CBIC clears air on faceless assessment issues | Business Standard Column

Clipped from: https://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/cbic-clears-air-on-faceless-assessment-issues-120101900038_1.html

The CBIC has decided that all Saturdays (except second Saturday) will be working days for all the faceless assessment groups (FAGs) and port assessment groups (PAGs) across the country

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has issued more instructions to ensure smooth implementation of the faceless assessment scheme for imported goods on pan-Indian basis by the end of October. This follows representations from the importers and Customs brokers regarding issues impacting the pace of assessment and clearances of consignments.

The CBIC has decided that all Saturdays (except second Saturday) will be working days for all the faceless assessment groups (FAGs) and port assessment groups (PAGs) across the country. The co-conveners of the National Assessment Centres (NACs) have been asked to co-ordinate for ensuring that enough officers are working on Sundays and other holidays at FAGs and PAGs across zones to quickly carry out assessment.

The port of import should monitor clearance of time-sensitive/urgent consignments such as lifesaving drugs, security/defence-related consignments etc imported by the government and its agencies/PSUs so that these are not delayed. Queries should not be raised in piecemeal manner and to the extent possible multiple and repeat queries are to be avoided. Senior officers must monitor and review the types of queries and analyse the reasons for them. The trade should provide at the first instance, the complete details and description of the commodity, brand name, model and any other specifications essential for the assessment and upload supporting documents like product/technical literature and mandatory documents, certificates, which would help avoid queries and delays, says the CBIC.

The verification of statutory compliances is to be checked only during Customs Compliance Verification (CCV) stage at the port of import. While appraising/assessment officer can make a suitable remark in the system for such verification by the port of import, the B/E shall not be kept pending for assessment.

The CBIC has identified four situations where first check shall ordinarily be resorted to by the FAGs for carrying out assessment – import of old and used machinery/capital goods where the inspection or appraisement report from the country of export is not available or where examination is essential to determine valuation, classification, and other parameters, articles of jewellery, precious metals, imitation jewellery where valuation must be ascertained by a jewellery expert and cases of re-import of goods under various exemption notification, which requires establishment of identity to the satisfaction of proper officer of Customs.

The CBIC has identified various scenarios and the prescribed routes for carrying out reassessment. These include situations where the amendment is requested before out of charge (OOC) order and would impact the assessment, where the re-assessment is requested before OOC but would not impact the assessment and where re-assessment is requested after OOC has been given under Section 47 of the Customs Act, 1962.

For uniformity, the CBIC has instructed that all field formations must adhere to directions that require submission of original hard copy of a Certificate of Origin. This is in line with the Operational Certification Procedures for the various Trade Agreements notified in terms of section 5 of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 says the CBIC. The CBIC has also asked the field formations to streamline the procedures for grievance redressal and also clarified certain inadvertent errors noted in its earlier circulars on faceless assessment.

Overall, the CBIC has demonstrated its commitment to promptly address various issues raised by the trade in the implementation of faceless assessment scheme.email:tncrajagopalan@gmail.com

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