Refund - Overview

On import or export of goods, at times, it is found that duty has been paid in excess of what was actually leviable on the goods. Such excess payment may be due to lack of information on the part of importer/exporter or non-submission of documents required for claim of lower value or rate of duty. Sometimes, such excess payment of duty may be due to shortage/short landing, pilferage of goods or even incorrect assessment of duty by Customs. In such cases, refund of excess amount of duty paid can be claimed by the importer or exporter.

If any excess interest has been paid by the importer/exporter on the amount of duty paid in excess, its refund can also be claimed. Section 27 of the Customs Act, 1962 refers in this regard. The refund of any duty and interest, can be claimed either by a person who has paid the duty in pursuance to an order of assessment or a person who has borne the duty.

Any person claiming refund of any duty or interest, has to make an application in duplicate in the form as prescribed in the Customs Refund Application(Form) Regulations, 1995, to the jurisdictional Deputy/Assistant Commissioner of Customs. Such application is to be made before the expiry of six months from the date of payment of duty and interest.

However, in case of any import made by any individual for his personal use or by Government or by any educational, research or charitable institution or hospital, application for refund can be made before the expiry of one year from the date of payment of duty and interest.

The application for refund is required to be filed with documentary or other evidence including documents relating to assessment, sales invoice and other like documents to support the claim that the duty and interest was paid in excess, incidence of duty or interest has not been passed on by him to any other person, and the refund has not been obtained already.

Where on scrutiny, the application is found to be complete in all respects, the Customs issues an acknowledgement in the prescribed Form as per the Customs Refund Application(Form) Regulations, 1995. However, in case the application is found to be incomplete, the Customs has to return the application to the applicant, pointing out the deficiency. The applicant has to re-submit the application after making good the deficiency, for scrutiny by Customs again for admissibility of the refund claim.