Subject: Time limit for filing of drawback claims under Customs and Central Excise Duties Drawback Rules, 1995
1. Customs and Central Excise Duties Drawback Rules, 1995 were notified on 26th May, 1995 specifying time limit for filing claims for drawback. Rule 13(1) of the said rules provided that a claim should be filed within three months from the date relevant for applicability of the amount or rate or drawback in terms of sub-rule (3) of rule 5. Accordingly in case of goods exported by Sea or Air, a drawback claim is required to be filed within three months from the date on which an order permitting export is made by the proper officer of the Customs on the Shipping Bill. The Assistant Commissioner of Customs can permit claim to be filed within a further period of three months on being satisfied that exporter was prevented by sufficient cause from filing his claim within the aforesaid period of three months. This power can be exercised by Assistant Commissioner of Customs in terms of proviso to rule 13 (1).
2. In respect of exports made before commencement of aforesaid rule i.e. exports made before 26th May, 1995, exporters were permitted of file their claims within three months from the date of commencement of the said rules in terms of rule 18(2)(c). Accordingly drawback claim in respect of goods exported before 26th May, 1995 should have been filed latest by 25th August, 1995. All such claims filed after 25th August, 1995 shall become time barred and the Commissioner of Customs or the Assistant Commissioner of Customs have no powers to accept such claims received after 25th August, 1995. Similarly any claim in respect of goods exported on or after 26th May, 1995 cannot be accepted by Custom Houses if filed after the expiry of six months from the date of “Let export” order as explained in preceding para. Some representations received from the exporters interpreting Ministry’s earlier Circular No. 118/95- Customs dated the 21st November, 1995 giving such powers to Assistant Commissioners of Customs is therefore not correct.
3. Under Rule 17 of the aforesaid rules, the Central Government on being satisfied that the exporter or his agent failed to comply with any of the rules for reasons beyond his control, can relax the conditions of the said rules. Such relaxation can be allowed only after considering the representation if any, made a by the exporter of his agent. Thus, all cases where an exporter has failed to file the claim within the time limit prescribed under rule 13(1) or rule 18(2)(c) for reasons beyond his control, may make an application to the Commissioner of Drawback, Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue), Jeevan Deep Building, Parliament Street, New Delhi – 110 001 for relaxation of the time limit specified under the aforesaid rules clearly stating the reasons for seeking relaxation under rule 17.