SEIZURE AND CONFISCATION OF GOODS

 

What are the provisions under the Customs Act, to seize any goods ? What is the next course of action after the goods are seized ?
How is this SCN adjudicated?
What does the department do with the confiscated goods?

  

Q.1          What are the provisions under the Customs Act, to seize any goods ? What is the next course of action after the goods are seized ?

 

A.            If there is reason to believe that any goods are liable to confiscation under the Customs Act, the proper officer may seize such goods under Section 110 (1) of the Customs Act, 1962.

 

(ii)           A Show Cause Notice has to be issued within six months from the date of seizure.  However, on sufficient cause being shown, the Commissioner of Customs may extend the time limit for a period not exceeding six months, after giving a notice and hearing the person from whom the goods were seized.  If no Show Cause Notice is issued within the prescribed time limit, the seized goods shall be returned to the person from whose possession they were seized. (Section 110(2) of the Customs Act 1962).

   

 

Q.2          How is this SCN adjudicated?

 

A.            Show Cause Notice has to be issued indicating reasons for seizure and the action proposed to be taken on the seized goods and on the person from whom the goods were seized.  The proper officer shall give an opportunity to the person from whose possession goods were seized to explain in writing and in person his point of view.  Then the adjudicating authority has to issue an order indicating reasons and such order shall be subject to appeal for enabling the aggrieved person to appeal to the next higher authority.  The adjudicating authority may confiscate the goods absolutely or may give option to clear the goods on payment of fine in lieu of confiscation, in addition to the duty payable on such goods.  Penalty on person concerned is also leviable.

 

 

 

 

 

Q.3          What does the department do with the confiscated goods?

 

A.            If the goods are confiscated absolutely, and there is no further order passed by the Appellate authority staying/setting aside the order passed by the adjudicating authority, the department may dispose the goods by sale or auction.

 

If the goods are of perishable or hazardous nature and the value of the goods depreciate with the passage of time, etc., the goods may be sold by the department without waiting for adjudication proceedings after drawal of representative samples or taking photographs duly attested by a magistrate.  In case, the final decision of the adjudicating authority/appellate authority is in favour of the person from whose custody the goods were seized, the goods shall be returned to him and, if the goods have been sold, the sale proceeds of such sale shall be paid to him (Sections 110, 124, 111, 112, 113, 114 & 125 of the Customs Act, 1962).