Circular No. ES/326/2020-21 13th September, 2020
To: Members of the Council
Sub: All India roll-out of Faceless Assessment
We would like to inform you that CBIC has issued Circular No.40/2020-Customs dated 4th September, 2020 on the above subject wherein Board has decided to roll-out the Faceless Assessment at an All India level in all ports of import and for all imported goods by 31st October, 2020.
The highlights of the Circular are as follows –
· Constitution of National Assessment Centres (NACs)
Board has decided to constitute total 11 NACs which would be organized commodity-wise according to the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act, 1975. The rationale for the selection of a Zone in the NAC would be share of volume of the import of the particular commodity group(s) in its Zone as compared to the All India imports and/or share of contributed by the said commodity group(s) or the share of import of the particular commodity group(s) in their own Zones.
· Responsibilities of NAC
The NACs would examine the assessment practices of imported goods across Customs stations to bring about uniformity and enhanced quality of assessments.
The important responsibilities of the NACs shall include the following:
i. Monitor the assessment practice for enhancing uniformity of classification, valuation, exemption benefit and compliance with import policy conditions.
ii. Assess the application of Compulsory Compliance Requirements (CCRs) and ensure uniform practices in accordance with the relevant statutes/Legal provisions.
iii. Take corrective actions regarding assessments, wherever necessary and provide inputs to the concerned ports of import.
iv. Analyse the RMS facilitated Bills of Entry pertaining to Chapters falling under their purview and advise the DGARM regarding possible interventions or review of risk parameters.
v. Liaise with Principal Commissioner/Commissioner of Customs at ports of import about interpretational issues pertaining to classification, valuation, scope of exemption notifications and trade policy conditions.
vi. Interact with sectoral trade and industry for inputs, and on issues relating to assessment
vii. Function as a knowledge hub or repository for that particular Chapter(s);
viii. Examine the orders/appellate orders in relation to assessment practices pertaining to goods assigned to each Faceless Assessment Group and provide inputs to the Commissionerates for uniformity of assessment orders before legal fora.
ix. Constitute Working Groups for matters relating to:
a) Monitoring for timely assessment of Bills of Entry
b) Valuation and related issues
c) Classification and related issues
d) Restrictions and prohibitions and Co-ordination with PGAs
e) Communication and Outreach for departmental officers and trade
f) Any other matter relevant to timely and uniform assessment, as may be decided.
· Pre-launch preparation for Faceless Assessment
Before the rollout of Faceless Assessment, the Nodal Commissioners in the NAC shall co-ordinate to take all measures to ensure that Faceless Assessment is smooth and creates no disruption in the assessment and clearance of goods.
The following important measures may be undertaken by the NAC before the launch:
i. The Customs locations within each Zone, performing Faceless Assessment may be identified.
ii. Nominate sufficient number of officers for the Faceless Assessment.
iii. Identify variations, if any, in assessment practices and harmonise them for application across Faceless Assessment Groups (FAGs).
NACs shall also co-ordinate with Directorate General of Taxpayer Services (DGTS) to enhance outreach measures to the taxpayers by providing content, faculty for holding webinars, workshops etc.
Further, Board has issued Notification No.85/2020-Customs (N.T.) dated 04.09.2020 by virtue of which the Commissioners of Customs (Appeals) are empowered take up appeals filed in respect of Faceless Assessments pertaining to imports made in their jurisdictions even though the Faceless Assessment officer may be located at any other Customs station.
Members may kindly make a note of the above.