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BIS norms for switchgear imports relaxed
7/3/2013 3:24:14 PM from The Economic Times

The Director General of Foreign Trade has suspended the mandatory BIS registration for consumer and industrial switching equipment import for a period of three months. The compulsory standards will now come into effect from August 17, this year.


The relaxation follows protests from users, as customs is not able to match the BIS product description with the description in the invoice. A large number of consignments are held up at the customs.


The notification on mandatory standards was released without notice and goods in transit were caught in the trap of the restriction. The DGFT has applied the relaxation with retrospective effect, to cover the period between the date of the restriction (April 7, '03) and the date of the relaxation (May 9, '03), so that the trapped imports at the ports will be cleared by the customs.


The scope of the relaxation covers only serial numbers 143 to 159 in the April 7 notification. These are: Self ballasted lamps, circuit breakers, fuses, switchgear and line, control gear, insulated cables, electrical meters and static transformers. Five consumer goods, namely, immersion water heaters, electric irons, electric stoves, switches and tungsten filament lamps will, however, continue to suffer the burden of compulsory BIS registration for import eligibility. The loss suffered by the trade during the one-month experimentation period should be compensated by the government. The DGFT has a system of consultation on trade or export matters and the system should be extended to imports also. In any case, the efficacy of the standards prescribed by BIS requires independent performance audit.


Textile clarifications: The CBEC issued a circular on May 7 to say that clearances of different legal entities within the same premise will be treated as separate clearances for the purposes of Rs 20 lakh (fabrics)/Rs 25 lakh (garment) exemption from 10% excise duty. Common premises will not be treated as a 'single factory'. Three brothers operate separate looms under a portion deed. They operate from a common shed owned by the father. Each brother is entitled to a separate Rs 20 lakh excise free clearance. Total excise free clearance from the premise: Rs 60 lakh.


An exempted textile unit can further transfer inputs such as yarn and fabrics to the market by endorsing the original purchase invoice. In such cases, an exempted unit can keep the photocopy of the transfer invoice, which is deemed to be a record of purchase, and fulfil the conditions of purchase record in keeping with the exemption.


Dealers of textile articles can transfer Cenvat credit both to the market as well as to manufacturers without going through the registration procedure. The invoice can be transferred from dealer to dealer with Cenvat transfer in each transaction. However, if an invoice is split up into small value invoices, the dealer must go through the registration procedure. The CBEC has also clarified that the practice created by field formations that the goods must be actually delivered to the dealers premises before Cenvat credit can be transferred, is not in order.


Raw silk: The CBEC has clarified that raw silk imports of grade 2A and below, which attract an anti-dumping duty, must be checked for quality. Apparently, importers misdeclare the grade, classifying the imports in a category above the 2A grade to avoid anti-dumping duty. The circular does not state as to what should be the checking and testing procedure and which agency will certify the quality. The CBEC says in the absence of the test report, consignments may be released after a test bond with suitable bank guarantee.

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