Notification under Section 8A of the Customs Tariff Act 1975 – introduced a tariff entry by which all goods originating in or exported from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan were subjected to an enhanced customs duty of 200%. – Whether is prospective or retrospective and tax is reassessable ?

The High Court held that since the importers, who had imported goods from 7 PART A Pakistan, had presented their bills of entry and completed the process of “selfassessment” before the notification enhancing the rate of duty to 200 per cent was issued and uploaded, the enhanced rate of duty was not attracted. The High Court held that the importers were liable to pay the duty applicable at the time when the bills of entry for home consumption were filed under Section 46 of the 8 PART B Customs Act, 1962.1  The Union of India was ordered to release the goods within seven days on the payment of duty ‘as declared and assessed’ without applying the notification enhancing the rate of duty on goods originating in Pakistan.

Apex court held thatThe rate of duty which was applicable was crystallized at the time and on the date of the presentation of the bills of entry in terms of the provisions of Section 15 read with Regulation 4(2) of the Regulations of 2018. The power of reassessment under Section 17(4) could not have been exercised since this is not a case where there was an incorrect self-assessment of duty. The duty was correctly assessed at the time of self-assessment in terms of the duty which was in force on that date and at the time. The subsequent publication of the notification bearing 5/2019 did not furnish a valid basis for re-assessment. 68 For the above reasons, we have come to the conclusion that there is no merit in the appeals. The appeals shall stand dismissed.