OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS:

C.R. BUILDING, P.B. NO.5400, QUEEN’S ROAD, BANGALORE-560001.

 

C.No.VIII/48/177/2009 -Cus. Tech.                                                                                                                           Date: 01-06-2010

 

Minutes of the meeting of 100% EOU/EHTP/STP units  on Transfer of EOUs to Central Excise,  held on 7th May, 2010

 

A meeting with the representatives of the 100% Export Oriented Units, STP / EHTP units of Bangalore Customs Commissionerate was held on     7th May, 2010 at the Conference Hall, IV Floor, Income Tax Wing,             C.R. Building, Queen’s Road, Bangalore, under the Chairmanship of Sri.Subhash Chander, Chief Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise, Bangalore Zone.  

 

2.      The representatives of the 100% EOU/EHTP/STP units, Custom House Agents who are dealing with EOU related work attended the meeting.  The following Officers from the Department also attended the meeting:

 

1.     Shri  A.K.Kaushal, Commissioner of Central Excise, Bangalore-III     

       Commrte

 2. Shri. R.K.Singla, Commissioner of Central Excise, Bangalore-I   

          Commrte

 3. Shri.Kamal Jyoti, Commissioner of Central Excise Bangalore-II  Commrte

 4. Shri  K.Sekar, Commissioner of Service Tax, Bangalore

 5. Shri. B.Bhattacharya, Commissioner of Customs, Bangalore.

 6.Shri. Bijoy Kumar Kar, Additional Commissioner of Customs, Tech., Hqrs.,

 7.Shri. R.Bhaskaran, Deputy Commissioner of Customs,Tech., Hqrs. Office

 8. Shri. S.Madhusudan, Asst. Commissioner of Customs, Customs Division

 

 

3.      At the outset, the Chairman extended a warm welcome to the members present. The main Agenda of the Meeting was to inform the Trade about the Board’s decision to transfer the Administrative Control of 100% EOU/EHTP/STP units hitherto held by the Customs Commissioner, Bangalore, to Central Excise Commissionerates, Bangalore.  It was also to ascertain the opinion / feedback of the trade in respect of this changeover.

4.1   The Chairman explained that in the port cities and as an exception case in Bangalore, the administrative control over all the EOUs including the EHTP and STP units falling within the territorial jurisdiction of Commissioner of Customs, was vested with the Commissioner of Customs.  At other places, the administrative control over EOU/EHTP/STP units is with the jurisdictional Commissioner of Central Excise.   

4.2   The Chairman stated that in order to facilitate uniform and better administration and control of such EOUs and also to facilitate the shift to Goods and Services Taxes (GST) regime in future, Central Board of Excise & Customs,  has conveyed the decision that  the EOU units functioning in the jurisdiction of Customs including port cities will henceforth be under the Administrative Control of the respective jurisdictional Central Excise Commissionerates with effect from 01.06.2010.    Accordingly   he informed that the matter is under discussion and shortly Public Notice/Trade Notice will be issued regarding the jurisdiction of the units in the Central Excise Commissionerates and also the details of the designated proper officer will be enumerated.

4.3     The Chairman further stated that there will be only Administrative change and that there will be no change whatsoever in the procedures being followed.  He also assured that there will be no delay in processing of the documents and all the Central Excise officers will be briefed about the procedural aspect.  It was further clarified that there will be no change in the existing documentation / procedure being followed.

5.0   However the Trade and Industry representatives were apprehensive about the procedural aspects and the time involved in clearance of the documents if the units are transferred to Central Excise control.  There were various doubts raised by the representatives of the Trade as detailed below and the Chairman clarified the same.

5.1   With regard to Block Transfer, what will be procedure?

         For the import of goods duty free through ports in Bangalore, in terms of the procedure laid out in the Public Notice No.104/2001 dated 17.10.2001, the EOU Range Superintendent issues a Block Transfer Certificate apportioning certain amount from the importer’s  Running Bond account  to their Port account  so as to enable the importers to procure imported goods duty free. The Trade enquired that regarding the issue of Block Transfer Certificates, what will be procedure in future, as in other places where EOUs are within Central Excise jurisdiction, only Procurement Certificates are issued and there is no concept of Block Transfer.

Reply:       The Chairman clarified that the existing procedure will continue and there will be no change. Also it was impressed upon the Trade representatives to submit a letter to the Commissioner of Customs Bangalore, seeking clarification on the issue for which the Department would issue a clarification in writing

5.2   Whether registration is required to be taken in Central Excise for all the additional premises of a single EOU/EHTP/STP unit?

         At present,  the EOU/EHTP/STP units have one Letter of Permission issued by the CSEZ/STPI office and accordingly a Customs Licence is issued by the Assistant Commissioner of Customs, Customs Division, under Section 58 and 65 of the Customs Act, 1962, respectively declaring the area as “Customs Area” and permitting the unit to carry out    in-bond manufacture  in the said premises.   In case the unit wishes to expand their operations elsewhere – in adjoining area or anywhere else - the additional premises are also attached to the original Licence by the Assistant Commissioner, Customs Division, by way of issue of an Additional Premises Licensing sheet, attached to the Original Licence Number issued earlier.    No separate Licence is issued for the additional premises.

         The Trade enquired that regarding the Additional premises as mentioned above, when the EOUs are shifted to Central Excise, whether the existing procedure will be followed or they should take separate Central Excise Registration Certificate for all the additional premises.

Reply:       The Chairman clarified that the existing procedure will continue and there will be no change.  However it was impressed upon the Trade representatives to submit a letter to the Commissioner of Customs Bangalore, seeking clarification on all the doubts they are encountering for which the Department would submit a clarification in writing. 

5.3     Cases pending in CESTAT, Commissioner (Appeals), Show Cause Notices and refunds to be granted:

         The representatives of the Trade enquired about the future status of their cases pending before the Hon'ble CESTAT and Commissioner (Appeals). What would be the future of the cases which have been heard in person and pending issue of order and also cases which are pending decision at both the fora.  They sought for clarification as to who would be proper officer before whom they should present the cases and also the status of the SCNs issued and the refund applications already submitted. 

Reply:       The Chairman stated that the proper officer would definitely be an officer in the new jurisdiction and it would be made known through issue of proper Instructions / Trade Notice.  However, the present set of officers should ensure that all periodical Show Cause Notices covering the next three months have to be issued.

5.4           Will there be an exclusive EOU Division in Central Excise as it is   so in Customs?

         The Trade were eager to know if the existing pattern of Customs Division comprising of all the EOU/EHTP/STP units would continue to be so in the changed Central Excise jurisdiction.   

Reply:       The Chairman stated that Board’s Instructions in the matter is awaited.

5.5           Whether the LOP will be issued in future by the Development Commissioner / Director STPI ?

         The Trade raised a query as to whether the Letter of Permission (LOP) for setting up a EOU/EHTP/STP unit will continue to be issued by the Development   Commissioner, CSEZ / Director STPI, as the case may be.

Reply:       The Chairman observed that the Trade representatives are perhaps not properly aware of the functions of the different agencies and there will be no change in the existing procedures and all the procedures will continue to be the same.

5.6    What about E.R.1 and E.R.2 returns?

 

          The Trade representatives sought clarification about the monthly returns – E.R.1  and E.R.2 – to be filed?

 

Reply:       The Chairman clarified that at present  the EOU/EHTP/STP units are filing the monthly E.R.2 returns manually to the Customs Ranges.  In future, the monthly excise returns- E.R.1 should be filed electronically – through ACES for which separate training seminar can be conducted.

 

 

 

5.7    In case of transfer of capital goods from one EOU to another, whether date of re-warehousing is considered as date of bonding in the new unit and from when the depreciation is calculated?

 

Reply:       The Chairman impressed upon the Trade to submit a letter to the Commissioner of Customs Bangalore, seeking clarification in this aspect for which the Department would issue a clarification in writing.

 

5.8           Delay in documentation by excise officers:

 

          The Trade representatives stated that in other Central Excise formations in India where the EOUs are being manned by Excise officers, the Trade is encountering enormous delays in documentation.  But in Bangalore since Customs is handling EOUs, the work is done fast. Hence they want the same pace to continue in the changed scenario.

 

Reply:       The Chairman assured that the Commissioners of Central Excise and Service Tax will take care to see that there is no delay.  If the trade encounters any problem, they may contact the senior officers   to resolve the same.

 

6.      The Commissioner of Customs, Bangalore, clarified that since GST is underway, the transition of all manufacturing units from Customs to Central Excise is  inevitable.   However, the ports like Air Cargo Complex, Inland Container Depot, Postal Appraisal Department and the International Airport at Bangalore would continue to be in the jurisdiction of Bangalore Customs.  The procedural Trade Notice will be shortly issued.  All the queries should be submitted within 7 days to the Commissioner.

 

7.      The Commissioner of Central Excise Bangalore-I Commissionerate addressed the gathering and assured the Trade that the transition of EOU/EHTP/STP units from Customs to Central Excise would be smooth and the Trade would be sensitized about the changes.  He also assured that the work relating to EOUs would be dealt faster than the existing pace.

 

8.      The Commissioner of Central Excise Bangalore-II Commissionerate spoke and clarified that since “Manufacture” is governed by Central Excise, all Export oriented manufacturing units are to be rightly under the jurisdiction of Central Excise.  He assured that the EOU matters will be more than adequately handled by the excise officers.  He stated that hitherto there was single window clearance which may not be the case in future.  However there will be no difficulties faced by the EOUs.

 

9.      The  Commissioner of Central Excise Bangalore-III Commissionerate spoke to the Trade and clarified that there will be no problem as the central excise officers are only working in Bangalore Customs and they are coming back to excise after completion of their tenure in Customs.  Thus the excise officers are well aware of the customs procedures and hence there is no scope for any apprehension by the Trade.

 

10.    The Chief Commissioner once again emphasized that the points/queries should be submitted to the Commissioner of Customs, Bangalore within 10 days and the Assistant Commissioner of Customs Division, should also clarify the queries.  He also stated that the final date of implementation of the Board’s Order is yet to be notified and the same will be duly communicated.

 

11.    The meeting ended with vote of thanks to the chair. 

 

12.    These minutes are issued with the approval of the Chief Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise, Bangalore Zone, Bangalore.

 

                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                 Sd/-

(B.BHATTACHARYA)

COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS, BANGALORE.

 

To,

All the Members,

 

Copy submitted to:

 

The Chief Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise,  Bangalore.

 

Copy to:

1.           The Commissioner of Central Excise, Bangalore-I Commissionerate

2.           The Commissioner of Central Excise, Bangalore-II Commissionerate

3.           The Commissioner of Central Excise, Bangalore-III Commissionerate

4.           The Commissioner of Service Tax, Bangalore.

5.           The Additional Commissioner of Customs, Technical, Hqrs.,

  6.   The Assistant Commissioner of Customs, Customs Division,    Bangalore

7.   Guard File.