OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF CENTRAL EXCISE AHMEDABAD-I
Sub.: Authorized person only to approach/appear before Central Excise Officers – reg.
It has been noticed that consultants appearing on behalf of manufacturer, assessee or exporter in Central Excise offices have mushroomed in the recent years but a limited few of them hold a legally valid power of attorney/authorization for such representation, making it difficult for departmental officers to ascertain the genuineness of such a person. This is, therefore a matter of serious concern for the department and calls for immediate review.
2. The term "Authorized agent", "Authorized Representative", "Authorized Signatory" etc. appearing at various places under the Central Excise Act, Central Excise Rules, Cenvat credit Rules etc, may appear to be vague as there is no specific provision in the Central Excise Act, Rules etc defining an Authorized person. However the Rules/Section/Act, is replete with reference as to who can act on behalf of an assessee / manufacturer/exporter etc, some of which are quoted below.
3. In Circular No. 29/29/94-CX dated 21/3/1994 (F. No. 212/3/94-CX.6) issued in the context of new invoice scheme introduced with effect from 01/04/94, the Board states that "in the case of a proprietary or partnership concern, an owner or working partner or an employee, holding power of attorney for pre-authentication of invoices, can authenticate the invoices". This statement is again reiterated by the Board in its circular No. 357/73/CX dated 20/11/1997 (from F. No. 26/100/97-CX.8) issued in the context of movement of goods on an authenticated challan under Rule 57F(4) of the erstwhile Central Excise Rules, 1944. Further notification No 19/2004-CE (NT) dated 6/9/2004 issued under Rule 18 of Central Excise Rules, 2002, states "where the exporter desires self-sealing and self-certification for removal of goods from the factory or warehouse or any approved premises, the owner, the working partner, the Managing Director or the Company Secretary, of the manufacturing unit of the goods or the owner of the warehouse or a person duly authorized by such owner, working partner or the Board of Directors of such Company, as the case may be, shall certify on all the copies of the application that the goods have been sealed in his presence,....."
4. In its circular No. 593/30/2001-CX dated 19/10/2001 (F.No. 201/12/2001-CX.6) issued in the context of new Central Excise registration scheme introduced with effect from 1/11/2001, the Board has decided in Para 3.1 that the application may be signed by the applicant himself or by his authorized agent having general power of attorney.
5. The "authorized representative" in terms of Rules 2(c) of Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 1982 had been spelled out. There is also reference of authorized representative under Rule 28B as well as under Rule 48 of the said rules read with explanations there under. But those may not be applicable before other Central Excise and Customs Officers.
6. From the aforesaid, it can be reasonably perceived that under the scheme of administration of Central Excise law, it has always been the resolve of law makers that a person appearing before a Central Excise Officers in connection with any work that the officer is authorized to do, must be a properly authorized attorney of the assessee, manufacturer or exporter, as the case may be. A person claiming to be the agent of an exporter without holding a legally valid power of attorney or such other instrument of authorization, can not have locus standi to plead or represent on behalf of the principal.
7. It has therefore been decided that henceforth only a person legally authorized by his principal can appear/approach before a Central Excise Officer for any work.
8. All Trade Associations/Chamber of Commerce and the Member of the RAC/PGC are requested to bring this to the notice of their members/constituents.
9. This issues with the approval of the Commissioner.
JOINT COMMISSIONER (TECH),
AHMEDABAD – I.
F. No . IV/16-01/MP/2005(Pt. II) Date :
Copy to : As per mailing list of Trade & deptt.