Chapter-V. Levy of, and Exemption from, Customs Duties

Body 25. Power to grant exemption from duty.-

(1) If the Central Government is satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, it may, by notification in the Official Gazette, exempt generally either absolutely or subject to such conditions (to be fulfilled before or after clearance) as may be specified in the notification goods of any specified description from the whole or any part of duty of customs leviable thereon.

(2) If the Central Government is satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, it may, by special order in each case, exempt from the payment of duty, under circumstances of an exceptional nature to be stated in such order, any goods on which duty is leviable.

(2A) The Central Government may, if it considers it necessary or expedient so to do for the purpose of clarifying the scope or applicability of any notification issued under sub-section (1) or order issued under sub-section (2), insert an explanation in such notification or order, as the case may be, by notification in the Official Gazette, at any time within one year of issue of the notification under sub-section (1) or order under sub-section (2), and every such explanation shall have effect as if it had always been the part of the first such notification or order, as the case may be.

(3) An exemption under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) in respect of any goods from any part of the duty of customs leviable thereon (the duty of customs leviable thereon being hereinafter referred to as the statutory duty) may be granted by providing for the levy of a duty on such goods at a rate expressed in a form or method different from the form or method in which the statutory duty is leviable and any exemption granted in relation to any goods in the manner provided in this sub-section shall have effect subject to the condition that the duty of customs chargeable on such goods shall in no case exceed the statutory duty.

Explanation. - "Form or method", in relation to a rate of duty of customs, means the basis, namely, valuation, weight, number, length, area, volume or other measure with reference to which the duty is leviable.

(4) Every notification issued under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2A) shall, unless otherwise provided, come into force on the date of its issue by the Central Government for publication in the Official Gazette.

(4A) Where any exemption is granted subject to any condition under sub-section (1), such exemption shall, unless otherwise specified or varied or rescinded, be valid upto 31st day of March falling immediately after two years from the date of such grant or variation:

Provided that in respect of any such exemption in force as on the date on which the Finance Bill, 2021 receives the assent of the President, the said period of two years shall be reckoned from the 1st day February, 2021.

Provided further that nothing contained in this subsection shall apply to any such exemption granted to, or in relation to,-

    (a) any multilateral or bilateral trade agreement;

    (b) obligations under international agreements, treaties, conventions or such other obligations including with respect to United Nations agencies, diplomats and international organisations;

    (c) privileges of constitutional authorities;

    (d) schemes under the Foreign Trade Policy;

    (e) the Central Government schemes having validity of more than two years;

    (f) re-imports, temporary imports, goods imported as gifts or personal baggage;

    (g) any duty of customs under any law for the time being in force, including integrated tax leviable under sub-section (7) of section 3 of the Customs Tariff Act,1975 (51 of 1975.), other than duty of customs leviable under section 12.

(6) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, no duty shall be collected if the amount of duty leviable is equal to, or less than, one hundred rupees.

(7) The mineral oils (including petroleum and natural gas) extracted or produced in the continental shelf of India or exclusive economic zone of India as referred to in section 6 and section 7, respectively, of the Territorial Waters, Continental Shelf, Exclusive Economic Zone and Other Maritime Zones Act, 1976 (80 of 1976), and imported prior to the 7th day of February, 2002 shall be deemed to be and shall always be deemed to have been exempted from the whole of the duties of customs leviable on such mineral oils and accordingly, notwithstanding anything contained in any judgement, decree or order of any court, tribunal or other authority, no suit or other proceedings in respect of such mineral oils shall be maintained or continued in any court, tribunal or other authority.

(8) Notwithstanding the exemption provided under sub-section (7), no refund of duties of customs paid in respect of the mineral oils specified therein shall be made.