NRIs – Baggage Rules - Arrest Limit increased in case of outright smuggling or mis-declaration of baggage

NRIs – Baggage Rules - Arrest Limit increased in case of outright smuggling or mis-declaration of baggage

(8th Aug,2015 ) Passengers entering India will now have to declare Indian currency exceeding Rs 25,000 and LCD, LED or plasma televisions being brought by them in the new customs declaration forms. According to the new rules, the duty free allowance on cigarettes, cigars and tobacco has been reduced by 50 per cent. Also, passengers of Indian-origin and foreigners of over 10 years of age residing in India and coming from any country other than China, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar can bring goods worth Rs 45,000 along with them. Earlier, this limit was Rs 35,000. All flyers coming to India will need to declare Indian currency exceeding Rs 25,000, said the Customs Baggage Declaration (Amendment) Regulations, 2015, notified by the Finance Ministry. Earlier, they were supposed to declare any amount exceeding Rs 10,000 being brought by them. An additional field has also been inserted in the ‘Indian Customs Declaration Form’, which needs to be filled by all passengers entering India, to declare any flat panel (LCD, LED or plasma) televisions being brought by them.

The form presently has fields for declaration of dutiable and prohibited goods, gold jewellery and bullion (over free allowance), satellite phone and foreign currency notes exceeding USD 5,000 or equivalent. The passengers also need to mention about meat, meat products, fish, dairy and poultry products, seeds, plants, fruits, flowers, other planting material and aggregate value of foreign exchange, including currency exceeding USD 10,000 or equivalent in the existing customs form.

 

Central Board of Excise and Customs revises limit for arrest and prosecution substantially upwards ; In cases of outright smuggling or mis-declaration of baggage, the limits regarding value of offending goods have been revised from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh among others

Persons involved in serious offences of tax evasion are liable for arrest and prosecution under the Central Excise Act, 1994, Finance Act, 1994 dealing with Service Tax and Customs Act, 1962. Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has issued instructions from time to time prescribing the procedures, safeguards and threshold limits above which these powers are to be exercised with discretion and responsibility. CBEC has now issued fresh instructions today rescinding the past circulars and consolidating them at one place with following objectives.  Circular No. 1009/16/2015-CX Dated- 23.10.2015

The monetary limits for arrest and prosecution have been revised substantially upwards to ensure that these powers are not used against small and medium businesses.

Thus the limits in case of offence of evasion of tax or wrongful utilization of input tax credit in case of Central Excise and Service tax have been revised to Rs.1 crore from Rs. 25 lakh and Rs. 10 lakh respectively. Circular No. 1010/17/2015-CX Dated- 23.10.2015

In case of evasion of tax under the Customs Act, the limits have been revised to Rs. 1 crore from Rs. 10 lakh in case of evasion of tax by wrongful availment of exemption or duty drawback. Similar, revisions regarding value of goods have been carried-out regarding appraisement of tax during import or export.

In cases of outright smuggling or mis-declaration of baggage, the limits regarding value of offending goods have been revised from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh. As in the past, there shall be no lower limit for arrest and prosecution in the cases of smuggling of fake Indian currency notes, arms, ammunitions and explosives and endangered species.

The procedure to be followed for arrest and sanction of prosecution has been revised and specified with adequate safeguards in these instructions to ensure that only in cases of serious nature above the revised thresholds, where there is strong prima-facie evidence, these powers are exercised

Note:  This is just for information please avoid smuggling and mid-declaration of baggage when you travel to India and respect and obey customs rule

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