Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs
North Block, New Delhi-110001
Tel. No.: +91-11-23092849, Fax : +91-11-23092890
E-mail : email@example.com
M. Ajit Kumar, Chairman
Date: 12th July 2021
Last week, we have taken two major initiatives on trade facilitation. In a significant step towards digitization, transparency and ease of doing business, Version 2.0 of the AEO web-app has been launched. It enables online filing, real time monitoring and processing of AEO applications for T2 and T3 certificates. The final digitally signed certificates will be dispatched to eligible applicants electronically, ensuring a faceless, contactless and paperless process. Ti certification process is already fully automated under the AEO web-app version 1.0. At present, 4,747 stake holders have been issued with AEO certificates in different categories.
Secondly, after extensive consultations with trade and industry and after obtaining feedback from the field leading to a comprehensive review of the processes involved, CBIC has issued Circular No.14/2021-Cus. dated 7th July, 2021, to further streamline the Faceless Assessment process. It seeks to enhance uniformity in assessments giving a level playing field to the trade. Facilitation levels across all Customs stations are targeted to be increased to 90%. While doing so, the element of randomness in interdiction of any Bill of Entry would be retained by RMS so that revenue remains safeguarded. Board has also decided that, as a general principle, all the advance Bills of Entry which are fully facilitated would be granted the facility of DPD. With facilitation and DPD now going hand in hand, the movement of containers straight to the importers premises or warehouse would further strengthen ‘just in time’ imports. This would also help decongest Ports.
On the international front, the virtual meeting of the Heads of BRICS Customs Administrations, chaired by India, was successfully held on 8th July, 2021. Significant progress was made to finalise the BRICS Agreement for Cooperation on Mutual Administrative Assistance (CMAA) in Customs matters. In addition, our proposal for a BRICS training workshop to be organised by NACIN in October, 2021 was received with appreciation and support. The meeting was also successful in seeking commitment from individual member countries for initiating exchange of pre-arrival Customs data on real time basis, which will facilitate genuine trade and curb trade mis-declaration.
On the audit, anti-evasion and anti-smuggling fronts too, there has been significant successes during this period. ‘Trust but verify’ is an old adage. While facilitating honest tax payers, the officers of the Bhubaneswar CGST Zone during the course of an audit, has on verification, come across a case in which a taxpayer had availed Input Tax Credit (ITC) on Works contract services, but had not discharged GST on the service. On pointing out the same, the taxpayer had reversed ITC to the tune of about Rs.134 crore.
Based on specific intelligence, CGST Delhi (South) Commissionerate has detected an assessee paying duty at 5% by misquoting the HSN Code against the actual liability to be discharged at the rate of 18% . When this was pointed out, the Director of the company admitted to the GST liability and deposited the differential duty amounting to around Rs. 13 crores.
DGGI Surat Zonal Unit has detected a fake ITC case involving 15 GSTINs to the tune of Rs. 63.56 crore. Investigation in coordination with DGGI Nagpur Zonal Unit & DGGI Mumbai Zonal Unit revealed that 14 units were found to be non-existent and had used fake rental agreements and fake electricity bills for GST registration. The ultimate beneficiary in the chain was allegedly acting as an exporter and appears to have made dubious exports of the declared goods from an ICD on the strength of which they were claiming refunds of accumulated ITC. In the instant case, ITC to the tune of Rs. 27 crore has been blocked or stopped in refund claims.
Officers of the Anti-Evasion branch of CGST Commissionerate, Delhi (West) have unearthed a case of availment/utilization and passing on of inadmissible ITC through fake invoices to the tune of Rs. 91 crores (approx). The modus – operandi involved floating of 23 firms who had generated fake invoices of various commodities worth Rs. 551 crore. Three persons involved in these fraudulent activities have been arrested and remanded to judicial custody.
On the anti-smuggling side, in continuation of the previous seizure of Pseudoephedrine, DRI Chennai Zonal Unit, have identified another consignment filed by the same IEC bound for Malaysia and stopped its export. This led to the detection of powdery substance in packets inside 341 tubes of shaving cream. After testing, a total of 24.53 kgs of Pseudoephedrine was recovered and seized late in the night of on 6th July, 2021. Two persons have been arrested.
Officers of DRI (HQ), Delhi intercepted one passenger from Africa, who arrived at IGI Airport, Delhi. A total of 5.6 kg Heroin has been recovered. Another passenger from Africa was intercepted by the DRI Cochin Zonal Unit at the Cochin International Airport with Heroin weighing approx. 4.5 Kg. Both have been arrested.
Based on prior intelligence, DRI Bangalore Zonal Unit intercepted and seized a consignment of 100 kg of Gold Potassium Cyanide (GPC) with a declared value of Rs. 32 crores at the Air Cargo Complex, Mumbai, on 9thJuly, 2021. The GPC was declared to be the resultant product made from the duty-free import of gold that the firm was permitted to bring in as an input against an Advance Authorisation (AA) license. Investigations indicate that GPC, which was being exported from Mumbai to Dubai, was allegedly moved again to Indonesia to be supplied back to the exporter through the Gandhinagar based entity, which actually supplied it in first place, thereby demonstrating and establishing a cyclical supply of the same goods. Two persons have been arrested in this case so far.
My appreciation to all the officers and staff concerned in all the above operations.
Let us all continue following Covid appropriate behaviour strictly to thwart or minimise the impact of the third wave of Covid, which has been predicted to start soon. This is the only way to ensure that our families and we stay safe and healthy.
(M. Ajit Kumar)
All Officers and Staff of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Custom