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Tuesday, Jul 06, 2004

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Measuring instruments import norms eased

K.R. Srivats

New Delhi , July 5

THE Finance Ministry has relaxed the existing norms for import of measuring instruments.

The revenue department has now permitted imports of measuring instruments with non-standard units of weight or measure.

The Government had, so far, allowed only imports of measuring instruments that adopted the standard units of metric system. Imports of measuring instruments other than standard unit of metric system was not permitted except under certain conditions specified in the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976.

So what has prompted the revenue department to allow imports of measuring instruments with non-standard units of weight or measure?

Informed sources said that the Department of Consumer Affairs in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution had in May end this year written a letter to the revenue department, stating that the provisions relating to `measuring tapes' laid down in the Standards of Weights and Measures (General) Rules, 1987 has been amended.

The amendment allows manufacture and verification of measuring tapes with inscription of non-metric scales along with the metric scale without mention of non-metric units like "feet" or "inches". The Department of Consumer Affairs conveyed to the revenue department that it has no objection to allow import of such measuring tapes. Following this letter, the Central Board of Excise and Customs has now issued directions to its field formations for compliance of the changed position.

Prior to this directive, field formations were required to ensure that measuring instruments with non-standard units of weight or measure (including those with dual markings) are, on import, either confiscated absolutely or allowed only to be re-exported.

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