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Country-of-origin: onus is on importers

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From Monday, proof of worth addition should; norms to bar Chinese items gaining from ASEAN FTA.

Importers should do their due diligence from Monday to make sure that imported items meet the prescribed ‘rules of origin’ provisions for availing concessional charge of customs responsibility underneath free commerce agreements (FTAs), the Finance Ministry mentioned.

The Customs (Administration of Rules of Origin underneath Trade Agreements) Rules, 2020 (CAROTAR, 2020), notified on August 21, shall come into power from September 21, the Ministry mentioned in a press release on Friday.

This follows completion of the 30-day interval that was given to importers and different stakeholders to familiarise themselves with new provisions. “An importer is now required to do due diligence before importing the goods to ensure that they meet the prescribed originating criteria. A list of minimum information, which the importer is required to possess, has also been provided in the rules along with general guidance.

“Also, an importer would now have to enter certain origin related information in the Bill of Entry, as available in the Certificate of Origin,” the Ministry added.

Ministry sources mentioned the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) FTA permits imports of most objects at nil or concessional primary customs responsibility from the 10-nation bloc. Major imports to India come from 5 ASEAN nations — Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

The good thing about concessional customs responsibility charge applies provided that an ASEAN member nation is the nation of origin of products.

This signifies that items originating from China and routed by these nations is not going to be eligible for customs responsibility concessions underneath the ASEAN FTA.

The new guidelines will help the importer to appropriately confirm the nation of origin, correctly declare the concessional responsibility and help customs authorities in easy clearance of professional imports underneath FTAs, the Ministry mentioned.

‘Protect local industry’

In her Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had talked about the necessity to defend home business from misuse of free commerce agreements.

CAROTAR 2020 dietary supplements the prevailing operational certification procedures prescribed underneath completely different commerce agreements.

India has inked FTAs with a number of nations, together with Japan, South Korea and ASEAN members.

Under such agreements, two buying and selling companions considerably cut back or eradicate import/customs duties on the utmost variety of items traded between them.

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