Re-examination of Valuation Ruling concerning chocolates ordered

KARACHI: The Directorate General of Customs Valuation has remanded back Valuation Ruling No.636/14 to the Director, Customs Valuation to re-examine the anomaly in the impugned determination of Customs values of chocolate.
According to details M/s I.A Naseem & Co. had filed the revision petition against Customs values determined for chocolates vide VR No. 636/14.
M/s I.A Naseem & Co. submitted that the firm is a regular importer of Sweets & Toffee including ‘Quality Street’ from UK since last over a decade and clearance is obtained against fair declaration with a respectable reputation and record of law abiding and tax compliant company. The importer imported consignment in the year 2013 at value of $1 .33/kg which was assessed by the customs authority at $2.00/kg as on 29.01.2014 the Director Customs Valuation has issued impugned valuation ruling for the Chocolates including Quality Street falling under heading l806.9000 at an arbitrarily adjudged presumptive value i.e. $6.81/kg, $7.87/kg, $8.90/kg & $9.00/kg, totally ignoring the standard of transaction values, hypothetically, in violation of section 25 of the Customs Act 1969 and Customs Rules 2001 made there under.
It added that the impugned Ruling covers a list of 84 different items intending the valuation of assorted Chocolates but mistakenly the value of Quality Street Chocolates, Toffee & Sweets was also included in the impugned Ruling as given at Sr.No.73 to 76, which factually do not fall within the ambit of Chocolates.
It added that the impugned Valuation Ruling is unfair, harsh and against the principles of natural justice in so much so that no opportunity of hearing was given by the Director Customs Valuation before deciding the impugned one sided values. The decision was held at the back of the petitioner and therefore such a condemnation is nullity in the eyes of law and not maintainable.
Moreover, the imported goods i.e. Toffees & Sweets viz Quality Street have been mistakenly evaluated with the ‘Chocolates’. lt is explained that the petitioner’s goods are simply Sweets & Toffees with some proportion of Chocolate flavour contents including other ingredients namely Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Sweetened Condensed Skimmed milk, Dark Chocolate, Vegetable Fats & Nuts, as inscribed on the package of contents.
M/s I.A Naseem & Co. prayed in the revision petition that impugned valuation ruling No 636/2014 dated 29.01.2014 may graciously be declared illegal and un-lawful and issue directions to allow assessment of imported goods in accordance with the provisions of section 25 of the Customs Act, 1969.
The Directorate General observed that it has been mainly argued that the impugned Ruling is related to chocolates, allied confectionary products and their item namely Quality Street Toffee & Chocolates was mistakenly included in the listed chocolates by the department due to some misunderstanding.
Referring to the ingredients as indicated on the wrapper/pack, it was highlighted that their imported goods are actually assorted milk dark chocolates and toffees containing 14% milk solids and other ingredients as mentioned on the contents wrapper. It was asserted that since these goods do not fall within the definition of chocolates, its reasonable valuation may be separated from the category listed in the impugned Ruling.
In their counter rebuttal, the Departmental Representative has explained that the basis of valuation was the recommendation of the MCC Appraisement and supported with findings of enquiry under section 25(7) of the Customs Act, 1969. However, while drawing out a conclusion, the factor concerning the proportion of chocolate and other ingredients used in the preparation of this product seems to have been overlooked.
The case is remanded back to the Director, Customs Valuation to re-examine the anomaly in the impugned determination specifically regarding the valuation of Quality Street. M/s I.A Naseem & Co. may also be afforded due opportunity of hearing before re-considering/re—determining valuation of these goods only as indicated at Sr.No.73 to 75 of Valuation Ruling No.636/l4 dated 29-01-2014.

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