Chennai: Madras high court has directed the directorate general of trade remedies, (DGTR), Union ministry of commerce and industry, to release imported “solar cells’ into India from China PR and Malaysia without insisting payment of safeguard duty from a Chennai based firm.
The division bench comprising Justices S. Manikumar and Subromonium Prasad, before which a writ petition from GRT Silverwares of Chennai and Sterling and Wilson Private Limited, Mumbai, came up for hearing, said there shall be a direction to DGTR to assess provisionally the safeguard duty payable by the petitioner in respect of future imports and further directed to release the goods without insisting payment of safeguard duty on executing a bond by the authorised officer of the company. In the event of upholding the notification, the petitioner is liable to pay the safeguard duty provisionally assessed by the authority, the bench said.
The matter relates to the imposing safeguard duty under Section 8B of the Customs Tariff Act (CTA), 1975 by the Union revenue secretary, on the basis of the recommendations made by DGTR on the Solar Cells whether or not assembled in modules or panels into India from China PR and Malaysia.
GRT has been engaged in the business of solar power developing and currently developing projects for supply of solar power in various states in India including Tamil Nadu. The company appointed Sterling and Wilson Private Limited, Mumbai, as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the project in Tamil Nadu.
The Union revenue department had issued a notification dated July 30, 2018, levying safeguard duty at 25 per cent of the cost, freight and insurance (CIF) value after GRT had entered into Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with the Tangedco and after placing orders for import of goods with the foreign suppliers through Sterling and Wilson Private Limited, Mumbai. Such consignment of the goods had arrived at Chennai Port and for clearance of the consignment the petitioners will have to pay the above-mentioned duties. GRT in the petition challenged the notification.