Customs instructs officers not to penalise importers for technical delays during filing of Bill of Entry

In its notification dated Aug 31, 2017, vide Customs instruction no: 12/2017 it directs the officers to be understanding.

The Dollar Business Bureau

The Customs department takes cognizance of the technical difficulties faced by importers during filing of Bill of Entry and orders that payment of late charges should not be levied by the concerned customs officer subject to sufficient cause of the delay.

In its latest notification dated August 31, 2017, vide Customs instruction no: 12/2017, the department takes notice of the challenges faced by importers during filing of Bill of Entry.

“Many a time, importers have not been able to file Bill of Entry for clearance of imported goods within stipulated time period because of certain technical problems related to ICEGATE connectivity, server etc. It Is also brought to notice of the Board that there are instances when, even after filing a Bill of Entry within the prescribed time period, it is subjected to the payment of charges for late filing as its number is not generated within the free period.

Board is of the view that importer should not be penalized for delay happening due to any system related fault. In this regard, section 46 of the Customs Act, 1962 provides that payment of charges for late presentation of the Bill of Entry is subject to the existence of sufficient cause to the satisfaction of proper officer.

The jurisdictional Additional/Joint Commissioners of Customs are advised to judiciously exercise power conferred on them to ensure that the trade and stakeholders particularly the diplomatic community are not put to undue hardship and necessary relief, as applicable, may be provided to the importers in bonafide cases.”

In this regard the Customs directs Chief Commissioners of Customs/Customs and Central Excise to issue suitable standing order, in view of the foregoing decisions taken by the Board.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Sep 01, 2017 12:00 IST