No Confiscation or Penalty as Import of Multi Functional Digital Copies are not prohibited: CESTAT [Read Order]

Central Excise Duty - Confiscation - CSETAT - Taxscan

The Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) of Hyderabad held that importing of Multifunctional digital copies is not prohibited so cannot confiscation or penalty can be imposed.

The appellant herein has imported used Multi-Functional Digital copiers (MFD) from UAE MFDs imported by them being of the second hand in nature are liable for confiscation in Foreign Trade Policy read with Section 11 of the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation Act), 1992. Accordingly, he ordered the confiscation of the imported goods under section 111(d) of the Customs Act, 1962 and allowed their redemption on payment penalty or fine of Rs. 3,30,000/- under section 125 of the Customs Act, 1962;

Section 111(d) elaborates as Confiscation of improperly imported goods, etc.—The following goods brought from a place outside India shall be liable to confiscation:—any goods which are imported or attempted to be imported or are brought within the Indian customs waters for the purpose of being imported, contrary to any prohibition imposed by or under this Act or any other law for the time being in force.

The Order-in-Original shows that confiscation was held under section 111(d) of the Customs Act, 1962 which pertains to import in violation of the restrictions and prohibitions and not under section 111(m) which deals with confiscation for undervaluation, etc.

The Tribunal bench includes P.Venkata Subba Rao Foreign and Rachna Gupta Technical and Judicial Member on rendered the Order on an application filed by Pathange &Co.

Tribunal has also considered the judgment of the case on Asian Copiers [2015 (2) TMI 1221-CESTAT New Delhi)] and Unitech Enterprises [2012(279)ELT 236 (Tri.-Chennai)] that the import of Multi-Functional Digital Copiers prior to 05.06.2012 was not restricted. import of the impugned goods is not restricted and their confiscation under section 111(d) is not sustainable and. therefore, bench finds that the confiscation under section 111(d) of the Customs Act 1962 needs to be set aside. Consequently, the redemption fine imposed under section 125 on the appellant also needs to be set aside.

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