Bhai Pradhan Singh & Sons vs Commissioner Of Customs on 23 April, 2003

Customs, Excise and Gold Tribunal – Mumbai
Bhai Pradhan Singh & Sons vs Commissioner Of Customs on 23 April, 2003
Bench: S T Gowri, G Srinivasan


Gowri Shankar, Member (Technical)

1. The question for consideration in this appeal is the valuation of resins of Iranian origin imported by the appellant. In the bill of entry that was filed for the goods described as industrial grade resins value declared was Rs. 7,40106/- for a quantity of 21,300 kgs. This value was based on the invoice which indicated the goods to be sold at US dollar 700 per ton. The import of the goods was taken up by the directorate of Revenue Intelligence in a letter dated 22.11.02. The Asst. Director (DRI) the partner of the importing firm has said that on account of stiff competition “I declared less than the actual price of the goods i.e. 1 USD per kg. and I am ready to pay my customs duty liability thereupon. I request you not to issue a show cause notice. I do not want any personal hearing in the matter.” Solely on the basis of this communication that the Commissioner has assessed that value of the goods should be one dollar per kg. and accordingly ordered confiscation of the goods under Clause (m) of Section 111 of the Act with an option to redeem on payment of fine and imposed penalty. there is also a subsidiary issue relating to the quantity of goods actually found which the counsel for the appellant does not wish to press.

2. The contention of the counsel for the appellant is that contemporary imports were being made and accepted by the custom at price lower than this price. He cites before us data from Delhi customs which show import that imports made around May, June and July 2002 of either black raisin or Iranian black marvey which we are told are raisins at price ranging from US $ 0.21 to 0.41. The bill of entry No. 826 filed at Mumbai on June 2002, it is claimed is for 67600 kgs. of Iranian raisins which have been assessed duty of Rs. 269404/- showing a value of Rs. 40.20 per kg. The bill of entry No. 105145 dated 9.7.2002 relating to the appellant’s own import at Delhi shows that the quantity of 26200 kg. of Iranian Marvey industrial quality has been assessed to a value of Rs. 525561/-.

3. These figures appear to cast doubt on the statement that the price was underdeclared in order to meet stiff competition from other traders. The price that was declared by the appellant of US $ 0.70 per kg. would, if these figures are accepted, be a competition price. However, the Commissioner has not had the benefit of seeing these documents. It may be necessary to verify the original documents referred by the appellant to this statement. It is possible, as the departmental representative says that factors may have intervened which might have altered the price. While we therefore make no observation as acceptability of the price cited before us, we remand the matter to the Commissioner considering this submission and passing orders afresh.

4. The appeal is accordingly allowed.

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