Liability cannot be shifted on Importer for the error in non-generation of Bill of Entry on ICEGATE Portal

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In Principal Commissioner of Customs v. M/s M. D. Overseas Limited [Customs Appeal No. 51072 of 2020 dated August 13, 2021], arising out of Order-in-Appeal dated June 18, 2020 (“OIA”), the Commissioner of Customs (Appeals) had set aside the Assessment Order (“the AO”) passed on the three Bills of Entry (“BoE”) with a further direction for re-assessment of the rate of Basic Customs Duty applicable on the given BoE to the Department.

M/s M. D. Overseas Limited (“the Respondent”) after importing four consignments and filing the four BoE’s, only one BoE was generated and three BoE’s could not be processed on the ground of technical glitch in their system according to the Indian Customs Electronic Gateway (“ICEGATE”) which asked the Respondent to re-file the same. The department rejecting the contention put forth by the Respondent passed an AO levying demand for the same.

The Hon’ble CESTAT, Delhi negating the contentions put forth by the Department that supporting documents could not be filed by the Respondent observed that the Respondent had correctly submitted the requisite data along with the relevant documents of all four BoEs. The non-generation of the BoEs was because of some fault with the ICEGATE portal for which the Respondent cannot be blamed.

Further, noted that the original rate of Basic Customs Duty shall be applicable and not the rate on which the Department had asked the Respondent to resubmit the BoEs along with relevant documents. Therefore, there is no error in the order passed by the Commissioner (Appeals) requiring the Department to reassess the three BoEs with respect to the rate of Basic Customs Duty applicable.

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