19 Dec 2011
Sub : Service Tax Refund to exporters through the Indian Customs EDI System (ICES)
The Central Board of Excise & Customs has vide its circular No. 149/18/2011-ST dt.16 Dec 2011 has introduced a simplified scheme for electronic refund of service tax to exporters, on the lines of duty drawback based on the schedule of rates. The schedule of rates, will be notified shortly.
With the introduction of this new scheme, exporters now have a choice: either they can opt for electronic refund through Indian Customs EDI (ICES) system, which is based on the schedule of rates or they can opt for refund on the basis of documents, by approaching the Central Excise/Service Tax formations.
An exporter who wish to obtain refund of service tax based on schedule of rates
- should have a bank account and also a central excise registration or service tax code number and the same should be registered with Customs ICES 1.5 using Annexure –A Form;
- should declare his option to avail STR on the electronic shipping bill.
The shipping bill should have the chapter/subheading number at the first two digits or four digit levels specified in the schedule of rates, as applicable to the export goods declared in the shipping bill. This chapter/sub heading number should tally with RITC code mentioned in the Shipping Bill against the export goods. Eligible refund amount of service tax paid on the specified services used for export of goods declared in the shipping bill will be calculated electronically by the ICES system, by applying the rate specified in the schedule against the said goods, as a percentage of the FOB value.
The STR amount processed under the ICES in respect of individual exporters will be credited directly to the bank account of the exporter, in the authorized bank branch at a Custom location or to any core banking enabled banking account of the exporter, in any branch/bank anywhere in the country (through the NEFT/RTGS). For this purpose, the exporters are required to register with Customs, the Indian Financial Service Code (IFSC) of the bank branch in which s/he wishes to receive the STR amount, the core banking enabled account number, bank name and address, using Annexure-A. The procedure for registration of bank account is the same as existing procedure for registration of bank account for receiving drawback amount. Form for registration of bank account, namely, Annexure-A is enclosed to this Circular, for the convenience of the exporters.
In respect of exporters who already have their bank accounts registered for receiving drawback amount, no new/separate account will be necessary for receiving service tax refund; but they should register their central excise registration or service tax code number with Customs ICES using Annexure-A Form, if they wish to opt for electronic STR. An exporter availing drawback scheme cannot have separate bank accounts for drawback and service tax refund.
The filled in Annexure–A form enclosed in this Circular (along with self-certified photocopy of central excise registration or service tax code number), should be submitted to the Designated Superintendent in the Customs Houses/Customs formations, as soon as possible, to get benefit of the electronic refund scheme. Merchant Exporters, who require a service tax code, can use the Form A-2 provided in the Notification 17/2009-ST.
Exporters who do not like to obtain electronic STR on the basis of schedule of rates, but wish to opt for claiming STR on the basis of documents, through the Central Excise/Service Tax field formations should declare chapter/subheading number as 9801 in the electronic Shipping Bill. Minimum STR will be Rupees Fifty for an electronic shipping bill. An exporter who wants to get the chapter/sub heading number amended, for any reason, can get the same carried out through the ICES service center by filing an amendment request; amendment request can also be filed through ICEGATE using Remote EDI System(RES) software. Exporters can track the status of their refund claim and details of refund amount through ICEGATE Document Tracking and Touch Screen Enquiry.
Members may kindly take note of the above. A copy of the circular 149/18/2011-ST dt.16 Dec 2011 along with Annexure-A and Form A-2 is enclosed herewith for members ready reference.
ALI AHMED KHAN
COUNCIL FOR LEATHER EXPORTS