Customs Act 1962 Current Affairs - 2020

Category Wise PDF Compilations available at This Link

Indian Coast Guard can now legally search & seize vessels in EEZ

Union Ministry of Defence has authorized every member of Coast Guard under Coast Guard Act 1978, to visit, board, search and seize any suspicious vessel and arrest people for offences within Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf of country. The permission also includes seizing of any artificial island/ any floating or moored object/ any underwater object including any maritime property involved or suspected to be used in the commission of any offence. Therefore, empowering Indian Coast Guard will now enhance coastal security.

Background

Just to board and search suspicious vessels, the Indian Coast Guard (maritime security force of country) have been seeking more powers under The Territorial Waters, Continental Shelf, Exclusive Economic Zone and Other Maritime Zones Act, 1976, since 2009.

Before this notification, the maritime security agency did not have the power to board any vessel that passes through India’s EEZ. The Coast Guard then used provisions of Customs Act and Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and other relevant acts to board and seize vessels in EEZ. However, it did not have necessary legal backing and many cases would fall flat in court.

There was also a legal loophole using which the vessel companies could sue Coast Guard for detaining ships without any authorisation. Moreover, if Coast Guard officials would seize drugs, detain offenders and hand them over to agencies such as local police, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). The vessels would be handed over to port authorities.

About Indian Coast Guard (ICG)

It is an independent Armed force of India that was formally established by Coast Guard Act, 1978 of Parliament. It protects India’s maritime interests and enforces maritime law, with jurisdiction over territorial waters of India, including its contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone (EEZ). It operates under the Ministry of Defence and works in close cooperation with Indian Navy, Department of Revenue (Customs), Department of Fisheries, and Central and State police forces.

Get these updates on Current Affairs Today Android App

CBIC launches programme to strengthen Make in India

Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), India’s nodal national agency responsible for administering Central Excise, Service Tax, Customs, GST, & Narcotics has launched a revamped and streamlined programme to attract investments into India and strengthen Make in India through manufacture and other operations. The programme is launched under bond scheme of Customs Act, 1962 as this section enables conduct of manufacture and other operations in a customs bonded warehouse.

Moreover, CBIC in collaboration with Invest India has launched a dedicated microsite [https://www.investindia.gov.in/bonded-manufacturing>] for providing information as well as promoting scheme and for facilitation of investors.

Key Highlights of Scheme

It prescribes a single application cum approval form for uniformity of practice.

Jurisdictional Commissioner of Customs will function as a single point of approval to set up and oversee operations of such units. Moreover, there is no geographical limitation on where such units can be set up.

The unit can import goods (both inputs as well as capital goods) under a customs duty deferment program and the duties are fully remitted if processed goods are exported.

The units will benefit through improved liquidity as there will be no interest liability.

GST compliant goods can be procured from domestic market for use in manufacture and other operations in a section 65 unit.

A single digital account has been prescribed for ease of doing business and easy compliance.

The Scheme has been modernized with simplified compliance requirements Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based documentation, clear and transparent procedures and account keeping, by issue of Manufacture and Other Operations in Warehouse Regulations 2019.

Significance: Scheme will also enable efficient capacity utilization, as there is no limit on quantum of clearances that can be exported or cleared to the domestic market. It is expected to play a critical role in promoting investments in India and in enhancing ease of doing business (EDB). It can provide impetus to Make in India programme by encouraging exports, creating hubs for electronics assembly, repairing/refurbishing operations, inward/outward processing, facilitating global e-commerce hubs among others.

Get these updates on Current Affairs Today Android App