Saturday, April 20, 2019

Case study of mandatory BIS requirement for imports – Importers needs to be aware of this case

Most of the Indian import traders, who import finished products such as electrical appliances, LED products and IT products etc., are keep on checking with Customs Brokers & consultants that whether their import item will come under Compulsory BIS ( Bureau Indian Standards ) norms are not ?  i.e that particular import item needs prior BIS registration or not ?

Import of mandatory BIS item without proper BIS certification leads to very costly consequences such as detention, demurrage and confiscation etc.,
Below is a land mark case where an importer has dismantled an Electric product and classify it as parts. Under different Bill of Entries they tried to import parts of Electric Iron.

In above case, on 15.04.2019 CESTAT MUMBAI ordered re export of import goods but without penalty under section 112 of Customs Act

‘parts of electric iron’ - case of Revenue is that the appellant imported ‘Euroline’ brand of ‘electric iron’, comprising the main component and certain other parts, excluding ‘power supply’ and ‘base’, in the impugned transaction and the excluded parts were imported separately with intent to evade compliance with the norms of the Bureau of Indian Standards. It is held that “ It is on record that the impugned goods, upon examination and not by the mere reliance on legal fiction in the interpretative rules, were found to be the most vital component of ‘electric iron’ and that the goods were so packed as to easily integrate the other two parts which, admittedly, had been imported separately but concurrently, to support the finding that the goods are, indeed, ‘electric iron.’

undoubtedly, the prescriptions of Bureau of Indian Standards,applies to the finished product and not to the parts but the most essential component that is impugned in this dispute, if allowed to remain non-compliant, would not be conducive to public safety.

As the imported goods, though required to be, are not compliant with the standards, they fail to overcome the bar of prohibition at the threshold  hence ordered to re export.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Are you an Indian Agro product exporter and worried about air/ocean freight cost ? Enjoy Cash benefit under TMA scheme till 31.03.2020 !!! Do not leave this opportunity to reimburse part of your prepaid air/ocean freight !!!

( pl ref my amendment post dated 26.06.2019 where requirement EP copy and Landing certificate requirement is dispensed with and SEZ/EOU/FTWZ also eligible under scheme)

Dear Friends,

As you aware, Normally Exporters always used to do lot of homework on customs clearance and Ocean /  air freight cost to work out and offer competitive CIF price. Especially in the case of Agro products exporters the scenario is too worst since they are not in position to bargain and negotiate better Freight due to lack of time and last minute rush to complete shipment. 

Now Indian Government has come out with a new scheme to support specified Agro products exporters by way of reimbursing a specified amount as a support under Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) recently. Most of the small and medium Agro products exporters are not aware of it. Refer below Notification and make use of it !!!

Government of India
Ministry of Commerce & Industry

Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) for Specified Agriculture Products Notified 
Department of Commerce of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry has notified a scheme for Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) for Specified Agriculture Products.

2.      Introduction and Objective 
        i.            The “Transport and Marketing Assistance” (TMA) for specified agriculture products scheme aims to provide assistance for the international component of freight and marketing of agricultural produce which is likely to mitigate disadvantage of higher cost of transportation of export of specified agriculture products due to trans-shipment and to promote brand recognition for Indian agricultural products in the specified overseas markets.
     ii.            The scheme would be suitably included in the Foreign Trade Policy (2015-20).

3.         Coverage 
a.      All exporters, duly registered with relevant Export Promotion Council as per Foreign Trade Policy, of eligible agriculture products shall be covered under this scheme. 
b.      The assistance, at notified rates, will be available for export of eligible agriculture products to the permissible countries, as specified from time to time.

4.         Applicability: The Scheme would be applicable for a period as specified from time to time.  Presently the Scheme would be available for exports effected from 1.3.2019 to 31.03.2020

5.         Eligibility of Products: The assistance will be provided on export of all agriculture products covered in HSN chapter 1 to 24 including marine and plantation products except those mentioned in Annexure (1). 

6.         Pattern of Assistance 
(a)        Assistance under TMA would be provided in cash through direct bank transfer as part reimbursement of freight paid. FOB supplies where no freight is paid by Indian exporters are not covered under this scheme. 
(b)        The level of assistance would be different for different regions as notified from time to time for export of eligible products. List of export destinations/countries in each region eligible for assistance under TMA are mentioned in Annexure (2). 
(c)        The assistance shall be admissible only if payments for the exports are received in Free Foreign Exchange through normal banking channels. 
(d)       The scheme shall be admissible for the exports made through EDI ports only. 
(e)        The scheme covers freight and marketing assistance for export by air as well as by sea (both normal and reefer cargo).           
(f)        For export of products by sea, TMA will be based on the freight paid for a full Twenty-feet Equivalent Unit (TEU) containers. The assistance will not be available for (i) Less than Container Load (LCL) and (ii) a container having both eligible and ineligible category of cargo. Further, no TMA is available where the cargo is shipped in bulk/break bulk mode. A forty feet container will be treated as two TEUs. 
(g)        Assistance for products exported by air would be based on per ton freight charges on net weight of the export cargo, calculated on the full ton basis, ignoring any fraction thereof. 
(h)        The assistance will be provided at the rates as notified in Annexure 3.

7.         Categories of export ineligible for TMA 
The following exports categories / sectors shall be ineligible under this scheme: 
        i.            Products exported from SEZs/ EOUs/ EHTPs/ STPs/ BTPs/ FTWZs
     ii.            SEZ/EOU/EHTPs/STPs/BTPs/FTWZs products exported through DTA units
   iii.            Export of imported goods covered under paragraph 2.46 of the FTP;
   iv.            Exports through trans-shipment, i.e. exports that are originating in third country but trans- shipped through India;
      v.            Items, which are restricted or prohibited for export under Schedule-2 of Export Policy in ITC (HS), unless specifically notified.
   vi.            Export products which are subject to Minimum Export Price or export duty, unless specifically notified.
 vii.            Export of goods through courier or foreign post offices using e-Commerce

8.         Procedure for Availing Assistance under the Scheme 
TMA would be reimbursed through the Regional Authorities of DGFT as per the procedure laid down in Chapter 7(A) of Handbook of Procedures (2015-2020). 

9.         Mechanism for Scrutiny of the claims, audit, recovery and penal action. 
DGFT will lay down procedure for scrutiny of the claims, audit of the payments made, recovery of the ineligible/excess paid assistance, interest on such recoveries.  The defaulters shall be liable for penal action under the provisions of Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act, 1992, Rules and orders made thereunder.

Annexure (1)
List of agriculture products not eligible under TMA
The assistance will be provided for all agriculture products covered under HSN chapter 1 to 24, with the following exceptions:
HS Codes
Chapters 1, 2 & 5
All HS Codes
- Live animals
- Meat and Edible Meat Offal
- Products of Animal Origin, not elsewhere specified or included
Chapter 3
- Other shrimps and prawns :
Chapter 4
-Milk and cream, not concentrated nor containing added sugar or other sweetening matter
- Milk and cream, concentrated or containing added sugar or other sweetening matter
- Buttermilk, curdled milk and cream, yogurt, kephir and other fermented or acidified milk and cream, whether or not concentrated or containing added sugar or other sweetening matter or flavoured or containing added fruit, nuts or cocoa
- Whey, whether or not concentrated or containing added sugar or other sweetening matter; products consisting of natural milk constituents, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter, not elsewhere specified or included
- Butter and other fats and oils derived from milk; dairy spreads
- Cheese and curd
Chapter 7
- Onions, shallots, garlic, leeks and other alliaceous vegetables, fresh or chilled
Chapter 10
-Wheat And Meslin
Chapters 13 & 14
All HS Codes
- Lac; Gums, Resins and other Vegetable Saps and Extracts
- Vegetable Plaiting Materials; Vegetable Products not elsewhere specified or included
Chapter 17

-Cane Or Beet Sugar And Chemically Pure Sucrose, In Solid Form - Raw Sugar Not Containing Added Flavouring Or Colouring Matter ;
-Molasses resulting from the extraction or refining of sugar
Chapters 22 and 24
All HS Codes
- Beverages, Spirits and Vinegar
- Tobacco and Manufactured Tobacco Substitutes

 Annexure (2)
List of Export destinations/countries in each region under TMA 
List of Regions and Export destinations/countries in each region eligible for assistance under TMA are as under: 
Country Name
West Africa
Benin, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Ivory Coast, Niger, Cape Verde, Nigeria
Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Vatican City
  • Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates

North America
Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America
Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Russia & CIS
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan
Far East
Japan, North Korea, South Korea
Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
PRC China, Hong Kong, Taiwan
South America
Argentina, Bolivia,      Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador,      Guyana, Peru, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela

Annexure (3)
Differential rate of assistance under TMA (Amount in Indian Rupees) 
Amount Per TEU (Normal)
Amount Per TEU (Reefer)
By Air
Amount per tonne
West Africa
North America
Russia & CIS
Far East
South America


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Are you a Tamil Nadu based Landlord or Tenant ?? A must read article for you because entire Tamil Nadu Tenancy system is redefined !!!

Central Government is bringing PAN INDIA Rental property reforms and Tamil Nadu is the pioneer in introducing new Tenancy Act and procedures.
With effect from 22.02.2019, The Tamil Nadu Regulation of Rights and Responsibilities of Landlord and Tenants Act, 2017 come into force hence ultimately new tenancy agreements and let outs should be according to it. This article aims to explain some of the major tenancy changes landlord and tenants should know ;
1.The system of existing Rent Courts come to an end.
2.Land lord and tenant has to submit rental agreement to Sub Collector range officer and an agreement number will be allotted. Then the relevant agreement date will be uploaded in
3.Based on approved tenancy agreements disputes if any between landlord and tenant will be resolved.
4. To implement this Act effectively such number of officers will be appointed by District Collectors.
Point to keep in mind:
a.On mutual terms Landlord and tenant should enter into an rental agreement.
b.Agreemed Monthly rent should be mentioned in rental agreement.
c.More importantly Landlord should collect THREE MONTHS rent only as security deposit and not more than that.
d.As agreed in rental agreement both landlord and tenant has to maintain the property properly.
e.If Tenant is not vacating the premises after agreed period then he has to give Double the amount as rent.
f.Disputes if any regarding tenancy, either land lord or tenant has to give complaint to RDO/Rent Authority who in turn has to solve the issue within 30 days. If not satisfied with the solution given by RDO/Rent Authority then within 90 days aggrieved party can approach Rent Court then with 120 days to Rent Tribunal.

What is the immediate impact ?
No person shall, after the commencement of this Act, let or take on rent any premises except by an agreement in writing. Where, in relation to a tenancy created before the commencement of this Act, no agreement in writing was entered into, the landlord and the tenant shall enter into an agreement in writing with regard to that tenancy within a period of ninety days from the date of commencement of this Act.
What happens to existing rental agreements not registered so far ?
Any tenancy agreement in writing already entered into before the commencement of this Act, shall be registered with the Rent Authority by the landlord or tenant, by making an application in the Form specifi ed in the First Schedule within such time as may be prescribed.

Conclusion : Monthly rent, mode of payment, amenities in rental property, who has to pay Electricity charges etc., has to be clearly mentioned in rental agreement. The aim of this new Act is that “ No one should stay in rental property without registered rental agreement “. Without such registered rent agreement, the parties to dispute, can not approach RDO/Rent Authority for solution.