Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Excise & Customs
New Delhi, the 11, April, 2000
Subject: Baggage — commercial quantity – redemption fine/personal penalty leviable
Instances have come to the notice of Central Board of Excise and Customs that in some case of import of baggage in commercial quantity the Adjudicating/Appellate authorities have dropped/set aside the order imposing redemption fine and personal penalty on non bonafide baggage, on the plea that these items are otherwise freely importable under the EXIM Policy.
2. Vide Board’s instructions dated 6.5.1996, it was clarified that import of goods in baggage in commercial quantities would not be permissible within the scope of the Baggage Rules, even on payment of baggage rate of duty and these cases had to be adjudicated for imposition of suitable redemption fine/personal penalties etc. Vide Board’s instruction dated 17.12.1996 it was further clarified that the portion of the baggage which is not in commerical quantity would be eligible to free baggage allowance.
3. Copy of Board’s instruction issued vide F.No.495/6/96-Cus dated 6.5.1996 and 17.12.1996 (enclosed may be-re-circulated to all concerned once again for strict compliance.
(1) Copy of Board’s instructions vide F.No. 495/6/96-Cus.VI dt. 6.5.1996
Subject : –Import o Goods in Commercial Quantities in Baggage -Regarding
Please refer to your D.O. Letter F.No. S/V-10(28)CCU/96 dated – 16th April, 1996 on the above subject. The Board has examined the issue in detail and it is confirmed that import of goods in commercial quantity could not be permissible within the scope of the Baggage Rules, 1994 even on payment of baggage rate of duty. The baggage rules operate in consonance with the Exim Policy. The Exim Policy specifically restricts import of consumer goods however described in para 156A. Therefore, under the guise of the baggage, the same EXIM policy cannot be allowed to be subverted and such goods therefore, be adjudicated before clearance.
2. The Board’s instructions No. 2/92, dated 31.1.92 mentioned that “These articles are, however, not permitted for importation as baggage in terms of relevant ITC/notice such goods would be released on adjudication after levy of appropriate fine and penalty.”” Similarly, the Board”‘ instruction dated 7th July, 1992 issued from the F.No. 495/10/92-Cus. VI also mentioned. “Therefore, normal restrictions and prohibitions as have been specified in the revised import policy of goods, irrespective of whether they are brought by air, by sea or baggage would be applicable”. It may be seen that both the instructions have spoken of following the Exim Policy and therefore, the practice of allowing such goods on payment of duty only was irregular. In addition, it was mentioned in the commissioners conference at Calcutta and Cochin that other Collectorates were not allowing goods in commercial quantities without adjudication.
Director of Custom
(2.) Circular No. 64/96-Cus. VI dt. 17.12.1996
It has come to the notice of the Board that adjudicating authorities at different levels are holding different opinions whether free allowance would be permitted on import of baggage, where part of the goods are found to be in commercial quantity. The issue of import of consumer goods in commercial quantity had earlier been examined by Bard and instructions were issued vide circular No. 2/92, dated 31.1.1992and vide File No. 495/10/92-Cus. VI. Dated 7.7.1992 and recently vide F.No. 495/6/96-Cus. VI dated 6.5.1996. the gist of the said instructions are that import of the consumer goods in commercial quantity is not permissible even in the present EXIM Policy and in addition they are not to be treated as part of the bona fide baggage. Therefore, they would be liable to be adjudicated. The present problem is where a part of the goods are in the commercial quantity and that part attracts adjudication and penalty, whether free baggage allowance can be allowed to the other part of the goods which is not in commercial quantity. The matter has been examined and it is found that the entire baggage imported by a passenger does not become non-bonafide ortainted because some article in the baggage are held liable to confiscation being in commercial quantities. Therefore, that portion of the baggage which is not in commercial quantity would be eligible to free baggage allowance.