25 June 2014 | Volume 7 Issue 3
Changes for Importers and Dealers under Central Excise Rules from 1 April 2014

Background
  • Recently, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) issued Notifications[1] to include 'importer' as a registration category for excise dealers.   
  • Before the introduction of these notifications, an assessee could register with the excise authorities as a 'dealer' irrespective of whether he was dealing in local or imported goods.
Implications
  • With respect to these amendments, the Office of the Chief Commissioner of Central Excise, Mumbai through its letter dated 7 April 2014[2] clarified that:
    • All importers who also deal in indigenous excisable goods should get a fresh registration under the category of 'importer' in addition to their earlier registration as a 'dealer'.
    • An existing dealer cannot dispose off the stock of imported excisable goods where CENVAT credit is to be passed on, without registering as an 'importer'.
    • An assessee, working both as an importer and dealer, should maintain separate registrations for each category of business. Since importers and dealers have different registration numbers, separate accounts and sets of invoice books are required to be maintained for each category of business.  
    • Separate returns are to be filed by the dealer and importer in respect of their business.
SKP's Comments
  • From the aforesaid clarification, it appears that two different registration numbers will be provided to assessees – as an 'importer' (the suffix in the registration no. would be 'XI') and as a 'dealer' (the suffix in the registration no. would be 'XD').
  • Thus, an existing assessee registered as a 'dealer' may have to obtain a separate registration number as an 'importer' (if dealing in imported goods).
  • An assessee may possibly have to file two different returns and maintain records as required in the statute separately as an 'importer' and as a 'dealer'. This would substantially increase their compliance requirements.
  • We understand that certain sections of trade and industry are of the view that the amendment is only clarificatory in nature (and there is no requirement of maintaining separate records).
  • Given the different views being aired and different practices being followed, it would be prudent for the assessee to intimate the Excise Department about the position adopted.
 
[1] Notification No. 08/2014-CE (NT), 09/2014-CE (NT) and 10/2014-CE (NT)

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