Fri. Sep 18th, 2020

Law relating to “Anti-dumping duty” interpreted keeping in mind the International laws and Treaties

2 min read

Supreme Court: While
deciding several appeals in the matter relating to anti-dumping duty, the  bench comprising of Dr. A.K. Sikri and R.F.
Nariman, JJ. held that, there can be no levy of anti-dumping duty in the gap or
interregnum period between the lapse of the provisional duty and the imposition
of the final duty.  The matter involved
detailed analysis of the Article VI of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
(GATT) and its subsequent ratification in the form of Section 9A of Customs
Tariff Act, 1975 (the Act), relating to Anti-Dumping duty on dumped articles.
Under clause 6 of this section, the Custom Tariff (Identification, Assessment
and Collection of Anti-Dumping Duty on Dumped Articles and for Determination of
Injury) Rules, 1995 (the Rules) have been framed. Rule 20 of these rules speaks
about the commencement of duty.

The main
argument from the side of the revenue was that both literally and purposively
Rule 20 of the Rules leads to one conclusion and one conclusion alone – that
final anti-dumping duty would take effect from the date of imposition of the
provisional duty, which would necessarily include the “gap” period i.e. the
period between the lapse of the provisional duty and the imposition of the
final duty. The bench after considering international stand of various nations
over the collection of duty during the “gap period” held that the suggested
construction by revenue would render sub-rule 2(a) of Rule 20 of the Rules ultra
vires Section 9A of the Act. It has already been seen that sub-section (2) and
sub-section (6) of Section 9A of the Act do not authorize the imposition of a
duty with retrospective effect, in contrast with sub-section (3) thereof. Any
duty levied by a final duty notification during the interregnum period would
necessarily amount to a retrospective levy of duty for the reason that such
period is not covered by the provisional duty notification, being beyond 6
months.. A construction which is both in consonance with International law and Treaty
obligations, which Article 51(c) of the Constitution states as a directive
principle of State policy; and the application of the doctrine of harmonious
construction is to be preferred to a narrow doctrinaire meaning which would lead
to the Rule being read in such a manner that it is ultra vires the parent statute.
It was thus held that the final anti-dumping duty only incorporates the
provisional anti-dumping duty within itself, but in the manner provided by Rule
13 of the Rules. Thus, it is clear that such incorporation can only be the
period upto which the provisional duty can be levied and not beyond. [Commissioner of Customs Bangalore v. M/s G.M. Exports, 2015 SCC
OnLine SC 837, decided on 23-09-2015]
Source: Legal news India

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