Ahead of GST, Customs upgrades & improves IT systems

Posted by Daily Shipping Times on 27-06-2017        Tweet

NEW DELHI: The Centre is working with exporters and importers to prepare them for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that will be implemented from next month.

Customs duty will not be subsumed under the new levy, which includes only central excise duty and service tax. However, imports will be considered an inter-state supply and will attract IGST (Integrated GST), while exports will be zero-rated. Full refund of tax will be available.

For many imports, counterveiling duty and special additional duty of customs will also not be levied. Accordingly, laws and procedures as well as IT systems of the two levies are being synced to process refunds and check duty evasion.

Launch campaigns

While the Department of Commerce and the Directorate General of Foreign Trade have already been working on creating awareness, the Central Board of Excise and Customs has also asked the Customs Department to launch such campaigns and clarify doubts.

Apart from the levy of IGST and compensation cess, the refund on exports of goods will depend on the filing of shipping bills along with the GST invoice and export general manifest. “The readiness of the Customs Administration and trade shall be crucial for the smoothroll out of GST,” said a recent CBEC circular.

It further said changes in Customs law and procedures have to be accompanied by changes in the electronic data interchange system.

The information in the bill of entry by importers will be cross-checked with their GSTN returns. Further, importers will also be expected to declare their GST registration number or GSTIN to claim credit on the IGST paid.

Similarly, the CBEC has modified the shipping bills to electronically capture details such as GSTIN of the exporter and GST export invoice. Gradually, only details of GSTIN and Permanent Account Number will be required in the shipping bills, CBEC has further said.

Earlier, the Department of Commerce had also announced that it would align the mid-term review of Foreign Trade Policy with the rollout of GST for the convenience of exporters and industry.