Decided on February 19,2015



R. Periasami, Member (T) - (1.)NONE appeared on behalf of the appellant nor there any adjournment request. Notice issued to the appellant returned undelivered.
(2.)THE brief facts of the case are that the appellant filed refund of customs duty paid on import of Zinc Oxide vide Bill of Entry No. 70994 dated 05.11.2004. The appellant claimed refund under Notification No. dated 01.03.2000 preferential rate of duty on the goods originated from Srilanka. Assistant Commissioner (Refunds) rejected the claim of the appellant on the ground that non -production of certificate of country of origin to claim the benefit under the said notification has to be made at the time of clearance of the goods. On appeal filed by the appellant, Commissioner (Appeals) dismissed their appeal on merits.
Ld. AR on behalf of the Revenue reiterates the findings of the OIA and submits that claiming country of origin benefit under Notification No. , which allows Nil rate of duty for the goods of origin from Srilanka. The appellant has not claimed the benefit at the time of importation and before clearance. As per the notification, the Asst. Commissioner of Customs has to be satisfied the conditions 1, 2(2) read with explanation A. These conditions could not be verified after the clearances were made for customs. He relied upon the Hon'ble Apex Court judgment in the case of M/s. Priya Blue Industries Vs. CC (Preventive) reported in : 2004 (172) ELT 145 (SC), and rightly dismissed the appeal.

(3.)I have carefully considered the submissions of the Ld. AR and perused the records. The advocate representing for the regular counsel submits that the counsel has informed that to decide the case on merits. The short issue involved in this appeal relates to claiming country of origin benefit under notification No. . It is mandatory on the part of the importer to claim notification benefit availing preferential rate of country of origin at the time of importation and before clearance of the goods. The lower appellate authority dealt the issue in detail at page -6 and 7 of the impugned order. By relying upon the Hon'ble Apex Court judgment in the case of M/s. Priya Blue Industries (supra), the lower appellate authority dismissed their appeal. It is abundantly clear that the appellant claiming preferential rate of duty under notification No. for the goods imported for from Srilanka origin ought to have claimed the notification at the time of input and before clearance of goods. The conditions stipulated in the said notification is specific and it is mandatory that the Asst. Commissioner of Customs shall satisfy whether the conditions are met before clearance of the goods. As rightly held by the lower appellate authority once Bill of Entry assessed and duty paid and appellants cleared the goods the assessment becomes final and the appellant did not contest or file appeal against the assessment order. Therefore, in view of Hon'ble Apex Court judgment in the case of Priya Blue Industries (supra) the appellants are not eligible to claim the notification benefit by way of filing refund. In view of the above, I do not find any infirmity in the impugned order. Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed and the impugned order is upheld.
(Order pronounced and dictated in the open Court)


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