Difference between Tariff and Non-Tariff Notifications

1. Tariff Notification is a notification which contains matters relating to tariff i.e. rate of duty. In other words, any notification having impact on effective rate of duty or in other words, providing for lower rate of duty (i.e. effective rate of duty) than the prescribed tariff rate of Central Excise duty/Customs duty, would be termed as Tariff Notification. The duty exemption provided through tariff notification may be either full or partial exemption from payment of duty/tax. Further, such exemption from payment of duty may be unconditional or may be subject to fulfillment of condition (s) specified in the notification. On other hand, notification used for amending existing rules or laying out new rules/ regulation or implementing various other provisions of the tax Statute, which does not have any impact on rate of duty, are called Non-Tariff notifications.

2. Non-Tariff Notification is distinguished from a Tariff notification by putting (N.T.) after the notification number. The words i.e. Central Excise or Customs or Service Tax is written just after number to distinguish as to whether notification issued relates to Central Excise or Customs or Service Tax law.

Effective Date of Tariff or Non-Tariff Notifications

1. A notification normally become effective on the date of publication in the official Gazette unless it is specifically mentioned in the notification that this notification will come into effect on the date (other than date of publication in the official Gazette) as mentioned in the notification itself. For example, if a notification No is mentioned as Notification No. 1/2015 – Central Excise, dated 1st March 2015, it means, it is a tariff notification relating to central Excise duty which would be effective from 01.03.2015. However, it is also probable that the notification may contain a date in the body of notification that it shall come into force on xx/yy/zz. Then, in such situation, it would come into force from the prescribed date (xx/yy/zz) only.

2. While Tariff and non-tariff notifications are distinguished in case of Custom duty and Central Excise duty, by putting letters NT in case of non-tariff notification, in case of service tax, no such distinction is made. In service tax, notification dealing with exemption from payment of service tax or dealing with amendment of rules etc. are numbered in the same manner, as the rate of Service Tax is prescribed in Section 66B of the Finance Act, 1994 itself and there is no separate Tariff Act for Service Tax.

3. Notifications are allotted Serial number, Calendar year wise, not Financial year wise.

4. There are separate number series for Tariff and Non-Tariff notification. Likewise, in Customs, there are separate number series for notification relating to Anti Dumping Duty (ADD) and Safeguard Duty (SG). The notifications relating to Anti Dumping duty and Safeguard duty are distinguishing by suffixing words ADD and SG respectively.

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