‘Warehousing of imported solar panels, accessories need to be reviewed’

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The grant of permission for warehousing of imported solar panels, solar modules and related accessories is not in accordance with the Manufacture and Other Operations in Warehouse Regulations (MOOWR) 2019 provisions or principles which are the conditions prescribed by the Board in terms of section 65 of the Customs Act, 1962, said the Finance Ministry on Saturday.

“It is brought to notice of the Board that certain solar power generating units applied for permission under section 65 of the Customs Act 1962 for warehousing of imported solar panels, solar modules and related accessories etc. declared as capital goods to generate electricity (from sunlight) as resulting, resultant goods for home consumption,” said the ministry in a letter to the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs.

It also added that certain jurisdictional commissioners have granted such permissions. The ministry said in the letter that a reading of section 65 shows that in relation to any particular goods, resulting from the operations, they can either be removed from warehouse for export or for home consumption.

“In respect of applications of the type referred in para I above, the resultant electricity is identical whether it be removed for home consumption or for export. In Manufacture and Other Operations in Warehouse (no.2) Regulations, 2019 (hereinafter referred as ‘MOOWR 2019’), the Regulation 15 (removal of resultant goods from the warehouse for export) requires affixing a one-time-lock to the load compartment of the means of transport in which such goods are removed from the warehouse”, reads the letter.

It added further that as the identical goods, i.e. electricity, may also be cleared for home consumption, the provision for removal for export shows that those goods, i.e. electricity, which are of the nature to which it is incapable to affix one-time-lock to the load compartment of the means of transport in which such goods are removed, fall squarely outside the scope of MOOWR 2019 because of inability to satisfy the essence of the prescribed condition.

Moreover, the Regulation 20 is that the Board, having regard to the nature of goods, their manner of transport or storage, may exempt a class of goods from any of the provisions of the MOOWR 2019 – Neither this power has been exercised by Board to exempt goods in the nature of electricity from any of the provisions of MOOWR 2019, nor separate regulations relating to removal of electricity have been issued, said the letter.

The letter said that “grant of permission, as referred in para 1 above, is not in accordance with the MOOWR 2019 provisions or principles which are the conditions prescribed by the Board in terms of section 65 of the Customs Act, 1962”.

It also said that the permissions granted to the type of generating units need to be immediately reviewed and the necessary follow up action taken.

“No further permissions in such cases should be granted in terms of section 65 of the Customs Act, 1962,” said the letter signed by Bullo Mamu, Under Secretary (LC).

20220709-231004

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