Apex court verdict on pre-import conditions gives relief to exporters

Any claim for refund/credit shall be examined on its merits and on a case-by-case basis: SC

Supreme Court (Photo: Wikipedia)

Supreme Court (Photo: Wikipedia)

Indivjal Dhasmana New Delhi

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The Supreme Court's recent judgment to uphold the constitutional validity of pre-import condition for availing of advance authorisation scheme to take integrated goods and services tax (IGST) credits was interpreted to have left exporters in lunch. It, however, gives relief to exporters.

The Supreme Court allowed the respondents to claim refund or input credit. For doing so, the respondents have to approach the jurisdictional commissioner and apply with documentary evidence within six weeks from the date of the judgment, it said.

The order said a claim for refund/credit shall be examined on its merits, on a case-by-case basis.

It directed the revenue department to come out with the appropriate procedure to be followed through a circular in this regard.

However, the issue may arise if it is interpreted that the order is confined to respondents only and not to every exporter.

Abhishek Rastogi, founder of law firm Rastogi Chambers who argued the case in the Supreme Court, said exporters other than respondents will have to argue the case in lower courts on the basis of the apex court order.

Alternatively, they can approach jurisdictional commissioners who may decide the matter on the basis of the Supreme Court verdict's persuasive value for other exporters too, he said.  

The Supreme Court late last month set aside a Gujarat High Court judgment which had declared as ultra vires pre-import conditions for claiming refunds or credit for IGST or compensation cess under advance authorisation licence.

The pre-import conditions, which basically say that exporters will have to import goods before exports to claim refunds or credits under advance authorisation license, were made effective from October 13, 2017 but were later withdrawn from January 10, 2019. However, the withdrawal was made prospective. This meant that those who did not meet the conditions of pre-import between October 13, 2107 and January 9, 2019, were not able to take the benefits of refunds of IGST or compensation cess. 

First Published: May 10 2023 | 11:54 AM IST

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