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Procedure of Advance Rulings in Customs and Central Excise

In terms of Section 28H of the Customs Act, 1962, Section 23 H of the Central Excise Act, 1944 and Section 96H of the Finance Act, 1994, the Authority for Advance Rulings,  Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax, has regulated its procedure in all matters arising out of the exercise of its powers under the respective Acts. The Procedure Regulation would be known as the Authority for Advance Rulings (Central Excise,Customs and Service Tax) Procedure Regulations, 2005 [AARUL (CEST) Procedure Regulations] and have been notified vide Notification No. 01/2005-AAR dated 07.01.2005.

 

Important provisions of the Procedure Regulation are highlighted below :-
 Powers of the Authority. – The Authority shall hear and    determine applications, made under Section 28H (1) of Customs Act or Section 23(1) of Central Excise Act or Section 96C (1) of the Service Tax Provisions (Chapter VA of the Finance Act, 1994) and such other applications, petitions and representations of an interlocutory, incidental or ancillary nature for a complete and effective disposal of the applications.
 Power to remove difficulty. – If there is any difficulty in giving effect to any order/advance ruling of the Authority, the Authority either suo motu or on a petition made by the applicant or the Commissioner may, within a period of three months pass orders to remove such difficulties.
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Reopening of the hearing. – The Authority may reopen the hearing of any case, before pronouncement of its order/advance ruling, for sufficient cause.
 Procedure for filing applications.- (1) An application shall be submitted in Form AAR (CUS) of the Customs (Advance Rulings) Rules, 2002 or Form AAR (CE) of the Central Excise (Advance Rulings) Rules, 2002 or Form AAR (ST) of the Service Tax (Advance Rulings) Rules, 2003, as the case may be.  It must be filled up in quadruplicate and presented by the applicant in person or by an authorized representative to the Secretary or any other officer authorized  by Secretary in this behalf or sent by registered post or by courier service or by speed post addressed to the Secretary along with a fee of two thousand five hundred Indian rupees in the form of demand draft drawn in favour of Authority for Advance Rulings (Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax) payable at New Delhi.
 Submission of additional facts before the Authority.- The Authority either suo motu or on a petition made to this effect may permit or require the applicant or the Commissioner to submit such additional facts as may be necessary to enable it to pronounce its advance ruling.
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Amendment of a question on which advance ruling is sought. –On a petition made by an applicant, the Authority may permit amendment of a question, in appropriate cases.
 Continuation of proceedings after the death, etc., of the applicant.-Where the applicant, being an individual, dies, or being a company or association of persons, whether incorporated or not, is  wound up or dissolved or disrupted or amalgamated or succeeded to by any other person or otherwise comes to an end, the application shall not abate and the proceedings in the application may be continued by the executor, administrator, liquidator, receiver or assignee or other legal representative of the applicant, as the case may be, on a petition  made in this behalf, if the Authority considers that the circumstances so justify.
 Hearing of application.- (1)     The Authority shall hear the applicant or his authorized representative in cases where it is proposed to reject the application or where the applicant seeks an opportunity of being heard; the Authority may also hear the Commissioner or his authorized representative.
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(2)      In appropriate cases the Authority may call upon any person to supply such material, as considered necessary to assist the Authority in arriving at a decision.
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Notice to Law officer of Government of India.- where an important question of law is involved, The Authority can issue notice to a Law Officer of the Central Government including the Attorney General and Solicitor General to assist the Authority in the matter.
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Appointment of amicus curie.-It will be open to the Authority to appoint an advocate as amicus curie to assist the Authority in an application.
 Hearing of application ex parte.- In case of absence of either the applicant or the Commissioner, on the date fixed for hearing, the Authority may dispose of the application ex parte on merits.
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Withdrawal of application.- The applicant may withdraw his  application within thirty days from the date of such application and thereafter only with the leave of the Authority.
 Modification of the order.- Where the Authority finds suo motu or on a representation made to it by the applicant or the Commissioner or otherwise, but before the advance ruling pronounced by the Authority has been given effect to by the assessing officer, that there has been a change in law or facts on the basis of which the ruling was pronounced, it may by order modify such ruling.
 Rectification of mistakes. The Authority may, with a view to rectifying any mistake apparent from the record, amend any advance ruling pronounced by it before such ruling   has been given effect to.
 Declaration of advance ruling to be void in certain circumstances
  Where the  Authority on a representation made to it the by the Commissioner or otherwise notice  that an advance ruling  has been obtained by the applicant by fraud or misrepresentation of facts, the Authority can declare such ruling to be void ab initio .
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Proceedings are open to the public. Proceedings before the Authority shall be open to the public and where the applicant/ Commissioner so requests the Authority may order in a given case that no person other than the applicant, the Commissioner or their authorized representatives shall remain present during such proceedings.
 Publication of orders/advance rulings – The orders/advance rulings of the Authority, may be released for publication, at the discretion of the Chairperson
 Proceedings of Authority – (1)       When one or both of the Members of the Authority, other than the Chairperson, is unable to discharge his functions owing to absence, illness or any other cause or in the event of occurrence of any vacancy or vacancies in the office of the Members, the Chairperson alone or the Chairman and the remaining member may function as the Authority.
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(2)       In case of difference of opinion among the Members hearing an application, the opinion of the majority of Members shall prevail.  Dissenting Member™s views would be recorded separately.
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(3)       Where the Chairperson and one other member hear a case under sub-procedure (1) and are divided in their opinion, the opinion of the Chairperson shall prevail.
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Dress regulation. – An authorized representative shall appear before the Authority in dress prescribed for the members of his profession by the competent professional body, if any.  All other persons shall be properly dressed.
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Prohibition of arms, mobile phones etc. – No person shall be allowed to bring mobile phones, sticks, arms or other weapons in the room where the Authority conducts the proceedings.

 

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