CBEC, in much relief to trade ind Industry, has overhauled the procedure with regard to functioning of SVBs. The salient features of new procedure are as under.
- No Control of the DGOV: The control of SVBS was entrusted to Director General of Valuation(DGOV) from 01.01.2013. Now, again, Special Valuation Branch (SVB) shall function under the Supervisory control of the Jurisdictional Chief Commissioner/ Principal Commissioner/ Commissioners. However, DGoV shall continue to support the SVBs by issuing advisories on legal issues & guidance notes. DGoV shall also continue to qualitatively monitor investigation orders issued by SVBs.
- .Payment of Extra Duty Deposit not required: Extra duty deposit (EDD) is being obtained @1% of the declared assessable value from the importer for a period of 4 months during which he is required to submit the documents information to SVB. In the event of his failing to do so, the rate of the EDD can be increased to 5% till such time importer complies. In much relief, the Board has dispensed with the payment this Dreaded condition. However, the assessment shall continue on provisional basis. However, if the importer fails to provide the documents and information required by SVB within 60 days of such requisition, then security deposit of 5% of the declared value may be imposed by the Commissioner for the period not exceeding the next three months.
- Options for deposit of the Security: The importer may, at their option, can give the security deposit in cash deposit or by bank Guarantee.
- No Appealable order by SVB: In the existing system, SVB passes an appealable order followed by the assessing officer passing orders finalizing provisional assessments. Now onwards, SVB shall not issue an appealable order. Instead, the SVB shall convey its findings by way of an investigation Report to the referring customs formation for finalizing provisional assessments. This would obviate multiple steams of appeals.
- Procedure for referring a case to the SVB: Existing procedure cast responsibility Commissioner to examine whether the case merits SVB investigations. However, there were no clear guidelines. Now, a questionnaire has been introduced, which willo be filled by the importer.
- Now onward, there will be no SVB investigations in the following cases.
- Import of Samples and prototypes from related sellers.
- Imports from related sellers where duty chargeable (including additional duty of customs etc.) is unconditional fully exempted or nil.
- Any transaction where the value of imported goods is less than Rs. 1 lac but cumulatively these transactions do not exceed Rs. 25 Lacs in any financial year.
- Applicability to Pending Cases;
1. All pending SVB investigations, where Extra Duty Deposit is being obtained are required to be reviewed. In cases, where the importer has provided information & documents, requisitioned by the SVB, EDD shall be discontinued forthwith. This exercise shall be completed by 31st May 2016.
2. In cases, where EDD has been enhanced to 5%, due to the importer not having provided information or documents necessary for SVB inquiries, the Commissioner shall immediately take recourse to appropriate provisions under the Customs Act for obtaining the necessary documents for investigations and subsequently dispense with the EDD.
3. Chief Commissioners / Principal Commissioners /Commissioners having jurisdiction over the existing SVB at Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai shall draw up an action plan for completing investigations in all pending cases forthwith. Where required, additional officers may be deputed to complete pending investigations. Pendency should be brought down by 10% in each month so that all existing cases (commenced upto 31.12.2015) are disposed of latest by 31.10.2016.
- Procedure to be followed in the SVB: The SVBs are required to issue the investigation report within 2 months and if not completed then the SVB shall seek the approval of the jurisdictional Commissioner for such extended time period as is deemed necessary to complete the
- Finalization of Assessments: On receipt of the Investigation report from the SVBs, if the investigative findings brings that the declared value has been influenced by the circumstances, then the proper officers shall issue the Show cause Notice to the importer within 15 days of the receipt of the IR.