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Before understanding the meaning of first check and second check in Customs, we understand what is Customs? As per the Oxford dictionary Customs mean usual behavior. In other wards we may say it is a usual practice. In the ancient time of the King and kingdom, merchants used to visit different kingdoms for the purpose of trade. The merchant entering the kingdom with his goods had to make suitable gift to the King of the kingdom. In the course of time it become usual practice or became a Customs and ultimately formalized into ‘Customs Duty’. The Customs duty is collected on Import (coming in to India from outside India) and rarely on export too.

The customs duty is charged on the value of the imported goods. The value of the imported goods is estimated on the basis of the value, size, and quality, quantity declared in the documents of imported goods etc. and by physical examination of the imported goods. To ascertain the estimated value of the imported goods by examining the import documents and by physical examination of the imports is called process of assessment or appraisement.

Under the Customs Act 1962, there are two systems of assessment of Customs duty. The Systems are as follows:

​1. First Check Procedures

The first check procedure is also called as ‘first appraisement system’. Under this system the Customs Officer make assessment after physically examine the imported goods. This is happened when the Customs officer is not able to make assessment of the imported goods from the import documents and he deems that the inspection is necessary. This procedure for assessment is followed only if the assessment is not possible on the basis of the import documents submitted to the Customs for clearance of the imported goods.

The Importer himself may also request for first check procedure, if he can not to give all the required details regarding description / value of the goods.

Generally, the first check is carried out in the following cases:

(1) The complete documents of imports are not submitted

(2) Imported goods are to be tested for the correct classification,

(3) Goods are reimported

(4) Goods are damaged or deteriorated   and abetment is claimed

(5) Goods are abandoned and remission of duty is applied for

(6) When goods are provisionally assessed

(7) If there is a specific intelligence report.

2. Second Check Procedures

The second check procedure is also called as ‘second appraisement system’. Under this system the Customs officer does assessment of the imported goods on the basis of the import documents submitted to the Customs authorities for clearance of the goods and then the goods is physically examined. The physical examination of the goods is not mandatory it is done on selective basis.


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