2005(185) E.L.T.95 (Tri.- Mumbai)
IN THE CESTAT, WEST ZONAL BENCH, MUMBAI
Ms. Jyoti Balasundaram, Vice-President and Shri Moheb Ali M.
VIKAS SHIPPING AGENCY
COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS, MUMBAI
Order Nos. A/212-217/2005-WZB/C-1, dated 3-2-2005 in Appeal Nos. C/561,562,
582,583, 610 666/97-Bom.
Valuation (Customs)- Misdeclaration-Once goods are misdeclared, department has a right to reject transaction value and revalue them-Second hand garments, which are not permitted to be imported under import policy, can be assessed as per best judgment method-Panchnama drawn at time of seizure and value of seized goods arrived at after examining each piece-No fault can be found with the method Section 14 of Customs Act,1962[para7]
REPRESENTED BY:S/Shri Anil Balani and ManojSanklecha,
Advocates, for appellant
Shri K .K .Srivastva, JDR for the
[Order per : Moheb Ali M, Member (T),- CIU is one of the many agencies in the Customs Houses. M/s. AL. YaseenEnterprises imported garments misdeclaring them as Rags, filed the Bs/E got the goodsexamined, paid duty applicable to Rags, took out of charge, loaded the precious cargo into five trucks, took leave of everyone concerned and were in the process of leavingwhat one calls ‘Customs area’. The CIU got wind of it and pounced on the hapless importer, got the consignment unloaded and examined it all over again. Much to the chagrin of the importers and to the joy of the CIU, it was found that 84 bales out of the imported goods contained garments and the rest (9bales and 20 gunny bags) mutilated woollen rags. The consignment was sized not only for misdeclaration but also for import without a valid licence. These days only premutilated garments could be imported without a licence.
- Investigation revealed that the importer in connivance with the CHAand the dock examining officers perpetuated a fraud. Proceedings were initiated against the importer and the CHA and his staff under the Customs Act.. The officers of Customs who examined the goods and gave out of charge were however spared from the proceedings under this Act as it was found possible to proceed against them under Conduct Rules. Much can be said on this.
- We have examined the various contentions. There is no gainsaying the fact that 84 bales out of 102 bales of imported goods consisted of non-mutilated garments. We reject the contention that there is no misdeclaration of goods on the part of the importer. The argument that since the description on the Bills of entry is in accordance with the invoice, there is no misdeclaration is disingenuous. The importer in his statement clearly states that he has furnished the serial numbersof the bales in which mutilated garments were packed, to the CHA so that only those bales could be examined. This indicates prior knowledge on the part of the importer that the consignment largely consisted of garments.Despite that he chose to declare them as premutilated garments. It appears that he even attempted to bribe the examining officers to escape detection. As per the then import policy only premutilated garments are allowed to be imported. The misdeclared goods as well as the ones which were used for concealing them are liable to confiscation as rightly held by the Commissioner. In regard to the contention that valuation of misdeclared goods should have been done on the basis ofcontemporaneous import of similar goods we observe that the once goods are misdeclaredthe department has a right to reject the transaction value and revalue the goods. In the case of second hand goods, garments in this case, which are not permitted to be imported under the import policy the Department can determine the value as per best judgement method, in the panchanama drawn at the time of seizure the value of the seized goods is arrived at after examining each piece. One cannot find fault with this method.