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1. Introduction:

1.1 Sometimes, indigenously manufactured goods, when exported, are returned back for various reasons including cancellation of export order or after exhibition/display etc., or after use in particular project/contract and completion of the contract etc. (such as machinery). Similarly imported goods which may have discharged duties at the time of original importation have also to be often sent out for repair, reconditioning etc. Private, personal imported property may also have to be sent abroad for repair within the warranty period and returned. There are also goods that may have to be sent for special processes like electroplating, polishing or coating and re-imported. Thus, specific legal provisions permit the facility of re-import and re-export of goods.

2. Re-importation of indigenously manufactured/imported goods:

2.1 Under Section 12 of the Custom Act, 1962 import duties of Customs are leviable on all import goods, and no distinction is made whether the goods being imported had discharged duties earlier are being re-imported after exportation for particular purposes. Similarly, even if goods are indigenously manufactured which had been exported earlier under various export incentive schemes or duty drawback claim or even without any export incentive claim, when these are re­imported they attract the Customs duty leviable on like import goods (as the duty is on the act of importation) unless an exemption notification is issued.

2.2 To avoid incidence of double duty on re-imported goods such when sent abroad for repairs, certain relief from duty has been provided. Similarly, where the goods are indigenously manufactured, they should bear the Central Excise or GST duties, as applicable, which may not have been discharged at the time of exportation. Further, the exporters should not retain any benefits obtained as an export incentive if the goods are re-imported.

2.3 The salient elements of the duty exemption governing the re-imported goods are as follows:

(i) On re-import of indigenously manufactured goods under duty Drawback/claim of refund of integrated tax paid, export under bond or under other claim of export incentives, essentially the duties equivalent to the export incentives etc. availed have to be paid, on re- importation. Thus, if the goods were exported on payment of GST, without claiming any rebate, and without claiming any export incentives such as Drawback or benefits of the duty exemption schemes, EPCG schemes, and where the indigenously manufactured goods are being returned then no Customs duties are leviable. Further, when the indigenously manufactured goods are exported for repair and returned without claiming any benefits, duty is to be paid on a value comprising fair cost of repairs including cost of materials used in repairs, insurance and freight charges both ways. Similarly, in case of re-import of cut and polished precious and semi-precious stones exported for treatment abroad as referred to in Paragraph 4A.20.1 of the Foreign Trade Policy, duty is to be paid on a value comprising of the fair cost of treatment carried out including cost of materials used in such treatment, insurance and freight charges, both ways. Basically the benefit is available if the Assistant/Deputy Commissioner of Customs is satisfied that the goods are the same which were exported earlier and certain other conditions as laid down in the relevant notification are fulfilled.

[Refer Notification No.45/2017-Cus, dated 30.06.2017]

(ii) Similar duty exemption provisions in case of re-import of the goods falling within the Fourth Schedule to the Central Excise Act, 1944 (1of 1944) are contained in Notification No.45/2017-Cus, dated 30.06.2017.

(iii) Goods manufactured in India or parts thereof that are re-imported for repairs or reconditioning or reprocessing/refining/ remaking etc. are exempt from duty subject to the condition that the re-importation takes place within a specified period; the goods are reexported within six months of re-importation; the Assistant/Deputy Commissioner of Customs is satisfied as regards the identity of the goods; and certain other conditions ensuring re-export including execution of bonds are fulfilled.

[Refer Notification No.158/95-Cus, dated 14-11-1995 as amended vide Notification 43/2017-Cus dated 30.06.2017]

(iv) Re-imported private personal property, which was imported earlier but exported out for any alteration, renovation, repair free of charge etc. is exempt from duty subject to the condition that the goods are repaired on free of charge basis in accordance with the terms of warranty given by the manufacturers and in accordance with the established trade practice and Drawback or other incentives have not been availed. However, certain Custom duties equivalent to the cost of alterations/renovations/additions/repairs, if any, are payable.

[Refer Notification No.174/66-Cus. dated 24-9-1966] as amended vide Notification 44/2017-Cus dated 30.06.2017

3. Re-exportation of imported goods:

3.1 There are often occasions where imported goods may have to be re-exported such as when the import goods are found defective after Customs clearance or are not found as per specifications or requirements. Various machinery items imported for use in certain projects or otherwise are also often to be re-exported by the original owner. Re-exports can be made by sea, air, baggage or post.

3.2 Section 74 of the Customs Act, 1962 provides for grant of Drawback @98% of the Customs duties paid at the time of importation, if the goods are re-exported by the importer, subject to certain conditions. The re-export is to be made within a maximum period of two years from the date of payment of duty on importation(which period can be extended on sufficient grounds being shown) and goods have to be identified with the earlier import documents and duty payment to the satisfaction of the Assistant/Deputy Commissioner of Customs at the time of export. If such goods are used after importation, Drawback is granted on a proportionate basis but if such goods are re­exported after more than 18 months of import ‘nil’ Drawback is admissible. Further, no Drawback of the import duty paid is permissible for specific categories of goods such as wearing apparel, tea chests, exposed cinematographic films passed by Film Censor Board, unexposed photographic films, paper and plates and x-ray films. Also, in respect of motor vehicles imported for personal and private use the Drawback is calculated by reducing the import duty paid according to the laid down percentage for use for each quarter or part thereof, but upto maximum of four years. Further Circular 21/2017-Cus dated 30.06.2017 has been issued post introduction of GST in this regard.

[Refer Notification No.19/65-Cus, dated 6-2-1965 and Re-export of imported Goods (Drawback of Customs Duties) Rules 2017]

3.3 Section 26A of the Customs Act, 1962 allows refund of import duty if the imported goods are found defective or otherwise not in conformity with the specifications agreed upon between the importer and the supplier of goods. One of the conditions for claiming refund is that the goods should not have been worked, repaired or used after the importation except where such use was indispensable to discover the defects or non- conformity with the specifications. Another condition is that the goods are either exported without claiming Drawback or abandoned to Customs or destroyed or rendered commercially valueless in the presence of the Proper Officer within a period of 30 days from the date on which the Proper Officer makes an order for the clearance of imported goods for home consumption. The period of 30 days can be extended by the jurisdictional Commissioner of Customs on sufficient cause being shown. However, no refund shall be available in respect of perishable goods and goods which have exceeded their shelf life or their recommended storage-before-use period.

3.4 CBIC clarified eligibility of exemption Notification No.104/94-Cus., dated 16.03.1994 (as amended) on import of empty containers that satisfy following conditions

a) that are durable,

b) capable of being re-used multiple times,

c) capable of being identified at the time of re-export viz. a viz. the imported containers, and

d) satisfy all the other stipulated conditions in the notification.

3.4.1. Details of procedural requirements are provided in Circular No.51/2020-Customs dated 20.11.2020.

4. Re-export of diamonds

4.1 The board allowed setting up of a Special Notified Zone at Gujarat Hira Bourse, Ichhapore Surat. M/S SIDC and M/S DGDC shall be responsible for the receipt, sales, custody, delivery, re-export and accounting of the rough diamonds imported for viewing and/or sale in such form as prescribed by the jurisdictional Commissioner of Customs.

(Refer Circular No. 36/2019 dated 31.10.2019).

5. Re-import of Jewelry

5.1 Re-import of jewellery which was exported under bond/LUT for exhibition abroad or on consignment basis, per se indicates that there was no sale involved. Thus, there was no liability to pay Central Excise duty as it arises only at the time of first sale by the manufacturer as per provisions under the Articles of Jewellery (Collection of Duty) Rules, 2016, inspite of leviability of Central Excise duty that had already arisen at the time of manufacture. Condition 1(d) of the notification no. 94/96-Cus requires payment at the time of re-import of Central Excise duty not paid initially at the time of export. As in the present case, no duty was required to be paid for goods which have not been sold and have been re-imported, hence the said condition requiring payment of Central Excise duty in such cases appears to be not applicable even if the re-import is taken to be falling under condition 1(d) of the notification. However, such cases appear to fall more appropriately underresiduary entry at Sl. No. 3 of the said notification as the goods were allowed to be exported under simple LUT which was even not required to be registered with Central Excise authority. Hence,in effect, claim of re-import under condition 1(d) or 3 does not materially alter the situation. Therefore, no duty is payable in such cases of re-import provided all other conditions of the notification are met.

(Refer Circular No. 17/2019 dated 19.06.2019)

6. Applicability of IGST on repair cost, insurance and freight, on goods re-imported after being exported abroad for repairs.

6.1 It is clarified that notification Nos. 45/2017-Customs and 46/2017-Customs, both dated the 30th of June, 2017 were issued to implement the decision of the GST Council taken earlier, that re-import of goods sent abroad for repair attracts IGST on a value equal to the repair value, insurance and freight. Further, in the light of the recommendations of the GST Council in its 43rd Meeting, a clarificatory amendment has been made in the said notifications, vide notification Nos. 36/2021-Customs and 37/2021-Customs, both dated 19th July, 2021, without prejudice to the leviability of IGST, as above, on such imports as it stood before the amendment.

(Refer circular No. 16/2021-Cus dated 19-07-2021)

7. Availment of exemption on temporary import of durable Containers

7.1 Notification No.104/94-Cus.,dated 16.03.1994 (as amended) grants exemption to import of containers of durable nature, from the whole of the duty of customs and the whole of the integrated tax leviable. The exemption is subject to the condition that such containers are re-exported within 6 months from the date of importation and that the importer executes a bond and furnishes documentary evidence to the satisfaction of the Assistant Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner to safeguard the duty in the event of non-compliance.

7.2 `Durable containers` covers within its ambit “any type of reusable packaging containers such as cases, boxes, cartons, trays, etc., made up of metals or plastics”. Thus, it is hereby reiterated that containers that satisfy following conditions are eligible for the said duty exemption:

(a) that are durable,

(b) capable of being re-used multiple times,

(c) capable of being identified at the time of re-export viz. a viz. the imported containers, and

(d) satisfy all the other stipulated conditions in the notification.

7.3 The procedure to be followed for import and re-exportof marine containers would continue to be governed by guidelines provided in Circular No. 31/2005-Cus.,dated 25.07.2005.

7.4 Circular No 51/2020 specifies procedures for durable containers which do not conform to the standard marine container dimensions, but which are intended for temporary import and eventual re-export.

[Refer Circular No. 51/2020 dated 20.11.2020]

Source – Custom Duty Manual 2023

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One Comment

  1. Sandip Lolayekar says:

    indigenous raw material export under free s.bill /no incentive, to be processed abroad to test the machinery which is to be imported later on, if raw material sent is converted as per desired specifications. Raw material so converted will be imported but under different HS code will it attract import duty

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