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CBIC Order Release of import without delay

India’s apex indirect taxes body on Saturday directed customs authorities to release goods imported via third-party invoicing under free trade agreements (FTA) “without delay”.

Industry was facing delays in release of consignments and denial of free trade agreement benefits with authorities questioning value addition in third-party invoicing, ET reported on June 8.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, or CBIC, has clarified that any verification of invoice, if required, should be carried out only in the terms of legal provisions of the free trade agreement and the Customs (Administration of Rules of Origin under Trade Agreements)

Rules that provide for verification of exports from the exporting country on certain grounds.

Customs authorities had begun denying duty concessions under FTA and sought payment of differential customs duty with interest in the case of a third-party invoice or the full duty

Multinational companies use third-party invoicing for imports in which billing is carried out in a country different from country of origin. Third-party in voicing is permitted under free trade ag reements (FTAS).

CBIC in a communique, seen by ET, to customs authorities has reiterated the provisions of CAROTAR, 2020 that lay down that though the importer may be requested for supporting information, he is under no compulsion to submit commercially sensitive information such as the export invoice in case of third party invoicing. The bill-to-ship-to-business model ensures commercial confidentiality in global value chains.

CAROTAR rules do require an importer to seek details which may be confidential and if any importer fails to provide sufficient information or documents, the verification process as prescribed under the trade agreement shall have to be initiated. Industry had represented the matter to the CBIC after consignments, particularly under India-Asean FTA, were held up at Nhava Sheva and some other ports.

S-ET Image Source: Google

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