CBIC guidelines for Personal Hearings through video conferencing
Government of India
Ministry of Finance, Deptt of Revenue
Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs
New Delhi, dated 27 April 2020
1. All Principal Chief Commissioner/ Chief Commissioner (Customs, CGST & Central Excise)
2. All Principal Commissioner/ Commissioner (Customs, CGST & Central Excise)
3. Pr. ADG/ADG DRI (Adjn)/ DGGI (Adjn)
4. All Commissioner (Appeals) (Customs, CGST & Central Excise)
Subject: Guidelines for conduct of personal hearings in virtual mode under Customs Act, 1962 – regarding.
Board has been reviewing various procedures under the Customs Act, 1962, on account of recent outbreak of COVID–19 (Coronavirus) with a view to adopt measures to ensure social distancing, reduce physical presence, use modern information and communication technology systems and change conventional mode of work, in areas not covered by Customs ICES EDI system/ ICEGATE online gateway, by creating a virtual customs working environment.
- While ensuring compliance with various guidelines and instructions issued by the Govt and public health authorities with a view to contain the spread of COVID –19, Board has decided that personal hearing, in respect of any proceeding under Customs Act 1962, given by various authorities, such as Commissioner (Appeals), original adjudicating authorities and Compounding authority, may be conducted through video conferencing facility.
- Broad guidelines to conduct such virtual hearing are being provided so that ongoing Customs work of appeals and adjudications are completed expeditiously for quick delivery of justice – through quasi–judicial proceedings and in compliance of overall directions given by Hon‘ble Supreme Court under Article 142 of the Constitution of India (refer Suo moto Writ (Civil) No. 5/2020). This would also facilitate importers, exporters, passengers, advocates, tax practitioners and authorized representatives to maintain social distancing while performing their work at ease, from a place of their choice.
- The guidelines for the conduct of virtual mode of personal hearing through video conferencing facility are as under:
(i) In any proceedings before appellate or adjudicating authority under the Customs Act, 1962, the party, either as an appellant or a respondent, shall give his consent to avail the personal hearing before such authority, through video conferencing facility, at the time of filing his appeal or immediately after the issue of this instruction, in the case of pending appeals/adjudication matter. He should also indicate his email address for correspondence etc.
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