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Date: 16-01-2004
Notification No: Customs Circular No 04/2004
Issuing Authority: Indian Customs  
Type: Circular
File No:
Subject: Conversion of free shipping bills into Advance License/ DEPB/DFRC/Drawback shipping bills and conversion of shipping bills from one export promotion scheme to another - regarding.
Kind attention is invited to DOR Circular Nos.6/2003-Cus. dated 28.1.2003 and 40/2003-Cus. dated 12.5.2003 in terms of which conversion of free shipping bills into Advance Licence/DEPB/DFRC/Drawback shipping bills and conversion of shipping bills from one export promotion scheme to another was permitted subject to specified conditions.

2. The issue of permitting conversion of free shipping bills into Advance Licence/DEPB/DFRC/Drawback shipping bills was discussed in the Conference of Chief Commissioners on Tariff & allied matters held on 25th and 26th September, 2003. The Conference felt that in cases where the exporters had filed free shipping bills on their own, it would not be advisable to permit such conversion.

3. The issue has been re-examined in the Board.

3.1 In so far as the facility of permitting conversion of free shipping bill into drawback shipping bill is concerned, the same is governed by Chapter X of the Customs Act and Customs & Central Excise Duties Drawback Rules, 1995. Rule 12 of the Customs & Central Excise Duties Drawback Rules contain the details of statement/declaration to be made by the exporter at the time of export of goods for the purpose of availing drawback.

Proviso to Rule 12(1)(a) of ibid rules empowers the Commissioner to grant exemption from observance of the provisions of Rule 12(1)(a) for the purpose of availment of drawback. This necessarily implies that whereas the Commissioner may grant exemption from observing any of the provisions of Rule 12(1)(a) of ibid rules for the purpose of allowing drawback, which includes permitting drawback against a free shipping bill, no provision exists for permitting conversion of free shipping bill into drawback shipping bill.

In view of above, it is clarified that there is no need for allowing conversion. However, in terms of the proviso to Rule 12(1)(a) of the Customs and Central Excise Duties Drawback Rules 1995, the Commissioner may examine and consider individual requests on merits and facts in terms of the aforesaid provisions. The aforesaid relaxation shall only apply in respect of drawback claims pertaining to All Industry Rates of drawback and it would not apply to brand rate of duty drawback, where rate is claimed in terms of Rule 6 or Rule 7 of the Customs & Central Excise Duties Drawback Rules.

3.2 As regards permitting conversion of free shipping bills into Advance Licence/DEPB/DFRC shipping bills is concerned, it is true over a period of time, with liberalization having been ushered in the Customs administration, clearance of goods is being permitted mostly on the basis of self-declaration made by the exporters on the shipping bills. Such self-assessment scheme necessarily casts the responsibility on the exporter to make up his mind at the time of filing shipping bills as to which export promotion incentive he likes to avail. With the introduction of the system of on-line assessment, such request for conversion at a later date creates difficulties and it is not advisable to encourage such conversion.

It is, therefore, clarified that conversion of free shipping bills into Advance Licence/DEPB/DFRC shipping bills should not be allowed. As regards permitting conversion of shipping bills from one export promotion scheme to another is concerned, it is clarified that such conversion should only be allowed where the benefit of an export promotion scheme claimed by the exporter has been denied by DGFT/MOC or customs due to any dispute. Such conversion may be permitted on merits by the Commissioner on case to case basis subject to the following conditions :

    a) The request for conversion is made by the exporter within one month of the denial/rejection of the benefit claimed.

    b) On the basis of available export documents etc., the fact of use of inputs is satisfactorily proved in the resultant export product.

    c) The examination report and other endorsements made on the shipping bill/export documents prove the fact of export and the export product is clearly covered under relevant SION and or DEPB Schedule as the case may be.

    d) On the basis of S/Bill/export documents the exporter is fulfilling all conditions of the Export Promotion Scheme into which he is seeking conversion.

    e) The exporter has not availed benefit of the export promotion Scheme under which the goods were exported and no fraud/misdeclaration/manipulation/investigation is initiated against him in respect of such exports.
4. This Circular supersedes earlier DOR Circular Nos. 6/2003-Cus. dated 28.1.2003 and 40/2003-Cus. dated 12.5.2003 and also all other DOR Circulars issued in the past on this issue. Conversion of shipping bills from one export promotion scheme to another as provided in Para 3.2 above shall also be subject to conditions as may be specified by DGFT/MOC.

5. Suitable Public Notice for Trade and Standing Order for the guidance of customs field formations may be issued.

6. Receipt of this Circular may please be acknowledged.

Yours faithfully,

(R.K. TALAJIA)

F.NO 609/176/2002-DBK


       

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