The revised All Industry Rates (AIR) of Duty Drawback has been notified vide Notification No. 110/2015-Customs (N.T.), dated 16.11.2015 which comes into force on 23.11.2015. These AIRs broadly take into account certain broad average parameters including, inter alia, prevailing prices of inputs, input output norms, share of imports in input consumption, the rates of central excise and customs duties, the factoring of incidence of service tax paid on taxable services which are used as input services in the manufacturing or processing of export goods, factoring incidence of duty on HSD/furnace oil, value of export goods, etc.
2. The notification may be downloaded from Boards website and carefully perused for details of the changes. However, some of the changes are highlighted below
(a) The composite rates have been increased in many cases like frozen shrimps/ prawns (chp 3, 16), perfumed agarbatti (chp 33), finished/ lining leather (chp 41), leather hand bags/ wallet/ belts (chp 42), industrial gloves (chp 42), certain MMF yarn/ fabric (chp 54, 55), readymade garment made of cotton, wool & cotton with lycra (chp 61, 62), made-ups of cotton/ MMF (chp 63), hand tools (chp 82), etc.
(b)Separate entries have been provided in the Drawback Schedule for Accelerated Freeze Dried (AFD) shrimps, lobster/crab, pasteurized tinned chilled crab meat (chp 3, 16), fish oil (chp 15), fish meal (chp 23), potassium chlorate (chp 28), leather carpets (chp 42), polypropylene mats (chp 46), cotton yarn of 100 or more counts (chp 52), belting fabrics (chp 54), filtration fabric made of polyester filament yarn/ polypropylene filament yarn/ polybutylene terephthalate (chp 54), suits, jackets & trousers (chp 61 & chp 62)- by trifurcating existing single entry, protective industrial wear made of aramid fibre/ modacrylic fibre/ cotton fibre (chp 62), glass art-ware/ handicrafts with silver coating (chp 70), aluminium conductor steel reinforced (chp 76), turbo charger (chp 84), tractor parts (chp 87), self-loading or self-unloading trailers and semi-trailers of a type used for agricultural purposes (chp 87), leg guards (chp 95).
(c) Rate has been provided for granulated slag (chp 26) and the description under heading 6802 has been reworded with respect to constituent material for tiles, handicrafts, etc.
(d) Certain products earlier having only customs rates, have been provided with composite rates. These include bicycle tyres (chp 40), bicycle tubes (chp 40), woven fabrics of other vegetable textile fibres/ woven fabrics of paper yarn (chp 53), headgear (chp 65), umbrellas/walking sticks etc. (chp 66), artificial flowers etc. (chp 67), acrylic blankets (chp 63).
(e) Iron and steel (chp 72 from heading 7207 onwards), articles of iron and steel (chp 73), tools and parts of base metal (chp 82), miscellaneous articles made from steel (chp 83), machinery and appliances (chp 84), electrical machinery (chp 85), rolling stock (chp 86) and ships (chp 89) have been provided with increased customs rate of 2%, with certain exceptions.
(f) Composite rates for wooden art ware (chp 44), papier mache (chp 48), yarn/ fabric/ garment of silk (chp 50, 61, 62), certain MMF yarn/ fabric (chp 54, 55), carpets (chp 57), brass artware/ articles (chp 74), certain sports goods (chp 95) etc. see a reduction.
(g) AIR has been fixed as Rs. 209.3/gm for gold jewellery /parts and Rs. 2790/kg for silver jewellery /articles.
(h) Rates on remaining of the erstwhile DEPB items are being aligned with residuary rates, except where higher rates were due.
(i) Drawback caps, wherever meaningfully possible, have been provided normally in entries with rates higher than 1.9% (the highest residuary rate). It may be noted that the drawback cap of the nature provided for certain project exports applies when the conditions specified in the relevant Notes and conditions are met and it does not apply to other cases.
2. The Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax Drawback Rules, 1995 have also been amended vide Notification No. 109/2015-Customs (N.T.) dated. 16.11.2015 effective from 23.11.2015. This notification may also be perused. The first of these amendments enables exporters of wheat to function under the brand rate mechanism. The second change relates to payment of provisional drawback in certain cases of export under claim for brand rate. Presently, after export, a complete application for determination of brand under rule 7 of these Rules has to be filed at the Central Excise office to enable issuance of provisional drawback letter. The sub-rule (3) of Rule 7 has been amended so that Central Government may specify an amount for payment as provisional drawback by proper officer of Customs. Notification No. 110/2015-Customs (N.T.), dated 16.11.2015 (paragraph 3) specifies this amount as equivalent to the Customs component of AIR corresponding to the export goods, if applicable, and subject to the same conditions as applicable to a claim for the B column in the Schedule. The modified procedure for export under claim for brand rate under rule 7 of Drawback Rules 1995 is at Annexure 1. The amount paid as provisional drawback under the above dispensation shall be taken into account by the Central Excise to authorize further provisional drawback, where necessary. The brand rate facilitation in terms of Paras 5A-5C of Instruction No. 603/01/2011-DBK dated 11.10.2013 would continue and there should be no delay by Central Excise formations in finalizing applications for fixation of brand rate.
3. The Commissioners are expected to ensure due diligence to prevent any misuse. The shipping bills with parameters considered to be sensitive should be handled with adequate care at the time of export itself. Further, in case of claim of the composite (higher) rate of AIR, the processing should specifically ensure availability of Non-availment of Cenvat certificate etc. at the export stage itself. There is also need for continued scrutiny for preventing any excess drawback arising from mismatch of declarations made in the Item Details and the Drawback Details in a shipping bill. It may continue to be ensured that exporters do not avail of the refund of service tax paid on taxable services which are used as input services in the manufacturing or processing of export goods through any other mechanism while claiming AIR.
4. Suitable public notice and standing order should be issued for guidance of the trade and officers. Any inconsistency, error or difficulty faced should be intimated to the Board. Details may be informed in case of any specific product on which the new Schedule has resulted in removal of drawback cap which is accompanied by an increase in the relative drawback amount per unit of product.
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