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ALSA MARINE & HARVESTS LTD. Versus COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS, COCHIN

2007 (6) TMI 336 - CESTAT, CHENNAI

Demand/Remission of duty - Non-fulfilment of export obligation - Held that: - the appellants have succeeded in establishing that they have not violated condition (iii) of the Notification and, therefore, they have no liability to pay the duty demanded by the lower authorities - The authorities ought to have borne in mind the legal maxim lex non cogit ad impossibilia, which means the law does not compel a person to do the impossible. - C/307/2001 - 687/2007 - Dated:- 4-6-2007 - S/Shri P.G. Chacko .....

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ustoms Duty, goods imported into India for processing and re-export to the overseas supplier or to any other person specified by him. Such re-export should be completed within 6 months from the date of clearance of the imported goods or within such extended period as might be allowed by the Asst. Commissioner of Customs. The jobbing in India should be undertaken in accordance with the procedure set out in the Customs (Import of Goods at Concessional Rate of Duty for Manufacture of Excisable Good .....

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s filed. They could not make any further exports within the prescribed period, nor did they succeed in getting further extension of time for discharge of export obligation. In the circumstances, a show-cause notice dated 15-5-2000 was issued to them for recovery of Customs duty of Rs. 8,11,020/- under Section 28 of the Customs Act along with interest under Section 28AB of the Act. In their reply, the appellants submitted that they were unable to re-export the goods due to reasons beyond their co .....

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nts. This decision was affirmed by the Commissioner (Appeals). Hence the present appeal of the party. 2. Heard both sides. It was submitted by ld. Counsel for the appellants that the export obligation in relation to the imported goods could not be discharged due to reasons beyond their control as admitted by the lower authorities and no part of the imported goods had been sold, loaned, transferred or otherwise disposed off. The entire quantity, barring a small part, of the goods was availab .....

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ocable in this case. Ld. Counsel, further, points out that the appellants had also requested the original authority for permission to surrender the goods to the Customs and that their request was not duly considered. Counsel argued that, on the facts of this case, the appellants were entitled to remission of duty on the goods. Ld. SDR reiterated the findings of the Commissioner (Appeals). 3. After giving careful consideration to the submissions, we have found substance in some of the submis .....

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ld appear that the plea of the party that they were unable to discharge export obligation due to reasons beyond their control has been accepted. It is on the ground of violation of condition (iii) of Notification No. 32/97-Cus. ibid by the appellants that the lower authorities have demanded duty from them. This condition reads thus: that the goods are utilized only for the discharge of export obligation and no part thereof shall be sold, loaned, transferred or otherwise used or disposed off. It .....

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such conditions and export the goods after jobbing, the appellants requested the Customs authorities for extension of the period of export, but this request was not favourably considered. Meanwhile, the squids perished and became unfit for export. It was in these circumstances that the appellants could not discharge their export obligation. Therefore, in our considered view, the Customs authorities were not justified in enforcing condition No. (iii) against them. The authorities ought to have b .....

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