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Customs, excise and service tax queries
September, 01st 2008

We are importers of carbon black off grade and are importing from different countries. We try locate less expansive off grade carbon black to give relief to industry. Every time we import we face problems with Indian Customs regarding import duty as they always question us saying its not possible to import at this price. On every shipment they draw sample to check and clear it under test bond for which we have not received any report so far. Pl comment.

The problem relates to the valuation of goods. You must enter into contract and open letter of credit. Produce the evidence of payment of foreign exchange. In the event Customs authority not accepting the declared price, then you can ask for assessment order and file appeal against the valuation of import goods before the appellate authority.

You can ask for copy of test report. It is valid for six months. You can approach higher level officers for redressal of griveness. You can ask for the contemperous import details by filing application under RTI.

We are planning to import new rubber pneumatic automotive tyres into India. As it comes in various sizes, we would like know the exact import duty structure.

The duty structure for import of tyres is @ 10% (Basic) + 14% CVD + 4% SAD +2%+1% (Ed.cess). (Total 31.703%)

We are planning to import furniture from China to market it in Tamil Nadu. What would be the VAT structure when we bill the goods to the customer?

You can charge VAT as applicable in TN. You are entitled to claim refund of 4% SAD paid at the time of import under Notification No. 102/2007 within period of 1 year.

We would like to reduce incidence and excise duty puchasing licence like DEPB from market though we are not exporting. Is it possible? Is it possible to reduce incidence of customs and excise duty? If so, what is the reduction in duties?

Yes. You can purchase DEPB scrip from the market and clear the goods on debiting the duty amount payable. The premium on the DEPB scrip ranges from 90% to 98%. You can save 2 to 5% of duty amount. DEPB scrip is transferable and therefore you can purchase from an exporter. You can reduce the incidence of customs and excise duties by claiming the notification benefits applicable on the goods being imported. You can claim refund of SAD 4% under subsequent to import under Notification 102/2007. You can also avail CENVAT under central excise, if you are manufacturer.

As per the provision of Cenvat Credit Rule 2004, the consignee has availing CENVAT credit on the basis of cenvatable invoice issued by consignor i.e., cenvatable invoice accompany with transporter. In case loss of the transport copy of cenvatable invoice, how can we avail the credit?

You can avail the CENVAT credit on the basis of CENVAT invoice raised by the consginor. You can take C. Excise certificate on the goods purchased for the purpose of availing CENVAT credit in the event of loss of original invoice.

I have a software development contract from a client in UK. Do I need to charge them service tax? If so at what rate?

No. Service tax is not payable on the Software devlopment product for the foreign client.

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