Sony India violates a free trade pact, pays Rs 485 crore in duties

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Sony India has accepted that they violated a free trade agreement by declaring semiknocked-down television sets imported into the country as components and this has resulted in the company paying Rs 485 crore to the government.

According to Economic Times, a person privy to the development has said, “the company has paid full duty with interest.”

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has served the company show-cause notice for violating preferential duty regime under the India-Asean free-trade agreement. Sony India had done this while importing televisions in semi-knocked-down condition from Malaysia.

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The free-trade agreement between India and the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) says that one can import goods at concessional customs duty duty rate from member countries if there is a mandatory 35 per cent value addition, without which India can deny the duty benefits. Asean members include countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines

It has been found out that Sony India flouted the rules and thus they were evading duties. DRI has raised questions regarding the premise of 35 per cent value addition in Malaysia, which Sony had shown as the country of origin.

By Atanu Kumar Das

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