New Delhi, July 13, 2017

Importers and exporters of goods, that are exempted from GST, do not need to obtain a GST registration number and can clear their consignments by quoting PAN, the customs department said.

The department issued the clarification amid reports of some consignments being delayed at ports for want of clarity on rules governing the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.

“It is being clarified and assured that there is no hold up of import and export consignments, wherever GSTIN is legally not required. “Importers, exporters and customs brokers are requested to quote authorised PAN in the bills of entry or shipping bills for such clearance,” the Maharashtra wing of customs department said in a public notice.
The Goods and Services Taxpayer Identification Number (GSTIN) is a 15 digit unique code which is assigned to each registered business or trader.

It replaces TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) – the unique 11 digit number allotted to each business entity which
was registered with the commercial tax department in the previous indirect tax regime.
Post of the implementation of GST from July 1, there have been some confusion over requirement of GSTIN for clearance of consignments at ports.

The Central GST Act exempts businesses engaged exclusively in the supply of goods (import and export) which are exempt from GST from obtaining registration under the new indirect tax regime. The customs department in Maharastra, which handles the largest container port of Nhava Sheva, has now clarified that PAN will be sufficient for clearance at ports for goods which does not require registration under GST. “Difficulty, if any may also be brought to the notice of Deputy / Assistant Commissioner in charge of Appraising Main (Export) through email/phones,” the notice said.

Further, Directorate of International Customs (DIC) has been set up on July 1 which will assist the CBEC in international matters pertaining to customs, integrated GST and tariff matters. The DIC would be headed by a Principal Commissioner and will report to the chairman of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

[The Financial Express]