Merchant Overtime Fee.

Amendment In Merchant Overtime Fee

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Amendment In Merchant Overtime Fee

Section 36 of the Customs Act, 1962 levies restriction on unloading and loading of goods on holidays or on any other day after working hours. Further the said section provides that the restriction so levied can be withdrawn by giving prescribed notice and on payment of appropriate fees. Such appropriate fees payable by the importer / exporter for services rendered by the Customs officer beyond normal working hours or on holidays is termed as ‘Merchant Overtime Fee’.

The Customs (Fees for Rendering Services by Customs Officers) Regulations, 1998, contains provisions relating to the rates and manner of collection of the said ‘Merchant Overtime Fee’. Current article highlights the recent amendment and boards clarification on the merchant overtime fee.

Recent Amendment Affecting Merchant Overtime Fee

Regulation 3 of the Customs (Fees for Rendering Services by Customs Officers) Regulations, 1998 contains provisions relating to the levy of fees for rendering services. Below mentioned is the rate chart provided in regulation 3 –

Class of officers Fee per hour or part thereof on working days (In INR) Fee per hour or part thereof on holidays
(In INR)
6 AM to 8 PM 8 PM to 6 AM 6 AM to 8 PM 8 PM to 6 AM
1. Appraisers, Superintendent (Customs Preventive) and Superintendent (Central Excise) 85 125 140 180
2. Air Customs Officers, Examiners, Preventive Officers and Inspectors of Central Excise 75 100 105 145
3. Class IV staff 35 45 55 60

Vide notification no. 46/2016-Customs (N.T.) dated 1st April, 2016, a proviso has been inserted after the above table and the said proviso provides that where working hours in respect of clearance of cargo in Customs ports or Customs airports, has been prescribed as 24 hours on all days for customs clearance, no fee shall be leviable in such location for services provided by the class of officers mentioned in above table.

The above proviso is self-explanatory and it states that no fees i.e. MOT charges are required to be paid in respect of services provided by the customs officers at the port or airports that are providing 24×7 services.

Clarification Regarding Mot Charges At CFS (i.e. Customs Freight Station) 

The Central Board of Excise & Customs, vide circular no. 04/2017- Customs dated 16th February, 2017, has provided clarification regarding the applicability of no MOT charges in respect of stuffing of export goods at CFS. The clarification provided in the circular is briefed here under –

  • The board has clarified in the above referred circular that CFS is an extension of the port. CFS has played a vital role in the faster clearance of EXIM goods, resulting in shifting of the bulk of regulatory activity, other than appraising, to CFS.
  • A Proviso to regulation 3 i.e. no MOT charges provisions is applicable to services like verification of seals etc. provided by the customs officer towards the factory stuffed containers.
  • It has been clarified by the board that since the work carried out in the CFS is actually an extension of the clearance activity at the port and hence no MOT charges is payable in case of services rendered by the customs officer within the CFS premises.

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