The moment an Air Passenger is identified for examination of her/his baggage, the first thing the customs officer should do is to hand over the Custom Series Form 37 - Form of Baggage Declaration prescribed u/s 81 of the Customs Act, 1962 and ask it to be filled. The passenger should be asked to declare the price of each item belonging to him, he has brought on behalf of others and goods which are intended for sale separately. The judgement provided at the bottom of this page would show the importance of obtaining the declaration to be filled up and signed. Unless a declaration is made, the department cannot say the passenger has made a mis-declaration of goods or value.
While free allowance is eligible for bonafide baggage, items belonging to others are to be charged to duty. Goods intended for trade are to be dealt with to fulfill the conditions of prohibitions such as marking of MRP and other declarations required under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 etc.as if the goods are of normal import.
Customs portion of the Disembarkation Card has a column to declare the number of packages and the value and does not have any space for declaring the description of goods. As such the passengers who are opting for clearance through the Red Channel are to use the Customs Series Form 37 - Form of Baggage Declaration - prescribed u/s 81 of the Customs Act, 1962.
o There is an instruction that the description of goods has to be filled up by the passenger under Column 1 of the Baggage Declaration.
o Para 3 of Form No.37 says that no free allowance will be granted unless the quantities and value of the articles are declared fully.
o Proviso in Para 3 says that the articles are not for sale.
o Para 4 says that the items listed therein in limited quantities are entitled for exemption. Moreover it is required that personal effects not listed must also be fully declared.
o Para 5 says that duty is charged on the value of the goods in India including cost of importation.
o Articles not belonging to the passenger or which are for sale etc. are required to be declared separately.
Extract of a Judgement
The present system of baggage clearance is to obtain oral declaration from the passengers and record the same itemwise on a separate declaration form under the signature of the passenger and to effect clearance based on such declaration. . . . if the accused would have been provided with a declaration form and thereafter her search would have been taken, much controversy in respect of the declaration could have been avoided . . .one cannot find fault merely because she was not asked to fill in the form No. 37. . . . Under these circumstances, merely because a declaration in writing in form No. 37 was not taken, it cannot be said that the entire seizure should be discarded as unreliable. It is also difficult to accept on the face of evidence of Mr. Rego that the accused had no opportunity to make a full declaration of the articles which she possessed.
1991 (51) E.L.T. 3 (Bom.) In the High Court of Judicature at Bombay I.G. Shah, J. S.G. Rajadhyakshya Versus Leela Daulatram Uttamchandani Criminal Appeal No. 852 of 1982 decided on 5/6-4-1990. Link
Our Ref. No.100405 Dated 1.11.11. Subject: Exploitation of the consumers and Evasion of huge Duties on import of packaged commodities made possible by Customs Shed officials allowing pasting of individual stickers or without implementing any of the provisions of Legal Metrology Act 2009 read with provisions of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011. Link
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