Option to Re-Export the Imported Goods should be given by Customs if they are held to be Prohibited Goods to Mitigate the Loss: Madras HC [Read Order]

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The Madras High court held that the option to re-export the imported goods should be given by Customs if they are held to be prohibited goods to mitigate the loss.

The petitioner, M/s.Unik Traders has filed this writ petition for the issuance of a Writ of Mandamus to direct the respondent to release the Arecanuts imported from Myanmar.

The petitioner is incurring Demurrage and Container Detention Charges for the containers to the liners as the imported consignments are not being allowed to be cleared as the assessment has not been completed by the jurisdictional “proper officers” under the jurisdiction of the second and the third respondent at the instance of the third and the fourth respondents.

Appearing on behalf of the petitioner, the  Senior Counsel Mr.Vijay Narayan duly instructed by Advocate S,Krishnanandh submits that the petitioner has imported Arecanuts viz., unflavoured supari (Betelnut products) in sixteen containers from a overseas supplier in Myanmar and had filed the above three mentioned Bill of Entries for assessment and for clearing the imported consignments.

The single bench of Justice T.Saravanan held that the initial exercise regarding the determination of classification may be completed within 15 days from the date of hosting of this Order in the website. In case, the “proper officer” is of the primafacie view that the goods are liable for confiscation, seizure order may be issued followed by confiscating the imported goods if they are found to be prohibited in terms of the Notification of the Commerce Ministry. If not, the imported goods can be allowed to be redeemed. This should be decided within a period of 30 days thereafter. The proper officer shall bring a closure to the issue one way or the other within a period 30 days thereafter after duly following the safe guards under the Customs Act,1962 and principle of natural justice. The petitioner may be given an option to re-export the imported goods if they are held to be prohibited goods to mitigate the loss of the petitioner. This observation is without prejudice to any penalty that may be imposed if the circumstances so warrant.

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Unik Traders vs The Additional Commissioner of Customs

Counsel for Appellant:   Mr.Vijay Narayan

Counsel for Respondent:   Mr.G.Meganathan


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