KARACHI: A customs appellate bench of High Court of Sindh hearing identical Special Customs Reference Applications (SCRAs) filed by Mukhtar Feeds, Summundri, Asia Flour Mills, Muridke, AlMeezan Poultry Feeds against judgment of Customs Appellate Tribunal in appeals.
The Customs Appellate Tribunal upheld the Orders in Original Passed by the Adjudication Collectorate confirming the orders by the forums below denying exemption from Custom Duty and Sales Taxes on imported Silos under a clarification issued by the FBR.
The bench heard the Counsel for the Applicants who submits that the Tribunal (Single Bench) has seriously erred in law as well as on fac inasmuch as an earlier Judgment of a Division Bench of the Tribunal dated 06.06.2017 passed in Customs Appeal No. K-432/2016 and other connected matters decided in favour of the Applicants has been ignored;
IT was also submitted that the Tribunal has failed to appreciate that the clarification of FBR dated 25.5.2015 was issued subsequently after clearance ofthe consignments and could not have been applied retrospectively.
The counsel for applicant also pleaded that the earlier clarification of FBR was still in field; that at the time of transposition of exemption SRO’s 575 and SRO 722, to 5th Schedule to the Customs Act, 1969, (Custom Act) and 8th Schedule to the Sales Tax Act, 1990 (Sales Tax Act) specific exemption has been granted from customs duty and sales tax on the import of silos; hence even otherwise, a subsequent clarification was immaterial as the exemption was always available under the Acts; that earlier Division Bench of the Tribunal has correctly held that when the exemption was clear and specific under the statute, then there was no occasion for FBR to give any clarification; that in the explanation to the exemption notificationas well as the Schedules thereto, no restriction has been provided as to the goods being classifiable under Chapter 84 or 85 and therefore, the order of the Tribunal is liable to be set aside and the Questions of law be answered in favour of the Applicants.
The bench after hearing the sides in details including Afsheen Aman Advocate representing Port Qasim Custom Collectorate and Principal Appraiser Tariq Aziz answered all the questions in favour of the importer millers and against the department. The bench held that Silos are the part of machinery and exemptions from Custom Duty and Sales Tax is avaialable to the importers.
Following is the text of order of the court: