Coastal goods are defined u/s 2(7) which means goods, other than imported goods, transported in a vessel from one port in India to another.
It basically consists of provisions of Section 91 to 99. Let us see the provisions related to Coastal Goods.
Section 91: The provisions of sections 92 to 99 shall not apply to baggage and stores.
Section 92: An entry shall be made by the consignor of any coastal goods by presenting to the proper officer a bill of coastal goods in the prescribed forms. Every such consignor while presenting a bill of coastal goods shall, at the foot thereof, make and subscribe to a declaration as to the truth of the contents of such bill.
Section 93: The master of a vessel shall not permit the loading of any coastal goods on the vessel until a bill relating to such goods presented under section 92 has been passed by the proper officer and has been delivered to the master by the consignor.
Section 94: It covers following points,-
a. The master of the vessel who is carrying the coastal goods will have to carry on board all bills relating to such goods delivered to him u/s 93 and shall, immediately on arrival of the vessel at any customs or coastal port, deliver to the proper officer of that port all bills relating to the goods which are to be unloaded at that port.
b. The proper officer shall permit clearance where any coastal goods are unloaded at any port only when he is satisfied that they are entered in a bill of coastal goods delivered to him by the master.
Section 95: It covers following points,-
a. The master of every vessel carrying coastal goods is supplied by the custom authorities with a book called the ‘advice book’.
b. The proper officer shall make such entries in the advice book as he deems fit, relating to the goods loaded on the vessel at that port.
c. The master of vessel shall carry the advice book on board the vessel and on arrival at each port of call shall deliver it to the proper officer at that port for his inspection.
Section 96: All the coastal goods shall be loaded on or unloaded from a customs port or a coastal port.
Section 97: Until a written order has been given by the proper officer the vessel shall not depart from the port by the master of the vessel which has brought or loaded any coastal goods at such customs or coastal port. Such order shall be given only after:-
a. the master of the vessel has answered the questions put to him u/s 38;
b. all charges and penalties due in respect of that vessel or from the master thereof have been paid or the payment secured by such guarantee or deposit of such amount as the proper officer may direct;
c. the master of the vessel has satisfied the proper officer that no penalty is leviable on him u/s 116 or the payment of any penalty that may be levied upon him under that section has been secured by such guarantee or deposit of such amount as the proper officer may direct;
d. the provisions of sections 92 to 99 and any rules and regulations relating to coastal goods and vessels carrying coastal goods have been complied with.
Section 98: For coastal goods provisions of section 33, 34 and 36 shall apply whereas the provisions of sections 37 and 38 shall apply to vessel carrying coastal goods. Further, the central government may notify that all or any of the other provisions of section 29 to 43 and of section 45 shall apply to coastal goods or vessels carrying coastal goods subject to exceptions and modifications specified in the notification.
Section 99: The Central Government may make rules for:-
a. the export of any coastal goods i.e. preventing any coastal goods to be taken out of India which is dutiable or prohibited under this act or any other law for the time being in force.
b. preventing the substitution of imported or exported goods by coastal goods in the case of a vessel carrying coastal goods as well as imported or exported goods.
(The above article is contributed by Dipesh Murarka having professional and academic interests in Accounts, Auditing and Taxation arenas. He can be approached at [email protected])