few months back and was announced here Wednesday. Khalid Javed khan advocate represented the petitioner while respondents were represented by Kashif Nazeer advocate.
The applicant/importers assailed an order by the Special Customs Appellate Tribunal dated 31-5-2010 dismissing appeals by applicants upholding order of the departmental forums below.
The bench considered the following questions of law :
- Whether determination of value vide ruling under section 25-A of Customs Act 1959 dated 4-2-2011 in terms of section 9 of Section 25 was justified without following the sequential method s of assessment as contemplated in sub section 5, 6,7 and 8 of Section 25.
- Whether period of limitation as contemplated by sub section (2) of Section 81 of the Customs Act 1969 had expired and whether the provisional assessment on the Declared Value stood finalized due to expiry of such mandatory period of limitation.
- Whether valuation Ruling dated 19-7-2008 read with VR dated 14-2-2009 could hold field beyond period of 90 days and whether VR dated 4-2-2010 was retrospectively applicable on consignments imported and assessed prior to issuance of VR dated 4-2-2010.
According to petitioners they are importers of electronic tin plates or Tin Free Sheets (TFS) of secondary quality which were normally released but in 2008 their consignments were blocked. Pakistan Tin Plate Merchants Association, their representative body wrote a letter to the Director General Valuation stating that due to world recession the price of their item was reduced and hence the Customs must release the goods at declared value saving the petitioners of demurrage, duty and taxes at higher rates.
The bench ending a long legal battle declared the impugned Valuation Ruling dated 4-2-2010 as ultra vires of the section 25 of the Customs Act 1969 and also held that applicants are entitled to release of their consignment as per declared value.