Stricter framework for rules of origin
India is planning a major change in the domestic framework of rules of origin to tackle large scale imports. Under this changed regime, Indian customs authorities will now be able to question the valuation of imports under free trade agreements (FTAs) for up to five years. The rules of origin are criteria framed to determine the source country of a product, based on which the importing country decides whether they are to get tariff concessions or be subjected to duties. “Retrospective verification of costing data, value-addition compliance and certificate of origin can be conducted by the customs authorities over a period of five years from the date of import, unless there is a specific time limit prescribed in the FTA… Customs officers will be empowered to check for violations in claims by importers,” according to an official aware of the details. In addition, a certificate of origin will no longer be enough to obtain concessions, and customs authorities can deploy further scrutiny to examing the origin. Stringent provisions on rules of origin were proposed as a part of the Union Budget on February 1.