Circular No.662/53/2002- Central Excise

17th September 2002 

F.No. 201/6/2001-CX.6 (Pt.)
Government of India
Ministry of Finance and Company Affairs
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Excise & Customs

Subject: – Central Excise Registration-new instructions -regarding 

I am directed to refer to Board Circulars No. 593/30/2001-CX and 594/31/2001-CX, both dated 19.10.2001 on Central Excise Registration whereby Board had introduced a new process of Registration and allotment of 15 digit Registration Numbers (which would also serve as Excise Control Code Numbers) based on PAN issued by Income Tax Department. As per the reports received the Department has been able to allot 15 digit PAN based Registration Number to majority of the units but not to all.  This is reportedly on account of the fact that some units are not having PAN.  Another area of difficulty is the Registration of the multi-unit companies as immediate allotment of Registration Number to individual units of such companies can not be done because of the fact that information pertaining to their other manufacturing facilities is not readily available at the Range level. Hence, the applications of such units are necessarily to be referred to DGICCE and the process is time consuming.  Finally, in view of the unique position of the small scale Match and Biri units the Board had to exclude such units from the purview of the 15 digit PAN based Registration Number as a temporary measure.  This led to incomplete data base which adversely impacted the overall central excise computerisation process.

2. In this regard it is the view of the Board that in order to facilitate the assesses it is necessary that the central excise computerization should be completed on priority. One objective is to reduce the response time to the minimum so that all the requirements of the assessee are met without delay and he is free to concentrate on his business.  In this direction it is observed that in so far as the Registration process is concerned, the assessee has invariably to make repeat visits to the Department, firstly for submission of the application and secondly for obtaining the Registration Certificate.  It is the view that the Department should gear its systems in such manner that the Registration Certificate is granted on the same day, in fact the assessee should ‘walk away’ with the Registration Certificate after submission of the Application.  This would go a long way in facilitating the asssessees.

3. Another advantage of computerisation would be the use of the comprehensive database of assessee profile for various purposes including Risk Assessment for Audit. It is also envisaged that in the long run all the central excise processes would be systems based and inter-connected such that development in one area (say, adjudication of a case) would reflect in the assessee profile automatically.  Whereas Risk Assessment techniques are used to identify the risky assessee (in terms of revenue implication) for Audit the objective is also that the Department uses the information to guide the units in the proper compliance of the rules and regulations.  At the same time the proper use of the data base would ensure that the assessees are not subjected to routine visits by the central excise officers, which may affect their day to day work.  Basically, the idea is to limit departments intervention and interface with the assessee to the minimum required to guide the assesses, if necessary, or to seek assurance that the legal provisions are being complied with.

4. Furthermore, Export Oriented Units (EOUs) and units in Export Processing Zones (EPZ units) were deemed to be registered under Central Excise vide Notification No.36/2001-CE (NT), dated 26.6.2001. At the same time such units which clear goods to domestic tariff area on payment of central excise duty are required to file a return with the Superintendent of Central Excise in terms of Rule 17 of Central Excise Rules, 2002. It is observed that the EOUs and EPZ units are increasingly getting linked to the domestic economy through procurement of excisable goods therefrom and sale of finished goods, scrap etc. in the domestic market. These transactions or inter-linkages have revenue implications for Central Excise administration. Hence, it is considered necessary by the Board to require such of the EOUs and EPZ units which have inter-linkage with domestic economy through procurement and/or sale of goods to get registered with the Department with 15 digit PAN-based Registration Numbers being allotted to them.  Other EOUs and EPZ units would continue to be treated as deemed registered with the Central Excise authorities.

5. In the aforesaid background, Board has re-examined the Registration process in its entirety and prescribed a new procedure which will come into force from 1.10.2002. The salient features of the new Registration process are detailed as follows.

5.1.  Important changes in the Registration procedure

(i) The new Registration process shall be implemented in respect of all new registrants with effect from 1.10.2002.
(ii) Application for Registration shall be submitted to the jurisdictional Divisional Office and Registration shall be done at Divisions instead of Ranges.
(iii) Registration Certificate shall be issued under the signature of the Divisional Officer i.e. Deputy/Assistant Commissioner.
(iv) Registration Process would be carried out on computer through system called System for Allotment of Central Excise Registration (SACER) by feeding the d493/59/99-CX.6 into Central Server accessing http://sermon.nic.in/sacerl which shall automatically generate 15-digit PAN based Registration Number or a Temporary Registration Number in case registrant does not have PAN.
(v) Registration of EOUs and EPZ units which have inter-linkage with domestic economy through procurement and/or sale of goods will be done on identical pattern as in case of other Central Excise assesses with few changes. This is being introduced with effect from 1.10.2002 vide Notification No.31/2002-C.E. (N.T.), dated 17.9.2002 (copy enclosed), which amends Notification No.36/2001 C.E. (N.T.), dated 26.6.2001.  Other EOU/EPZ units which have no inter-linkage with the domestic tariff area shall continue to be treated as deemed registered and need not obtain the 15 digit PAN-based Registration Number.
(vi) In the Port Towns the EOU/EPZ units located therein are administratively under the charge of the officers of Customs vide Boards Circular No.72/2000-Cus. dated 31.8.2000. Accordingly, for the purpose of Registration process and for handling the matters relating to the provisions of Central Excise law including the filing of Returns prescribed there under the officers of Customs have been designated as officers of Central Excise vide Notification No.32/2002 C.E.(N.T.), dated 17.9.2002 (copy enclosed).
(vii) It has been envisaged that all new registrants not having PAN or the existing units which may or may not have PAN (including small scale Biri and Match units) will be allotted a system generated 15 digit Temporary Registration Number with effect from 1.10.2002.  This would eventually get converted to a regular 15 digit PAN Based Registration Number.

5.2.  Important changes in Format of Application for Registration

i) The Format of Application for Registration has been revised vide Notification No.30/2002- C.E.(N.T.), dated 17.9.2002 (copy enclosed), which amends Notification No.35 /2001-C.E. (N.T.), dated 26.6.2001, and will be applicable from 1.10.2002.  The new Form will be used with effect from 1.10.2002 both for obtaining Registration as well as for carrying out amendments, if any, in the information supplied after completion of Registration. For this purpose option boxes are provided for new Registration or amendments.  In case the Application Form is used to carry out amendments to the information given earlier the registrant must furnish his Registration Number so that the system can recall the earlier Application Form to carry out the desired amendment(s).

ii) An assessee may have different legal names i.e. one appearing in PAN and other under the name and style in which he carries on his business from the registered premises. Therefore an additional field for providing ‘the name as appearing in PAN’ is provided in the Application Form.

iii) New fields have been provided for information regarding constitution of assessee, property holding rights (like ownership, lease etc.), estimated investment in land, plant and machinery, assessee’s banks account numbers and identifier numbers issued by other Government agencies (Customs, DGFT, Sales Tax etc.).

iv) Fields like ‘Name of the Registrant’, addresses, telephone number, fax, boundaries of premises to be registered, major excisable goods to be manufactured etc. have been modified keeping in mind the systems requirement.

v) In cases of Proprietorship concerns or those having no authorised persons the details of the Registrant have been added to the relevant field.

vi) The name of the Registrant/authorised person figures in the Declaration annexed to the Application Form. In case of any change it would be necessary to obtain another Declaration reflecting the change and its effective date.

vii) Changes have been made in the format for grant of acknowledgement of the Application, which is to be given in the event the Registration Certificate is not delivered on the spot at the time of the receipt of the Application Form. .

viii) Separate Document Locator Code has been dispensed with since the new Registration process envisages on the spot grant of Registration Certificate.  For future references the Registration Number will operate as the reference number.

5.3 Components of 15 digit PAN based Registration Number

(i) The PAN based Registration Number is alphanumeric.  The first part would be the 10-Character (alphanumeric) Permanent Account Number [PAN] issued by Income Tax authorities to the person (includes a legal person) to whom the Registration Number is to be allotted.

(ii) The second part would comprise of a fixed 2-Character alpha-code indicating the category of the Registrant which will be as follows:

(1) Central Excise manufacturers: XM (including registered warehouses)

(2)  Registered Dealers:  XD

(3) EOUs including EPZ units:  EU

(iii)  The third part is a 3-Character numeric-code – 001, 002, 003…..etc. In case, a manufacturer registered with the Central Excise Department, has only one factory /dealer’s premise/warehouse, the last 3 characters will be “001”. If there are more than one factories/warehouses/dealer’s premises of such a person having common PAN for all such factories/warehouses/dealer’s premises, the last 3 character of the Registration Number would be “001, 002, 003…. etc.

Examples of 15 digit PAN based Registration Number:

(a) Where the registrant has only one factory:

New Registration Number will be – PAN + XM + 001

Suppose PAN is ABCDE1234H, the New Registration Number will be -ABCDE1234H XM 001

(b) Where the registrant has more than one factories, say 3 factories, having PAN as aforesaid, then the New Registration Number will be:

ABCDE1234H XM 001
ABCDE1234H XM 002
ABCDE1234H XM 003

(c) Where the registrant has one factory and is also registered as dealer, having PAN as aforesaid, then the New Registration Number will be:

ABCDE1234H XM 001 (for Manufacturer)
ABCDE1234H XD 001 (for Dealer)

(iv) Where the Registrant is not having PAN (including small scale Beedi/Match manufacturers) the system will itself generate a Temporary 15 digit PAN based Registration Number.  Similar Temporary Number will be generated automatically on 1.10.2002 for the assesses who may be having PAN but who have so far not applied for or obtained 15 digit PAN Based Registration Number.  An example of the Temporary Number is :

TEMPXXXXXX XM001 (for Manufacturer)

TEMPXXXXXX XD001 (for Dealer)

5.4 Procedure for application for Central Excise Registration and grant of Registration Certificate           

(i)  With effect from 1.10.2002 every person requiring Registration with the Central Excise (except EOUs and EPZ units located in Port Towns) shall apply in the proper Form, complete in all respects, in duplicate along with a self-attested copy of PAN (letter/card issued by the Income Tax Department), to the Jurisdictional Deputy/Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise. The instructions relating to filling up of Application for Registration may be gone through carefully before filling up the Form. The Divisional/Range officers shall provide necessary support to the assessee, as may be required for completing the Form.

(ii) On receipt of Application the nominated officer (Inspector) shall scrutinize the same and if found in order it shall be fed in the Divisional Office into the SACER by accessing the website http://sermon.nic.in/sacerl. In this regard, Directorate of Systems will circulate a manual on SACER, a soft copy of which is also available on the site itself, which will detail the fields and explain how these are to be completed.

(iii) In case the Application is not found in order or is incomplete the nominated Officer will advise the Registrant of the deficiencies and ensure its completion before it is sent for being fed into SACER.  Suitable entry will be made of the action taken in the record to be maintained for the purpose.

(iv) On completion of the data entry, the system would automatically generate a Registration Certificate bearing the 15 digit Registration Number, which will be delivered to the assessee on the spot.  As seen, normal time taken to complete the data entry of a application for Registration is 30 minutes and it would be possible to hand over the Registration Certificate immediately upon completion of the data entry.

(v) In the event the Registrant is not in possession of the PAN and has applied for the same he shall be required to furnish a copy of the said Application.  This would be used by the Divisional/Range Office to pursue the grant of PAN and subsequent conversion of the Temporary Registration Number into a 15 digit PAN based Registration Number.

(vi) In the event it is not possible to hand over the Registration Certificate immediately at the time of the receipt of the Application for any reason such as either Registrant or Deputy/Assistant Commissioner is not available or there is a technical difficulty, then the acknowledgement of the Application will be given to the assessee on the spot. Later the Registration Certificate shall either be sent to the assessee by Registered Post or handed over personally to him next working day, as per his choice to be indicated upon the Application Form.

(vii) After grant of Registration Certificate the disposal of the copies of the Application Form shall be, as follows :

(a) Original copy will be retained by the Divisional Office for record along with the copy of Registration Certificate issued.

(b) Duplicate copy along with a copy of the Registration Certificate will be sent to the concerned Range Office for post facto verification.

(viii) The Registration Number can be used for removals, duty payments and other requirements of the Central Excise Act, 1944 and rules made thereunder.

(ix) Once Registration is granted, it has a permanent status unless it is suspended or revoked by the appropriate authority in accordance with law or is surrendered by Registrant.

5.5 Procedure for application for Central Excise Registration and allotment of Registration Number for EOUs and EPZ units 

(i) EOUs and EPZ units which have inter-linkage with domestic tariff area through procurement and/or sale of goods are required to obtain Registration with effect from 1.10.2002.  Other EOUs and EPZ units would continue to be treated as deemed registered with the Central Excise authorities.

(ii) EOUs within the Municipal limits of port-cities/towns are administratively under the officers of Customs who have been designated as Officers of Central Excise for purpose of legal requirements under Central Excise provisions. Accordingly, the EOUs in port-cities/towns shall file their Application Form for Central Excise Registration with the concerned Deputy/Assistant Commissioner of Customs. It is the responsibility of the Deputy/Assistant Commissioners to have the data entered into SACER and to issue the Registration Certificate by following the procedure described supra.

(iv) EOUs located in other than port towns/cities are administratively under the Central Excise Commissionerates.  Hence, it shall be the responsibility of the jurisdictional Divisional Officer to grant the Registration to such units.  For this purpose the same process would be followed, as indicated in paragraph 5.4 above.  However, it should be ensured without fail that there is no delay in the grant of the Registration.

(iii) EPZ units are to be provided a single window clearance, as envisaged for such units by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.  Accordingly, in so far as the Registration process is concerned, such units would be required to furnish the details as per the Application Form for Registration to the office of the Development Commissioner in charge of the Zone who would in turn arrange to send the same to the concerned Deputy/Assistant Commissioner (Customs or Central Excise, as the case may be) for purpose of data entry and grant of the Registration Certificate bearing 15 digit PAN based Registration Number.   The number would be automatically generated and sent back to the Development Commissioner for handing over to the unit.

5.6 Verification

(i) There shall be a post-registration verification of the premises for which Registration is sought by the Range Officer within 5 working days of the receipt of Duplicate copy of Application for Registration along with a copy of Registration Certificate. The Range Officer along with the Sector Officer shall verify the declared address and premises.  If found in order, he will certify the correctness thereof on the Duplicate copy of the Application for Registration and append his dated signature thereon. A copy thereof will be sent to the Divisional Office for record.  The name of the officer doing the verification and the date of verification shall also be entered into the system.

(ii) If any deviations or variations are noticed during the verification, the same should be got corrected. Any major discrepancy, such as fake address, non-existence of any factory etc. shall be reported in writing to the Divisional Officer within 3 working days and action shall be initiated by the Divisional Officer to revoke the Registration after providing reasonable opportunity to the Registrant to explain his case.

(iii) EOUs are also granted a customs private bonded warehouse licence. Accordingly, the concerned Officer must at the stage of grant of this licence also carry out the verification required from the point of view of Central Excise Registration, if required, so as to avoid repeat visit to the unit. Hence, it is envisaged that in case of EOUs there would be no necessity of post facto verification.

(iv) If the EOU is exempt from obtaining the Customs private bonded warehouse licence but requires Central Excise Registration then post verification may be done as envisaged in (i) above.

(v) No verification is required to be done in respect of EPZ units requiring Central Excise Registration.  

5.7 Records

(i) Divisional Office or the Office of the Deputy/Assistant Commissioner of Customs, as the case may be, shall maintain a suitable record of the action taken on receipt of Application for Registration which is incomplete or not in order.

(ii) Divisional Office will maintain a record of Verification reports received from the Range Office along with the Original copy of the Application Form.  Office of Deputy/Assistant Commissioner of Customs will maintain similar record.

(iii) Range Office will maintain suitable record of Registration granted including details of the Application Form and the Registration Certificate.

(iv) Records at Divisional Office/Office of Deputy/Assistant Commissioner of Customs and Range Office shall specifically include details of verification of premises and name and designation of Officers who verified it with his remarks thereon.

(v) The Divisional Office/Office of Deputy/Assistant Commissioner of Customs and Range Office should have readily available a record of Temporary Registration Numbers with details of steps taken to convert them to 15 digit PAN based Registration Numbers.

(vi) The Divisional Office/Office of Deputy/Assistant Commissioner of Customs and Range Office should have readily available a complete list of all Registered units under their charge.    

5.8 Procedure for existing Registrants

(i) The existing Registrants shall be required to furnish the details as per the new Format of Application to their jurisdictional Deputy/Assistant Commissioners within three months from 1.10.2002. It shall be the responsibility of the concerned Deputy/Assistant Commissioners to ensure that the data available at SACER pertaining to all Registrants in their respective jurisdiction is complete by 31.12.2002.

(ii) All existing EOUs/EPZ units which are so far treated as deemed Registered but are required to obtain Registration with effect from 1.10.2002 shall furnish the details as per the new Format of Application to their jurisdictional Deputy/Assistant Commissioners/Development Commissioner by 31.12.2002 for inclusion in the data base at SACER.

5.9 Procedure for Amendment of the information

(i) The new Form of Application shall be used for carrying out amendments to the information provided earlier by the assessee for obtaining Registration. Suitable entries will be made in the data base upon receipt of such amended information.

(ii) Change in information in respect of the name and address of the Registrant would require a change in the details entered on the Registration Certificate itself. Hence, in such situation a fresh Registration Certificate bearing the earlier allotted 15 digit PAN based Registration Number will be issued to the assessee after surrender of the earlier issued Registration Certificate.  The procedure followed would be the same as in place for issue of fresh Registration Certificate except that no verification is necessary in case there is no change in address or premises.

5.10 Conversion of Temporary Registration Number into 15 digit PAN based Registration

(i) Where the Registrant has been given a system generated Temporary 15 digit Registration Number it would be necessary to keep a close watch on such numbers in order to convert them at the earliest to 15 digit PAN based Registration Number.

(ii) When an Application Form is received without a PAN but the copy of the PAN application form is enclosed the Divisional Office will take up the matter with the concerned Commissioner of Income Tax for grant of PAN. In case of delay in grant of PAN follow up can be done at progressively higher levels viz. Joint/Additional Commissioners/Commissioner till grant of PAN.   Once the PAN is granted and entered on the SACER site, the system will automatically generate the 15 digit PAN Based Registration Number while deleting the Temporary Number.

(iii) When an Application Form is received without a PAN and the registrant has also not applied for the PAN, assessee will be suitably advised to obtain PAN.  If possible a copy of the PAN application form may also be made available to the assessee.

(iv) A monthly report of Temporary Numbers will be generated and steps taken to convert them at the earliest to 15 digit PAN based Registration Number. It shall be the responsibility of the Divisional Officer/ jurisdictional Deputy/Assistant Commissioners of Customs to closely monitor the progress in this regard.

6. The new Registration process shall come into force with effect from 1.10.2002. Hence, from this date all new Applications for Registration including in respect of multi-unit companies shall be dealt as per the new process. Accordingly, Directorate General, DGICCE and Commissionerates, which are presently allotting 15 digit PAN based Registration Numbers to multi-unit companies shall stop doing so forthwith. By this date i.e. 15.9.2002 all pending application should be disposed by the DGICCE/Commissionerates.  Also they should not receive any Applications hereafter.  All pending applications, if any, shall be returned by DGICCE/Commissionerates to the Divisional Office concerned for being dealt with as per the new procedure with effect from 1.10.2002. On its part, the Directorate of Systems will update the Assessee Profile and publish the updated details in SACER at http://sermon.nic.in/sacerl by 1.10.2002. Then onwards the allotment of Registration Numbers to all Registrants will be done at Divisions/Office of Deputy/Assistant Commissioner of Customs concerned. The existing Registrants will also be required to furnish the details as per the new Format, which would be entered on the site by 31.12.2002.

7. All the Chief Commissioners of Customs and Central Excise are requested to send a compliance report in regard to the new Registration process indicating the status of the Registration including the number of Temporary Registrations and steps taken to convert them to Director General, DGICCE by 5.1.2003.  On his part Director General, DGICCE will analyse the reports and send a consolidated report by name to Member (CX), CBEC by 20.1.2003.

8.  As earlier explained the new Registration process is the most important step in the computerization of the central excise processes for the facilitation of the assessee and to improve central excise administration. Accordingly, the Trade and industry may be informed immediately by issue of suitable Trade/Public Notices. Steps should also be taken to gear up the Divisional computers (hardware and software) so that everything is in readiness by 1.10.2002.  Wide publicity may be given to this new procedure. Any difficulty envisaged in the implementation should be immediately brought to the notice of the Board by a D.O. letter to Member (CX), CBEC.

9. This Circular is issued in supercession of Board Circulars No. 493/59/99-CX dated 12.11.99  and Nos. 593/30/2001-CX and 594/31/2001-CX, both dated 19.10.2001.

10. Field formations may suitably be informed.

11. Receipt of this Circular may please be acknowledged.

12. Hindi version will follow.

Encl:

1. Notification No.30/2002 CE (N.T.) dated 17.9.2002

2. Notification No.31/2002 CE (N.T.) dated 17.9.2002

3. Notification No.32/2002 CE (N.T.) dated 17.9.2002

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