Circular No. 99/2003-Cus.
November  27,2003

F.No.450/ 81 /2000-Cus.IV
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
(Department of Revenue)
Central Board of Excise & Customs

Subject: Import of non-standard tapes-instructions reg.

I am directed to refer to Board’s letter of even number, dated 24.7.2000 and subsequent letter dated 11.1.2002 (copies enclosed),  on the subject mentioned above, wherein ,it  was stated that import of non-standard tapes (tapes with dual markings i.e. inch and centimeters) are prohibited for import in view of the provisions of Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution has   again  brought to the notice  of  the  Board  that the field  formations  of  Customs are still permitting the import of such non-standards tapes into the country.  

2. The matter has   been examined  in consultation with the Department of  Consumer Affairs. It has  been observed  that the  provisions relating to import of measuring instruments are governed  by the Section 49 read with Section 4 and  Section 23  of the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976 ( SWMA’76) . As per   Section 49 , no weight or measure, whether singly or as a part or component of any machine or machinery, shall be imported unless it conforms to the standards of weights or measures established by or under this Act. The  Section 4 of  said  Act defines that every  unit of  weight  or measures shall be based on the units of the metric system. Further, as per section 23 , no weight ,measures  or  other goods shall bear thereon any inscription or  indication of  weight , measure or number except in accordance with the  standard unit of  such weight, measure or numeration established  by or  under this  Act except  for  certain scientific investigation or research purpose.

3. A point has  been  raised that section 49 of  the SWMA,1976 read with section 4 of  the Act ibid does not require that the unit of  weight or measure should “only” be in metric system. In this context attention is invited  to section 23 of the said  Act which prohibits any additional marking or inscription (i.e , dual markings) other than metric  system.

4. A point has  also been raised that proviso  to section 49(2) of  the Act permits the importer to get the markings done as per  the metric  system within 6 months of  import. It is , however, clarified  that this  proviso applies  to markings on commodities  only & not to any weight or measure imported as  such.

5. In view  of  the  legal position  mentioned above,  it is evident that the import of measuring instruments other than standard units of metric  system, is not  permitted except under certain conditions  specified  in Section 23 of Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976. You are, therefore, requested    to  ensure  that non-standard units  of  weight or measure ( including these with dual markings), except those  permitted by proviso to section 23 of  the  Act ibid, are, on import, either confiscated absolutely or allowed re-export only.

6. Receipt  of this  Circular may kindly be acknowledge.

7. Hindi version will follow.

(D. S. Garbyal )
Under Secretary to the Government of India
Phone No. 23094182

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