D.C. Mandal, Member (T)
1. This is a Revision Application, originally filed before the Central Government, which on transfer to this Tribunal, is being disposed of as an appeal.
2. In the Revision Application, the appellants have stated that they imported Deck Machinery for their Ship-001 by steamer from Norway and those goods were cleared without payment of customs duty under Notification No. 163/6.5-Cus., and kept in their warehouse for construction of ocean-going vessel in accordance with the provisions of Section 65 of the Customs Act, 1962 (hereinafter referred to as the Act). At the time of despatch of the equipments, some items were left behind, which were subsequently sent by the supplier through post parcel. They claimed clearance of the parcel without payment of customs duty under Notification No. 163/Cus. of 1965 on the ground that those items formed part of the main equipments. The Custom House, Cochin, turned down their request and charged duty Of Rs. 414.97 Raise on the goods. After clearance of the goods on payment of duty, the appellants filed a refund application to the Assistant Collector of Customs. The refund claim was rejected by the Assistant Collector. The appeal filed against the order of the Assistant Collector was also rejected by the Appellate Collector of Customs, Madras. Hence, this Revision Application.
3. We have heard Shri K. Balakrishnan, Liaison Officer of Cochin Shipyard Ltd. for the appellants and Shri 3. Gopinath, learned S.D.R. for the respondent. Shri Balakrishnan has stated that the goods were required for the manufacture of ocean-going vessels in Warehouse in accordance with the provisions of Section 65 of the Act. The goods should have been assessed free of duty under Notification No. 163-Cus. dated 16-10-1965, but the Custom House did not allow the benefit of the Notification in respect of goods sent by post parcel, although the main equipments, which came by ship, were assessed free of duty under this Notification. He has stated that the items imported in the post parcel were left behind and the quantity of goods being small, they were sent by the foreign supplier through post parcel. He has further stated that there is no mention in the Notification that the goods imported by post parcel are not entitled to this exemption.
4. Shri J. Gopinath has argued that the Notification No. 163-Cus. dated 16-10-1965 exempts any ocean-going vessel manufactured in warehouse in accordance with the provisions of Section 65 of the Act from the customs duty leviable thereon when cleared from the warehouse. Section 65 of the Act provides that the owner of any warehoused goods may carry on any manufacturing process or other operations in the warehouse in relation to such goods. Section 59 of the Act provides that any dutiable goods, which have been entered for warehousing and assessed to duty under Section 17 or Section 18 of the Act, can be warehoused under Chapter IX of the Act. A bill of entry under Section 46 of the Act is required to be filed for warehousing the imported goods. For the clearance of the post parcels under Sections 82 to 84 of the Customs Act, no bill of entry is filed under Section 46 of the Act. Sections 82 to 84 do not make any provision for warehousing the goods imported by post. In the circumstances, the goods imported by the appellants in the impugned post parcel could not be warehoused under Chapter XI of the Act. The Notification No. 163-Cus., dated 16-10-65 is not applicable to these goods. Customs House, therefore, correctly charged duty on the impugned goods.
5. We have considered the arguments of both sides. The learned SDR Shri J. Gopinath has correctly clarified the position of law in regard to the warehousing of the imported goods. Chapter XI of the Customs Act contains special provisions regarding the goods imported by post. Sections 82 to 84 are the relevant provisions. These sections have not made any provision for warehousing the goods imported by post. Section 82 of the Act provides that in case of goods imported by post, any label or declaration accompanying the goods, which contains the description, quantity and value thereof, shall be deemed to be an entry for import for the purpose of this Act. Section 84 of the Act empowers the Central Board of Excise and Customs to make regulations regarding goods imported by post, providing inter-alia for the form and manner in which an entry may be made in respect of any specified class of goods imported by post, other than the goods which are accompanied by a label or declaration containing the description, quantity and value thereof. The learned SDR has correctly pointed out that under Section 59 of the Act only those dutiable goods which have been entered for warehousing and assessed to duty under Section 17 or 18 of the Act, can be warehoused. The goods are entered for warehousing by filing a bill of entry under Section 46 of the Act. No such entry is contemplated in Sections 82 and 84 of the Customs Act. In view of the above position of law, we find that the lower authorities have correctly held that there was no provision for bonding the goods imported by post and that the facility of duty-free entry of the goods meant for manufacture in bond could not be extended to the goods imported by post.
6. So far as the Notification No. 163-Cus., dated 16-10-1965 is concerned, we find that the Notification exempts any ocean-going vessel manufactured in warehouse in accordance with the provision of Section 65 of the Act from customs duty leviable thereon when cleared from the warehouse. What this Notification exempts is the ocean-going vessel manufactured in warehouse in accordance with the provision of Section 65 of the Act. Imported parts or accessories are not exempted from customs duty under this Notification. The contention of the appellants that the parts and accessories which will be used in the manufacture of ocean-going vessels are exempted from customs duty under this Notification, is not acceptable. Shri Balakrishnan has not been able to cite notification, if any, under which such parts and accessories are exempted from customs duty.
7. In view of the above discussions, we find no merits in this appeal and accordingly, the same is dismissed.