Appellate Tribunal strikes down the demand created against tile importer

KARACHI: The Customs Appellate Tribunal has struck down the additional duty/tax demand created by Customs authorities against a tile importer.

According to the details of the case, M/s home Life imported a number of consignments of China origin tiles during 2010, Goods Declarations were filed and duties and taxes upfront as per self-assessment by considering declared values as customs value for assessment purposes.

The declaration and self-assessment was checked in the light of Customs value data identical/similar imports and found that the above named importer had imported the goods at suppressed value and in fact the duties & taxes are payable as per customs value determined by the Director (Valuation), vide Valuation Ruling No. 216 dated 03.02.2009.

Further considering the fact that the importer failed to provide the detailed particulars regarding their transaction was completed and they also failed to submit the requisite information / documents, that being so, there was no question to accept their declared value as customs value.

During the routine course of hearing of “Review Requests” the importer was informed that in the presence of customs value, and in the absence of information / documents from them, regarding adjustments and the documents relating to the payment of true payable transaction value to the supplier /seller, his declared invoice value cannot be considered as customs value.

Instead of clearing the goods as per customs value, so assessed by the appropriate officer, the importer requested for release of his consignment on provisional basis as per Islamabad High Court’s interim orders.

In compliance of the Islamabad High Court’s interim orders the consignment was released by securing the differential amount of duty& taxes trough post dated cheque.

The Adjudication Officer passed the assessment order against M/s Home Life, and observed that importers have neither substantiated that their declared value is a true payable transaction value to be considered as customs value, nor have they joined the exercise to determine the value under other secondary methods of valuation.

Due to concealment of vital information from the customs, there is no question to treat a declared invoice value as true payable transaction value to be considered as customs value for assessment purposes.

The importer was directed to make the payment of stuck up amount of duties and taxes as per the Customs value, failing which the assessed amount shall be recovered along with surcharge.

Dissatisfied, the importer approached Collector (Appeals), but the appeal was dismissed. Being aggrieved, M/s Home life approached Appellate Tribunal.

Tribunal observed that due to bulk purchase from the exporters by M/s Home Life being the largest importers of the country are benefitted with the discount of 15 to 20 percent as compare to the other buyers.

The Tribunal was also presented with relevant documents, which showed that the prices in the contract of Home Life with their supplier, and the prices declared by them were same.

The Tribunal set aside the orders passed by Adjudication and Collector (Appeals).

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