After Income tax now Customs have also started faceless assessment of cases. They were already running this in a pilot way for past few months and now with this lockdown and other issues, same has been launched in Bangalore and Chennai.
They are calling it “Turant Customs: Faceless, Contactless and Paperless custom clearance.”
The first pilot program of Faceless Assessment (at times also referred commonly to as anonymised assessment or virtual assessment) covering articles primarily falling under Chapter 84 of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 was begun in Chennai on 14th August, 2019.
Similar pilot programs were subsequently begun in Customs formations in Delhi, Bengaluru, Gujarat and Visakhapatnam for articles primarily falling under other varied chapters such as chapters 85, 86 to 92, 39, 50 to 71 and 72 to 83 of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975.
After completing the pilot run the first phase would begin from 8th June 2020 at Bengaluru and Chennai for items of imports primarily covered by Chapters 84 and 85 of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975. The phased rollout plan envisages that Faceless Assessment shall be the norm pan India by 31st December 2020.
Two notifications were issued in the first phase to implement the faceless assessment procedure:
Notification No.50/2020-Customs (N.T.) dated 05.06.2020:
This notification enables an assessing officer, who is physically located in a particular jurisdiction to assess a Bill of Entry pertaining to imports made at a different Customs station, whenever such a Bill of Entry has been assigned to him in the Customs Automated system. However, it is clarified that in the first phase of the roll-out, this notification will be applied only for inter-linking of Bengaluru and Chennai Customs zones for the purpose of Faceless Assessment. Thus, w.e.f. 8th June, 2020 the Customs Automated System will assign the non-facilitated Bills of Entry filed for imports of articles primarily falling under Chapters 84 and 85 of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975, at any of the Customs stations at Bengaluru and Chennai to the officers of the concerned Faceless Assessment group on a first-cum-first basis for assessment. In other words, irrespective of whether the goods are imported at any Customs station falling under the jurisdiction of Bengaluru or Chennai Customs Zone, the Bills of Entry pertaining primarily to the said two chapters will be marked by the Customs Automated System to the nominated Faceless Assessment group for assessment.
Notification No.51/2020-Customs (N.T.) dated 05.06.2020:
This notification shall empower the jurisdictional Commissioners of Customs (Appeals) at Bengaluru and Chennai to take up appeals filed in respect of Faceless Assessments pertaining to imports made in their jurisdictions even though the assessing officer may be located at the other Customs station. To illustrate, Commissioners of Customs (Appeals) at Bengaluru would decide appeals filed for imports at Bengaluru though the assessing officer is located at Chennai.
To read full circular CLICK HERE.
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