Customs Tariff (Determination of Origin of Goods under the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement between the Republic of India and the Republic of Mauritius) Rules, 2021.
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
(Department of Revenue)
(Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs)
Notification No. 38/2021-Customs (N.T.)
Dated: 31st March, 2021
G.S.R. … (E).- In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 5 of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 (51 of 1975), the Central Government hereby makes the following rules, namely: –
1. Short title and commencement. – (1) These rules may be called the Customs Tariff (Determination of Origin of Goods under the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement between the Republic of India and the Republic of Mauritius) Rules, 2021.
(2) They shall come into force on the 1st day of April, 2021.
2. Definition.- these rules, unless the context otherwise requires, –
(a) “Agreement” means the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement between the Republic of India and the Republic of Mauritius;
(b) “competent authority” means:
(i) for India, the Department of Commerce or the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) or any other agency notified from time to time;
(ii) for Mauritius, the Mauritius Revenue Authority, Customs Department;
(c) “customs value” means the value as determined in accordance with Article VII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (also known as GATT), including its notes and supplementary provision thereof; and the Agreement on the Implementation of Article VII of GATT (also known as the Customs Valuation Agreement);
(d) “carrier” means any vehicle for air, sea or land transport;
(e) “Change in Tariff Classification” or “CTC” means the change in the relevant tariff classification of the non-originating materials used in the manufacture of the export product. CTC would cover the following cases:
(i) Change in Chapter or CC which implies the change in chapter at the two-digit level of the Harmonized System for all non-originating materials used in the manufacture of the export product;
(ii) Change in Tariff Heading or CTH which implies the change in tariff heading at the four-digit level of the Harmonized System for all non-originating materials used in the manufacture of the export product;
(iii) Change in Tariff Sub-Heading or CTSH which implies the change in tariff subheading at the six-digit level of the Harmonized System for all non-originating materials used in the manufacture of the export product;
(f) “CIF value” means the price actually paid or payable to the exporter for a good when the good is loaded out of the carrier, at the port of importation, including the cost of the good, insurance, and freight necessary to deliver the good to the named port of destination. The valuation shall be made in accordance with the Customs Valuation Agreement;
(g) “FOB value” or “free-on-board value” means the price actually paid or payable to the exporter for a product when loaded onto the carrier at the named port of exportation, including the cost of the product and all costs necessary to bring the product onto the carrier;
(h) “Harmonized System” or “HS” means the Harmonized System or HS set out in the Annex to the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, including any amendments adopted and implemented by the Parties in their respective laws;
(i) “manufacture” means working or processing;
(ii) “material” means any ingredient, raw material, component or part and goods that are used in the production of another good and physically incorporated into another good;
(k) “non-originating materials used in production” means any materials whose country of origin is a country other than the Parties (imported non-originating) and any materials whose origin cannot be determined (undetermined origin);
(I) “originating materials” means materials that qualify as originating under these rules;
(m) “Parties” means the Republic of India and the Republic of Mauritius;
(n) “Party” means either the Republic of India or the Republic of Mauritius;
(o) “preferential tariff treatment” means any concession or privilege granted under the Agreement by one Party to the other Party through the reduction and/or elimination of tariffs on the movement of goods;
(p) “product” means the product being manufactured, even if it is intended for later use in another manufacturing operation;
(q) “tariff classification” means the classification of goods according to the Harmonized System including its General Interpretative Rules and Explanatory Notes;
(r) “territorial waters” means waters extending up to 12 nautical miles from the baseline as defined by the Parties in line with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS);
(s) “territory” means the territory of the Party including its territorial waters and the air space above its territorial waters and the other maritime zones including the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf over which the Party has sovereignty, sovereign rights or exclusive jurisdiction in accordance with its laws in force, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and international law;
(t) “value of non-originating materials” means the customs value at the time of importation of the non-originating materials used, or, if this is not known and cannot be ascertained, the first ascertainable price paid for the materials in the territory of a Party.
3. Origin Criteria. – (1) For the purposes of these rules, a product shall be considered as originating in a Party and eligible for preferential tariff treatment, if:
(a) it has been wholly obtained (WO) in a Party, in accordance with rule 4; or
(b) it meets the product specific rules (PSRs) listed in Annex 1. The value addition (VA) criteria for PSRs listed in Annex 1 is defined as
Value addition = [FOB value of export — (CIF value of non-originating material + value of material of undetermined origin)]/ [FOB value of export]
Value addition = [cost of originating material + direct labour cost + direct overhead cost + profits]/ [FOB value of export]
(2) Notwithstanding anything stated in these rules, the final manufacture before export must have occurred in the Party of export.
4. Wholly produced or obtained products. – Within the meaning of clause (a) of sub-rule (1) of rule 3, the following products shall be considered as being wholly obtained or produced in the territory of a Party:
(a) Plants and plant products grown and harvested in a Party;
Explanation. – For the purposes of this clause, the term “plant” refers to all plant life, including fruit, flowers, vegetables, trees, seaweed, fungi and live plants.
(b) Live animals born and raised there and products from such animals;
(c) Products obtained by hunting, trapping, fishing or aquaculture conducted in the Party;
(d) Fish and fish products taken from the sea outside the territorial waters of that Party by a vessel registered in that Party and flying its flag;
(e) Mineral goods and other naturally occurring substances extracted from or beneath its soil, waters or seabed;
(f) Waste and scrap resulting from utilisation, consuming or manufacturing operations conducted in the territory of any of the Parties, provided they are fit only for the recovery of raw materials; and
(g) Products manufactured there exclusively from those specified in clauses (a) to (f) above.
5. De minimis. – Notwithstanding rule 3 on the origin criteria, non-originating materials that do not meet either the Wholly Obtained criteria listed in rule 4 or CTC, if applicable in the product specific rule (PSR), shall be deemed as originating if:
(a) their total value does not exceed 12.5% of the FOB price of the export product; and
(b) in case of textiles and clothing under HS chapters 50-63, the weight of the non-originating material is less than 7% of the total weight of the materials used in the export product.
6. Minimal Operations and Processes. – (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in these rules, a product shall not be considered as originating in a Party if any of the following operations are undertaken exclusively by itself or in combination in the territory of that Party:
(a) operations to ensure the preservation of products in good condition during transport and storage (such as drying, freezing or thawing, keeping in brine, removal of damaged parts) and other similar operations;
(b) changes of packaging and breaking up and assembly of packages;
(c) washing, cleaning, removal of dust, oxide, oil, paint or other coverings;
(d) for textiles:
(i) attaching accessory articles such as straps, bands, beads, cords, rings and eyelets;
(ii) ironing or pressing of textiles;
(e) simple painting and polishing;
(f) husking, partial or total bleaching, polishing, and glazing of cereals and rice;
(g) operations to colour sugar or form sugar lumps;
(h) peeling and removal of stones and shells from fruits, nuts and vegetables;
(i) sharpening, simple grinding or simple cutting;
(j) simple operations such as removal of dust, sifting, screening, sorting, classifying, grading, matching;
(k) simple placing in bottles, cans, flasks, bags, cases, boxes, fixing on cards or boards and all other simple packaging operations;
(I) affixing or printing marks, labels, logos and other like distinguishing signs on products or their packaging;
(m) simple mixing of products, whether or not of different kinds;
(n) simple assembly of parts of articles to constitute a complete article or disassembly of products into parts;
(o) slaughter of animals; or
(p) simple testing, calibration, inspection or certification.
Explanation. – For the purposes of this rule, “simple” describes an activity which need neither special skills nor machines, apparatus or equipment especially produced or installed to carry out the activity.
7. Bilateral Cumulation. – For the purposes of determining whether a product qualifies as an originating product of a Party, an originating material of the other Party which is used as a material in the production of the product in the former Party may be considered as an originating material of the former Party, provided that such material has undergone its last production process in the former Party which goes beyond the operations provided for in rule 6.
8. Packages and packing materials and containers. – (1) The packages and packing materials for retail sale, when classified together with the packaged product, shall not be taken into account for considering whether all non-originating materials used in the manufacture of a product fulfil the criterion corresponding to a change of tariff classification of the said product.
(2) Where a product is subject to an ad-valorem percentage criterion, the value of the packages and packing materials for retail sale shall be taken into account in its origin assessment, in case the packing is considered as forming a whole with products.
(3) The containers and packing materials exclusively used for the transport of a product shall not be taken into account for determining the origin of any pro duct.
9. Accessories, spare parts and tools and sets. — (1) Accessories, spare parts and tools dispatched with a piece of equipment, machine, apparatus or vehicle, which are part of the normal equipment as per standard trade practice and which value is included in its FOB price, or which are not separately invoiced, shall be considered as part of the product in question.
(2) Sets, as defined in General Rule 3 of the Harmonized System, shall be regarded as originating when all component products are originating. Nevertheless, when a set is composed of originating and non-originating products, the set as a whole shall be regarded as originating provided that the value of the non-originating products does not exceed 10 per cent of the FOB value of the set. A Party applying this rule shall not use the de-minimis criteria in rule 5 for originating products of the Set.
10. Indirect materials. – Neutral elements, which have not entered into the final composition of the product, such as energy and fuel, plant and equipment, or machines and tools, shall not be taken into account when the origin of that product is determined.
11. Accounting segregation. – (1) Where identical and interchangeable originating and non-originating materials including materials of undetermined origin are used in the manufacture of a product, those materials shall be physically segregated, according to their origin, during storage.
(2) Notwithstanding sub-rule (1) of this rule, a producer facing considerable costs or material difficulties in keeping separate stocks of identical and interchangeable originating and non-originating materials including materials of undetermined origin used in the manufacture of a product, may use the so-called “accounting segregation” method for managing stocks.
(3) The accounting method shall be recorded, applied and maintained in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles applicable in the Party in which the product is manufactured. The method chosen must:
(a) permit a clear distinction to be made between originating and non-originating materials including materials of undetermined origin acquired and/or kept in stock; and
(b) guarantee over the relevant accounting period of twelve months that no more products receive originating status than would be the case if the materials had been physically segregated.
A producer using an inventory management system shall keep records of the operation of the system that are necessary for the customs administration of the Party concerned to verify compliance with the provisions of these rules.
Explanation. – The term “Generally Accepted Accounting Principles” means the recognised consensus or substantial authoritative support within a Party at a particular time as to which economic resources and obligations should be recoded as assets and liabilities, which changes in assets and liabilities should be recorded, how the assets and liabilities and changes in them should be measured, what information should be disclosed and how it should be disclosed, and which financial statements should be prepared. These standards may be broad guidelines of general application as well as detailed practices and procedures.
(4) The competent authority may require from its exporters that the application of the method for managing stocks as provided for in this rule will be subject to prior authorisation.
12. Transport. – (1) Preferential treatment in accordance with the Agreement shall only be granted to originating products that are transported directly between the Parties.
(2) Notwithstanding sub-rule (1) of this rule, an originating product may be transported through territories of non-Parties for the purpose of transit or temporary storage in warehouses in such non-Parties, provided that it:
(a) does not undergo operations other than unloading, reloading, or any operation designed to preserve it in good condition; and
(b) remains under customs control and has not entered into trade or consumption in those non-Parties.
If an originating product of the other Party does not meet the criteria referred to in this sub-rule, the product shall not be considered as an originating product of the other Party.
(3) An importer shall upon request supply appropriate evidence to the customs authorities of the Party of import that the conditions set out in sub-rule (2) have been fulfilled.
13. Proof of Origin. – (1) For products originating in a Party and otherwise fulfilling the origin-related requirements of these rules, the Proof of Origin of an export product will be provided either through:
(a) an origin declaration on a commercial document completed by an approved exporter established in the Party, in accordance with the provisions of Annex 2; or
(b) a certificate of origin. in the format provided at Annex 5, whether in a printed form or such other medium. including electronic, issued by the competent authorities of either Party, listed in Annexes 3 and 4. Issuance and acceptance of electronic certificate of origin would be in accordance with each Party’s national legislation.
A Certificate or Statement of Origin or Origin declaration shall be valid for twelve months from the date of issue in the exporting Party.
(2) Notwithstanding sub-rule (1), importing Parties shall not require a Proof of Origin if the importing Party has waived the requirement or does not require the importer to present a Proof of Origin as per their national laws.
(3) Proof of Origin shall be submitted to the customs authorities of the importing country in accordance with the procedures applicable in that Party.
14. Certification and Declaration of Origin. — (1) The Proof of Origin shall be in English.
(2) The Certificate of Origin shall be in the form specified in these rules and in light pink.
(3) The Certificate of Origin shall bear a unique sequential serial number affixed by the Issuing Authority in the exporting Party.
(4) The Certificate of Origin shall be valid for only one import and include one or more goods.
(5) The number and date of the commercial invoice or any other relevant documents shall be indicated in the box reserved for this purpose in the Certificate of Origin.
(6) The Proof of Origin shall be submitted within its validity period
(7) In exceptional circumstances, the Proof of Origin may be accepted by the customs authority in importing Party for the purpose of granting preferential tariff treatment even after the expiry of its validity, provided the failure to observe the time limit results from force majeure or other valid reasons beyond the control of the exporter and the goods have been imported before the expiry of the validity period of the said Proof of Origin.
(8) The Certificate of Origin or the origin declaration shall be forwarded by the exporter to the importer. The Customs authorities may require the original copy.
(9) No erasures and superimpositions shall be allowed on the Proof of Origin. The alterations if any, shall be made by striking out the errors and making any addition required and such alterations shall be approved and certified by an official authorised to sign the Certificate of Origin. or the approved exporter and unused spaces shall be crossed out to prevent any subsequent addition.
(10) The Certificate of Origin shall be issued at the time of exportation, but under exceptional cases, where a Certificate of Origin has not been issued at the time of exportation or within five working days from the date of shipment due to involuntary errors or omissions, or any other valid reasons, the Certificate of Origin may be issued retrospectively, bearing the words “ISSUED RETROSPECTIVELY” in box 8 of the Certificate of Origin or the origin declaration, as the case may be. with the issuing authority or the approved exporter, also recording the reasons in writing on the exceptional circumstances due to which the certificate was issued retrospectively. The Certificate of Origin or the origin declaration can be issued or made retrospectively within twelve months from the date of shipment.
(11) In the event of theft, loss or destruction of a Certificate of Origin, the exporter may apply in writing to the issuing authority for a certified true copy of the original made on the basis of the export documents in their possession bearing the endorsement of the words “CERTIFIED TRUE COPY” (in lieu of the original certificate). This copy shall bear the date of the original Certificate of Origin. The certified true copy of a Certificate of Origin shall be issued not later than one year from the date of issuance of the original Certificate of Origin. Similarly, an approved exporter may also issue a certified true copy of the Origin Declaration which shall be issued not later than one year from the date of issuance of the original origin declaration. The exporter shall immediately notify the loss and undertake not to use the original Certificate of Origin for exports under this Agreement to the competent authority.
(12) Minor discrepancies between the Proof of Origin and the documents submitted to the customs authority at the port of importation for the purpose of carrying out the formalities for importing the products shall not ipso facto invalidate the Proof of Origin, if such Proof of Origin corresponds to the products under importation. Minor discrepancies include typing errors or formatting errors, subject to the condition that these minor errors do not affect the authenticity of the Proof of Origin or the accuracy of the information included in the Proof of Origin. Discrepancies in the specimen signatures or seals of the issuing authority shall not be regarded as minor discrepancies.
15. Third Party Invoicing. – When a good to be traded is invoiced by a non-Party trader, the producer, manufacturer or exporter of the originating Party shall inform, in the field titled “Remarks” of the Certificate of Origin, that the goods shall be invoiced from that non-Party trader, reproducing the following data from the commercial invoice issued by the non-Party trader: name, and address of the non-Party trader, invoice number and date.
16. Authority- (1) The Certificate of Origin shall be issued by authorities designated by the Parties (hereinafter referred to as Issuing Authority).
(2) Each Party shall inform the Competent Authorities and the Customs Administration of other Party of the names and addresses of the officials of the issuing authority or authorised exporters designated to issue Certificates or Statements of Origin under this agreement. They shall also provide the specimen signatures and specimen official seals of the officials of the issuing authorities.
(3) Each Party shall intimate the name, designation and contact details (address, phone number, fax number, e-mail) of its authorities-
(i) to whom the specimen seals and signatures of the Issuing Authorities of the other Party should be communicated
India: Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, Department of Revenue, Government of India
Mauritius: Mauritius Revenue Authority, Customs Department
(ii) to whom the references of verification of Proof of Origin issued by the Party, should be addressed
India: Department of Commerce, Government of India
Mauritius: Mauritius Revenue Authority, Customs Department
(iii) from whom the specimen seals and signatures of the Issuing Authorities of the other Party would be received
India: Department of Commerce, Government of India
Mauritius: Mauritius Revenue Authority, Customs Department
(iv) from whom references would emanate for verification of Proof of Origin issued by the other Party
India: Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, Department of Revenue, Government of India
Mauritius: Mauritius Revenue Authority, Customs Department
(4) Any change in names, designations, addresses, specimen signatures or officials’ seals shall be promptly informed to the other Party.
17. Documents for application of Proof of Origin. — (1) For the issue of a Certificate of Origin, the final producer, manufacturer or exporter of the good shall present, or submit electronically through the approved channel, to the issuing authority of the exporting Party —
(a) set of minimum information requirements referred to in Annex 6 in whichever form or format as may be required by the competent authority; and
(b) the corresponding commercial invoice or other documents necessary to establish the origin of the good.
(2) In case of origin declaration, approved exporter should maintain the documents referred to in paragraph 1 of this rule.
(3) The description of the good and its tariff classification in the minimum required information, shall correspond with the description of the good in the commercial invoice.
(4) The Issuing Authority may apply a risk management system in order to selectively conduct pre-export verification of the minimum required information filed by an Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter. The verification may, at the discretion of the issuing authority, include methods such as obtaining detailed cost sheets, and conducting a factory visit.
18. Preservation of documents. – The Issuing Authorities shall keep the minimum required information and supporting documents for a period no less than five years, as from the date of issue.
19. Obligation of the Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter. – (1) The Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter shall submit minimum required information, as referred in sub-rule (1) of rule 17, and supporting documents for issue of Certificate of Origin as per procedure followed by the Issuing Authority in the exporting Party only in cases where a good conforms to the origin-related requirements of these rules.
(2) Any Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter who falsely represents any material information relevant to the determination of origin of a good shall be liable to be penalised under the domestic laws of the exporting Party.
(3) The Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter shall keep the minimum required information, as referred in sub-rule (1) of rule 17, and supporting documents for a period no less than five (5) years, starting from the end of the year of the date of its issue.
(4) For the purpose of determination of origin, the Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter applying for a Certificate of Origin or Origin Declaration under this agreement shall maintain appropriate commercial accounting records for the production and supply of goods qualifying for preferential treatment and keep all commercial and customs documentation relating to the material used in the production of the good, for at least five years from the date of issue of the Proof of Origin.
(5) These obligations also apply to suppliers who provide the Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter with the declarations certifying the originating status of the goods supplied.
(6) The Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter shall upon request of the competent authority of the exporting Party where the Proof of Origin or the origin declaration has been issued, make available records for inspection to enable verification of the origin of the good.
(7) The Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter shall not deny any request for a verification visit, agreed between the competent authority of the exporting party and the customs administration of the importing Party, in terms of this rule. Any failure to consent to a verification visit shall be liable for a denial of preferential benefits claimed under the Agreement.
(8) The Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter shall undertake to notify all parties to whom the Certificate or statement was given of any change that could affect its accuracy or validity.
20. Presentation of claim for preferential treatment. – (1) The importer shall make the claim for preferential treatment before the customs authority of the importing Party at the time of importation of goods. For the purpose of claiming the preferential tariff treatment for an originating good, the original copy of the Proof of Origin as referred to in rule 13 shall be submitted to the customs authority of the importing Party together with the documents required at the time of customs clearance of the goods for the importation in accordance with the laws and regulations of the importing Party, including the original Proof of Origin if so required.
(2) If a claim for preferential treatment is made without producing the original copy of the Proof of Origin as referred to in rule 13, the customs authority of the importing Party may deny preferential treatment and request a guarantee in any of its modalities or may take any action necessary in order to preserve fiscal interests, as a pre-condition for the completion of the importation operations subject to and in accordance with the laws and procedures of the importing Party, including the original Proof of Origin if so required.
21. Verification of Certificate of Origin or Statement of Origin. – (1) The customs authority of the importing Party. may initiate a verification relating to the authenticity of a Proof of Origin referred to in rule 13 as well as the veracity of the information contained therein, in accordance with the procedures established in these rules. in cases of doubt or on random basis.
(2) In so far as possible. the customs authority of the importing Party conducting a verification shall seek necessary information or documents relating to the origin of imported good from the importer, in accordance with its domestic laws and regulations, before making any request to the competent authority of the exporting Party for verification.
(3) In cases where the customs authority of the importing Party deems it necessary to seek a verification from the competent authority of the exporting Party. it shall specify whether the verification is on random basis or the veracity of the information is in doubt. In case the determination of origin is in doubt, the customs authority shall provide detailed grounds for the doubt concerning the veracity of Proof of Origin.
(4) The proceedings of verification of origin as provided in these rules shall also apply to the goods already cleared for home consumption.
22. Procedure for Verification. – (1) Any request made pursuant to rule 21 shall be in accordance with the following procedure, namely:-
(a) The customs authority of the importing Party shall make a request for verification by providing a copy of the Proof of Origin on Invoice and Bill of Lading or Airway Bill.
(b) The customs authority of the importing Party shall specify whether it requires a verification of the genuineness of the Proof of Origin to rule out any forgery or seek the minimum required information or seek to verify the determination of origin.
(c) In cases where the customs authority of the importing Party seeks to verify the determination of origin. it shall send a questionnaire to the competent authorities of the exporting Party, which shall be passed on to the Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter. for such inquiry or documents, as necessary.
(d) The competent authority of the exporting Party shall provide the information and documentation requested, within:
(i) fifteen days of the date of receipt of the request, if the request pertains to the authenticity of issue of the Proof of Origin, including the seal and signatures of the issuing authority;
(ii) thirty days of the date of receipt of the request, if the request seeks a copy of the relevant document with the minimum required information.
(iii) ninety days from the date of receipt of such request, if the request is on the grounds of suspicion of the accuracy of the determination of origin of the product. Such period can be extended through mutual consultation between the customs authority of the importing Party and issuing authority of the exporting
Party for a period no more than sixty days.
(e) On receiving the results of the verification check pursuant to clause (d), if the customs authority of the importing Party deems it necessary to request for further investigative actions or information, the customs authority of the importing Party shall communicate the fact to the competent authority of the exporting Party. The term for the execution of such new actions or for the presentation of additional information shall be not more than ninety days, from the date of the receipt of the request for the additional information.
(f) If, on receiving the results of the verification pursuant to clause (d) or clauses (d) and (e), the competent authorities of the importing Party deem it necessary, it may deliver a written request to the competent authority of the exporting Party to facilitate a visit to the premises of the Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter, with a view to examining the records, production processes, as well as the equipment and tools utilised in the manufacture of the good under verification.
(g) The request for a verification visit shall be made not later than 30 days of the receipt of the verification report referred to in clause (d) or/and clause (e). The requested Party shall promptly inform the dates of the visit, but not later than 45 days of the receipt of request and give a notice of at least 21 days to the requesting Party and Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter so as to enable arrangements for the visit.
(h) The competent authorities of the exporting Party shall accompany the authorities of the importing Party in their above-mentioned visit, which may include the participation of specialists who shall act as observers. Each Party can designate specialists, who shall be neutral and have no interest whatsoever in the verification. Each Party may deny the participation of such specialists whenever the latter represent the interests of the companies involved in the verification.
(i) Once the visit is concluded, the participants shall subscribe to a “Record of Visit”. The said record shall contain the following information: date and place of the carrying out of the visit; identification of the Certificate of Origin or the origin declaration which led to the verification; identification of the goods under verification; identification of the participants, including indications of the organs and institutions to which they belong; and a record of proceedings.
23. Release of goods. – Upon reasonable suspicion regarding the origin of the goods, the importing Party may request a guarantee in any of its modalities or may take any action necessary in order to preserve fiscal interests, as a pre-condition for the completion of the importation operations subject to and in accordance with the laws and procedures of the importing country.
24. Confidentiality- (1) The information obtained by the customs authority of the importing Party can be utilised for arriving at a decision regarding the determination of origin in respect of the good under verification and can be used in the legal proceedings under its laws for the time being in force.
(2) Both Parties shall protect the information from any unauthorized disclosure in accordance with their respective laws.
25. Denial of preferential treatment. – (1) The customs authority of the importing Party may deny the claim for preferential tariff treatment or recover unpaid duties in accordance with its laws and regulations, where –
(a) the customs authority of the importing Party determines that the goods do not meet the origin-related requirements of these rules;
(b) the Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter of the goods fails to maintain records or documentation necessary for determining the origin of the good or denies access to the records, documentation or visit for verification;
(c) the Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter of the goods fails to provide sufficient information that the importing Party requested to determine that the good is an originating good;
(d) the Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter denies access to the records or production facilities during a verification visit;
(e) the competent authorities of the exporting Party fail to provide sufficient information in pursuance to a written request for verification within stipulated time lines stated in rule 22;
(f) the information provided by the competent authority of the exporting Party or exporter or producer or manufacturer or approved exporter is not sufficient to prove that the good qualifies as an originating good as defined under the Agreement.
(2) In cases where the Proof of Origin is rejected by the customs authorities of the importing Party, after following the due process provided under its domestic laws, a copy of the decision, containing the grounds of rejection, shall be provided to the importer and the competent authority of the exporting Party. The customs authority of the importing Party shall alongside of communicating this decision also return the original Proof of Origin to the competent authority of the exporting Party.
(3) Upon being communicated the grounds for denial of preferential tariff treatment, the Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter in the exporting Party may within the period provided for in the customs law of the importing Party file an appeal against such decision with the appropriate appellate authority under the customs laws of the importing Party.
26. Goods complying with origin criteria. – If a verification conducted under rule 21 determines the goods to be complying with the origin criteria under these rules, the importer shall be promptly refunded the duties paid in excess or guarantees obtained in accordance with the domestic legislation of the Parties.
27. Goods non-complying with origin criteria. – If a verification under rule 21 establishes non-compliance of the goods with the origin criteria, duties shall be levied in accordance with the domestic legislation of the importing Party in addition to any other action that may be taken under any laws for the time being in force.
28. Prospective restoration of preferential benefits. – (1) Where preferential treatment to a good has been denied by the customs authority of the importing Party, the Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter may take recourse to the procedure in sub-rule (2) of this rule in respect of future exports to importing Party.
(2) Such Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter shall clearly demonstrate to the issuing authority of the exporting Party that the manufacturing conditions were modified so as to fulfil the origin requirements of these rules.
(3) The competent authorities of the exporting Party shall send the information to the customs authority of the importing Party explaining the changes carried out by Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter in the manufacturing conditions as a consequence of which the goods fulfil the origin criterion.
(4) The competent authorities of the importing Party shall within forty-five days, from the date of the receipt of the said information, request for a verification visit to the producer’s premises, if deemed necessary, for satisfying itself of the veracity the claims of the Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter referred in sub-rule (2) of this rule.
(5) If the competent authorities of the importing and the exporting Parties fail to agree on the fulfilment of the origin criteria subsequent to the modification of the manufacturing conditions, they may refer the matter to the Joint Technical Committee established under the Agreement.
29. Temporary suspension of preferential treatment. – (1) The importing Party may suspend the tariff preference in respect of a good originating in the exporting Party, when the withdrawal is justified due to persistent failure to comply with the provisions of these rules by an Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter in the exporting Party or a persistent failure on part of the competent authority to respond to a request for verification.
(2) The exporting Party shall, within fifteen days of suspension of preferential tariff benefits for a good, be notified of the reasons for such suspension.
(3) Upon receipt of the notification for suspension, the competent authority of exporting Party may request for consultations.
(4) The consultations may occur by means of e-mail communications, video conference and/or meetings and may also involve joint verification, or as mutually agreed.
(5) Pursuant to the consultations between both Parties, and such measures as may be mutually agreed, both Parties shall resolve to:
(a) restore preferential benefit to the good with retrospective effect; or
(b) restore preferential benefit to the good with prospective effect, subject to implementation of any mutually agreed measures by one or both Parties; or
(c) continue with the suspension of preferential benefits to the good, subject to remedies available under rule 28.
30. Penalties. – (1) Each Party shall adopt or maintain measures that provide for the imposition of civil, administrative, and, where appropriate, criminal sanctions for violations of its customs laws and regulations, including those governing tariff classification, customs valuation, rules of origin, and the entitlement to preferential tariff treatment under the Agreement.
(2) Nothing contained in these rules shall preclude the application of the respective national legislation relating to breach of customs laws or any other law for the time being in force on the importer or Exporter or Producer or Manufacturer or Approved Exporter in both the territories of both Parties.
31. Relevant dates. – The time periods set in these rules shall be calculated on a consecutive day basis as from the day following the fact or event which they refer to.
[F. No. 15020/2/2017-Dir(ICD)]
Deputy Secretary to the Government of India
Annex 1 : Product Specific Rules
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