Tribunal strikes down fines & penalties imposed on mobile accessories importer

KARACHI: The Customs Appellate Tribunal has set aside the order passed by Customs Adjudication imposing fines and penalties on mobile accessories importer namely M/s Abdul Aziz & Brothers.

According to the details of the case, Customs Intelligence & Investigation Karachi intercepted a container imported by M/s Abdul Aziz & Brothers. The consignment was cleared by MCC Appraisement West.

The container was examined and it was reported by Customs I&I that the goods were grossly mis-declared. In order to ascertain correct HS Code and assessable value of the found items, the representative samples and inventory of goods was forwarded to MCC Appraisement West.

Based on the applicable HS Codes and values provided by the Colletorate, the total assessable value was worked out to Rs10.215 million against Rs5.034 million assessed by the Collectorate. The total short-levied amount of duty/tax was worked out to Rs2.512 million.

The importers were issued a show cause notice and later Customs Adjudication ordered confiscation of goods with an option to pay 35 percent redemption fine along with leviable duty and taxes. A penalty of Rs200,000 was also imposed on importer.

Being aggrieved and dissatisfied, importer approached Customs Appellate Tribunal. Nadeem Mirza represented the importer M/s Abdul Aziz & Brothers.

Mirza submitted that the goods of the importers were lawfully imported and cleared after completion of all the codal formalities, hence the act of detention/seizure of goods and preparation of contravention report was without legal authority and in violation of certain provisions of law. Nadeem Mirza also referred to several other cases vis-à-vis orders of legal forums in support of his case.

After detailed deliberations and hearing both sides, the Customs Appellate Tribunal observed that the actions of Directorate General of Intelligence & Investigation in the instant case is unlawful and void ab-initio.

The Tribunal set aside the Show Cause Notice issued to M/s Abdul Aziz & Brothers as well as the order-in-original.

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