Dated 02nd September 2012
Self Assessment of Customs duty by importers or exporters was introduced vide Finance Act, 2011. The procedure is same for imports and exports .Importer importing goods is required to submit Bill of Entry electronically under section 46 of Customs Act. Exporter is required to submit shipping bill electronically at the time of export under section 50 of Customs Act. The importer or exporter shall then self-assess the duty leviable on such goods [section 17(1) of Customs Act].The self assessment may be verified by ‘Proper Officer’ by examining or testing the goods [section 17(2) of Customs Act].If the goods are not taken for verification of self assessment, the goods will be allowed to be cleared from customs. However, later, proper officer may audit the assessment of duty. Such audit can be done either in the officer of proper officer or at the premises of importer, as may be expedient [section 17(6) of Customs Act].Subsequent to such audit, demand for differential duty and interest can be made under section 28 of Customs Act.
This is paradigm shift away from assessment by Departmental officers to a trust based system of self- assessment. The objective is to expedite release of imported / export goods. The interest of revenue in terms of ensuring correct declarations and duty payment is ensured by an electronic Risk Management System (RMS) that identifies risky consignments for assessment or examination or both. This is supported by a comprehensive audit at the premises of an importer or exporter. Thus, ordinarily majority of imported goods will be allowed clearance without Customs intervention. Self Assessment is a major trade facilitation measures that would result in significant reduction in the time taken for clearance of imported / export goods through Customs and associated transaction costs.
GOVT. OF INDIA, Ministry of Finance