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Changes in Customs Rules from 1st September 2020: All you Need to Know [Read Notification]

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The Central Government on Thursday notifies the Customs (Administration of Rules of Origin under Trade Agreements) Rules, 2020. The Rules shall be enforced from 21 September, 2020.

The Rules seeks to clarify that to claim preferential rate of duty under a trade agreement, the importer or his agent at the time of filing bill of entry shall make a declaration in the bill of entry that the goods qualify as originating goods for preferential rate of duty under that agreement; indicate in the bill of entry the respective tariff notification against each item on which preferential rate of duty is claimed; produce certificate of origin covering each item on which preferential rate of duty is claimed; and enter details of certificate of origin in the bill of entry.

These Rules further said that the the claim of preferential rate of duty may be denied by the proper officer without verification if the certificate of origin; is produced after its validity period has expired; or  is issued for an item which is not eligible for preferential tariff treatment under the trade agreement and in all such cases, the certificate shall be marked as “Inapplicable”.

The notification elaborates on the rules related to the origin related information to be possessed by the importer; requisition of information from the importer; verification request by the proper officer; and identical goods.

“Where an importer fails to provide requisite information and documents by the due date prescribed under rule 5, or where it is established that he has failed to exercise reasonable care to ensure the accuracy and truthfulness of the information furnished under these rules, the proper officer shall, notwithstanding any other action required to be taken under these rules and the Act, verify assessment of all subsequent bills of entry filed with the claim of preferential rate of duty by the importer, in terms of sub-section (2) of section 17 of the Act, in order to prevent any possible misuse of a trade agreement. The system of compulsory verification of assessment shall be discontinued once the importer demonstrates that he is taking reasonable care, as required under section 28DA of the Act, through adequate record-based controls,” the notification said.

‘In the event of a conflict between a provision of these rules and a provision of the Rules of Origin, the provision of the Rules of Origin shall prevail to the extent of the conflict,” the Rules clarified.

The Rules also consist of Guidance for filing up Form I as per Rule 4 which mandates the origin related information to be possessed by the importer.

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