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Taxable Event in Customs.

Bharat Surfactants (Pvt.) Ltd., v. Union of India“ AIR 1989 SC 2054
Customs Act
S.15(1), Proviso - CUSTOMS - Import duty - Rate of - Determination Relevant date - Import for home consumption –
It is date on which Bill of Entry is presented - Bill of entry, however, presented
before date of entry inwards of vessel - Bill of Entry is deemed to have been
presented on date of entry inwards.
15. Date for determination of rate of duty and tariff valuation of imported
goods:
(1) The rate of duty and tariff valuation, if any, applicable to any imported
goods, shall be the rate and valuation in force,(a) in the case of goods entered for home consumption , on the date on which a
bill of entry in respect of such is presented under that section;

(b) in the case of goods cleared from a warehouse , on the date on which the
goods are actually removed from the warehouse;
(c) in the case of any other goods, on the date of payment of duty:
Provided that if a bill of entry has been presented before the date of entry
inwards of the vessel or
the arrival of the aircraft by which the goods are imported, the bill of entry shall
be deemed to have been presented on the date of such entry inwards or the
arrival, as the case may be.

entered for home .(2) The provisions of this section shall not apply to baggage and goods imported by post The petitioners entered into a contract with foreign sellers for the supply of edible oils. On 4 August. when the vessel actually arrived and registered in the Port of Bombay. The case of the petitioners is that the rate of duty leviable on the import should be that ruling on 11 July 1981. 1981 she was allowed to berth and the Customs Authorities made the" final entry" on that date. The rate of duty and tariff valuation applicable to the imported goods is governed by Cl. In the case of good. that the Bill of Entry was accepted by the Import Department and an order was passed by the Customs Officer on the Bill of Entry on 18 July 1981 directing the examination of the consignment. (a) of S. The vessel set out on its return journey from Karachi and arrived in Bombay port on 23 July 1981 and waited for a berth. It is stated that the Customs Authorities have imposed customs duty on the import of the edible oils at the he rate of 150 per cent on the footing that the import was made on 31 July 1981. Port Authorities at Bombay were unable to allot a berth to the vessel. the petitioners presented the Bill of Entry to the Customs Authorities on 9 July 1981.. 15(l). the date of "'Inward Entry". The petitioners point out that when the vessel made its original journey to Bombay and was waiting in the waters of the Port . and as she was under heavy pressure from the parties whose goods she was carrying she left Bombay for Karachi for unloading other cargo intended for that port. and that but for the fact that a berth was not available the vessel would have discharged its cargo at Bombay and would not have left that Port and proceeded to Karachi to return to Bombay towards the end of July 1981. The consignment of edible oils was sent by the ocean going vessel which arrived and registered in the Port of Bombay on 11 July. 1981.

The petitioners contend that the rate of customs duty chargeable on the import of goods in India is the rate in force on the date when the vessel carrying the goods enters the territorial waters of India. 46. The petitioners point out that S. the cargo of edible oil could not be unloaded in Bombay during the original entry of the ship into the Port for want of an available berth. 47 empowers the proper officer. and it is for no fault of the petitioners that the vessel had to proceed to Karachi for unloading other cargo. the petitioners contend. The Bill of Entry may be presented even before the delivery of such Manifest if the vessel by which the goods have been shipped for importation into India is expected to arrive within a week from the date of such presentation. 15. on being satisfied that the goods entered for home consumption are not prohibited goods and that the importers had paid the import duty assessed thereon as well as charges in respect of the same. it is the date on which the Bill of Entry in respect of such goods is presented under that section.consumption under S. According to the petitioners. 12(l) declares that customs duty will be levied at the rates in force on goods imported into India. is arbitrary and vague and therefore unconstitutional because it provides no definite standard or norm for determining the rate of duty and tariff valuation and does not take into account situations which are uncertain and beyond the control of an importer. S. S. to make an order permitting clearance of the goods for home consumption. and it is further provided that a Bill of Entry may be presented at any time after delivery of the Import Manifest or an Import Report. and the expression 'India'. S. 46 provides that the importer of any goods shall make entry thereof by presenting to the proper officer a Bill of Entry for home consumption in the prescribed form. .

5 percent ruling on that date was is the rate which was attracted to the import. was the rate of customs duty ruling on 23 July. The Collector of Customs. 15 the petitioners urge. Question which arises for consideration is : What is "the date of entry inwards" of the vessel? In M/s. According to the proviso. however. the petitioners contend that when the vessel entered the territorial waters on 11 July. 1981 the rate of customs duty at 12. The rate of duty and tariff valuation has to be determined in accordance with S. In the present case the Bill of Entry was presented on 9 July. (India) Limited v. S. the rate should not have been more than 42. if the Bill of Entry has been presented before the entry inwards of the vessel by which the goods are imported. 46. the Bill of Entry shall be deemed to have been presented on the date of such entry inwards. Under S.15(l)(a). "date of entry inwards of the vessel by which the goods are imported"' mean "the actual entry of the vessel inwards or the date of entry in the Register kept by the department permitting the entry inwards of the vessel". 2(27) as including the territorial waters of India.5 per cent because that. . 1981 when the vessel entered the port of Bombay. 15(l) as the date on which the vessel enters the territorial waters of India. 15(l) of the Customs Act. To preserve the validity of S. 1981. viz.they urge. In other words. the Madras High Court addressed itself to the question whether the words in S. the rate and valuation is the rate and valuation in force on the date on which the Bill of Entry is presented under S. 15(l)(a) of the Act. is defined by S. the petitioners contend. we must read the expression "the date of entry inwards" in the proviso to. Omega Insulated Cable Co. In any event.

1978 was promulgated which came into force w. In the absence of anything else.e. 1978 imported acrylic polyster fibre. 19th October. 1978.It was held that the date of entry inward for the purpose of S.. "the date of inwards entry" is mentioned as 31 July. 15(l)(a) and the proviso thereto is the date when the entry is made in the Customs Register. In terms of the Ordinance articles were charged with an additional duty of excise equal to 10 per cent of the basic excise duty payable on such articles under the Central Excise and Salt Act. AIR 2000 SUPREME COURT 3448 "Kiran Spinning Mills v. 1978. 1944 The articles which were imported by the appellants were cleared from the bonded warehouse after 4th October. The appellants paid the amount demanded under the protest but thereafter filed an application for refund of the amount so paid. It is contended by the appellants . Accordingly. On 3rd of October. After being unsuccessful before the Authorities under the Act and the Tribunal the appellants have come up in appeals to the SC. 1978. In the present case. The Additional Duty of Excise (Textiles and Textile Articles) Ordinance. 1981. The imported articles were placed in the bonded warehouse after they had landed in India.f. 1981. Collector of Customs" The appellants had. 1977 and 20th September. the rate of import duty and the tariff valuation shall be that in force on 31 July. it may be assumed that the entry was recorded on that date itself. Held that "the date of entry inwards of the vessel" is the date recorded as such in the Customs register. between 4th of April. 3. The Customs Authorities demanded an additional duty at the rate of 10 per cent 'under the aforesaid Ordinance.

: AIR 1999 SC 2515. The contention was that at the time when the goods had landed in India additional duty of excise was not payable on a similarly manufactured goods in India even if they were placed in a bonded warehouse in India and. Held that Section 15 of the Customs Act .that at the time when the goods were imported into India the Ordinance had not been promulgated and no additional duty of excise was payable on like articles. the SC has held in Sea Customs Act. The import would be completed only when the goods are to cross the customs barriers and that is the time when the import duty has to be paid and that is what . In other words. no additional duty should be charged. provides that the rate of duty which will be payable would be on the day when the goods are removed from the bonded warehouse. That apart. As on that day when the goods were so removed additional duty of excise under the said Ordinance was payable on goods manufactured after 4th October. Thereafter. In the case of goods which are in the warehouse the customs barriers would be crossed when they are sought to be taken out of the customs and brought to the mass of goods in the country. additional duty under Section 3 of the Tariff Act could not be imposed. (1964) 3 SCR 787 “that in the case of duty of customs the taxable event is the import of goods within the customs barriers. Apar Private Ltd. Import being complete. no additional duty could be charged under the Excise Act similarly under Section 3 of the Tariff Act. 1978 It is not possible to accept the contention that what has to be seen is whether additional duty of excise was payable at the time when the goods landed in India or they had crossed into the territorial waters. when the goods entered the territorial waters is the contention which has already been rejected by the SC in Union of India v. the taxable event occurs when the customs barrier is crossed. 1978. Admittedly this was done after 4th of October. therefore.

we find that on the date of the taxable event the additional duty of excise was leviable under the said Ordinance and. . as being the taxable event.has been termed by this Court in In Re : The Bill to amend Section 20 of the Sea Customs Act (1964) 3 SCR 787. The taxable event.that import would commence when the goods cross into territorial waters but is completed only when the goods become part of the mass of goods within the country. therefore. being the day of crossing of customs barrier. Ratio is . therefore. and not on the date when the goods had landed in India or had entered the territorial waters. additional duty under Section 3 of the Tariff Act was rightly demanded from the appellants.Taxable event when goods reach customs barriers and that is the time when bill of entry is filed – as per section 15 .