Decided on February 02,2015

R.K. Industries And Ors. Appellant
Commissioner Of Customs, Jamnagar Respondents


P.K. Das, Member (J) - (1.)APPLICANTS filed these applications for early hearing of the appeals. After hearing at length, we find that appeals may be disposed of at this stage.
(2.)COMMON issue is involved in these appeals and therefore, all are taken up together for disposal. The appellants filed these appeals for setting aside the redemption fine and penalties.
After hearing both sides and on perusal of the records, we find that the appellants imported vessels for breaking purpose. They filed bills of entry of clearance of vessels classifiable under CTH 8908. They classified remnant Bunkers and provisions/stores lying on the vessels under respective tariff heading. There is no dispute that the Marine Gas Oil (MGO) and High Speed Diesel (HSD) were cleared on payment of duty. Adjudicating authority confiscated the goods for violation of the ITC policy and also imposed redemption fine and penalty on the ground that the import of HSD and LDO is not free and subject to import policy conditions.

(3.)WE find that the Tribunal, on the identical issue, set -aside the redemption fine and penalty in the case of A.G. Enterprises and Others vs. Commissioner of Customs (Prev.) Jamnagar, vide final order No. A/11210 -11318 of 2014 dated 08.7.2014. The relevant portion of the said decision is reproduced as under: -
4.2 As per the above provisions of Foreign Trade Policy any doubt regarding classification of any item in ITC (HS) or HPBv1 or HBPv2 or schedule of DEPB Rates should be referred to DGFT whose decision shall be final and binding. As per the clarification/opinion of Joint Director General of Foreign Trade New Delhi, surplus fuel stored in fuel tanks of vessels/ship brought for breaking up is classifiable under 89.08 along with the main vessel. In this regard, Para 18 & 19 of case law Cine Land Vs. CC Chennai (supra), relied upon by the appellants, following has been held by CESTAT Chennai: -

"18. We find that the appellants had applied to the? DGFT, New Delhi for a Merely because the reply was signed by the JDGFT, its validity cannot be discarded. The JDGFT is a Senior Officer in the office of the DGFT. The reply is from the DGFT as per the letter -head. Therefore, obviously the JDGFT has issued it acting in the office of DGFT as per their internal procedures. There are thousands of importers and exporters who apply for such clarifications to the DGFT. It sounds to reason that it would be physically impossible for one DGFT to personally sign replies to these apart from his numerous other responsibilities. Secondly, here there is no certification required of a named authority in the body of a fiscal notification concerning exemption from Customs duty. Such a clarification required from only a named authority is a different requirement than the issue of a clarification on import policy. Therefore, we cannot agree with ld. DR that the clarificatory letter needs to be rechecked by a reference to the DGFT on whether it reflects the opinion of DGFT as it is signed by JDGFT.

19. We also find that it is now a well settled law? that clarifications on Import Policy issued by office of DGFT is binding on Customs as far as ITC Policy is concerned in view of the decisions cited by ld. Senior Advocate supra clarification on these items' classification under ITC (HS) and the ITC Policy."


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