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CBDT streamlines tax assessment for foreign shipping cos
September, 05th 2016

Shipping companies from countries with which Indiahas signed tax avoidance pacts will not need a separate voyage NOC as CBDT has streamlined the assessment process in order to improve ease of doing business.

The Central Board Of Direct Taxes(CBDT) has issued a circular that deals with streamlining the process of issue of No Objection Certificate (NOC), Port Clearance Certificate (PCC), Voyage Return and Voyage Assessment in case of foreign shipping companies.

"The circular has done away with the administrative requirement of obtaining a voyage NOC for foreign shipping companies entitled to 100 per cent relief from payment of taxes in Indiaon account of a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between Indiaand the country to which the foreign shipping company belongs," the CBDT statement said.

This is another step by the CBDT towards further improving the ease of doing business in Indiafor foreign shipping companies, it added.

Explaining the provisions of the circular, Nangia & Co Managing Partner Rakesh Nangia said law mandates filing of voyage return and making tax payment before getting port clearance for a ship.

However, where a foreign shipping company is covered by a DTAA, the CBDT had provided for issue of annual NOC instead of obtaining NOC for each voyage so as to expedite issuance of PCC.

CBDT has now laid down procedure for issuing voyage NOCs.

"Where entire cargo belongs to single foreign shipping company belonging to a country with full DTAA relief, the annual NOC issued by jurisdictional AO will also serve the purpose of voyage NOC, based on which PCC shall be issued by Customs Authorities," Nangia said.

Where cargo belongs to number of foreign shipping companies, each belonging to a country with full DTAA relief and to each of which annual NOC has been issued, voyage NOC is not required. However, the master of ship shall file a CA certificate in prescribed form to facilitate verification by Customs authorities, he added.

In any other case, the master of the ship shall obtain a voyage NOC from AO having jurisdiction over the port.

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