The Finance Ministry has raised import duties on gold and silver findings, coins of precious metals, and ⁠spent catalysts containing precious metals. This has been done to end tax advantage in importing gold and silver in findings form than in bar

According to the Finance Ministry, import duty on gold and silver findings and coins of precious metals will now be 15 per cent. This includes Basic Custom Duty (BCD) of 10 per cent and 5 per cent of AIDC (Agriculture Infrastructure Development Cess). There will be no Social Welfare Surcharge (SWC). Earlier, duty was 10 per cent. “Gold or silver findings’ means a small component such as hook, clasp, clamp, pin, catch, and screw back used to hold the whole or a part of a piece of jewellery in place.

The Ministry has also hiked import duty on spent catalysts containing precious metals to 14.35 per cent (BCD at 10 per cent and AIDC at the rate of 4.35 per cent). There will be SWS. Spent organic-based catalysts that contain precious metals have traditionally been treated by incineration to recover their precious metal content.

Earlier rates on all these were 10 per cent and there were no AIDC. New rates have been made effective from January 22, the notification added. A Finance Ministry official said that the move aims to prevent circumvention of the duty on gold and silver bars after a surge in imports in the last two months of gold findings: hooks, clasps and other components used to make jewellery.

“The imposition of agriculture, infrastructure and development cess on Gold and Silver Findings is to bring them at parity with the overall customs duty rates on gold and silver,” Gunjan Prabhakaran, Partner with BDO India said.

India is the world’s second biggest consumer of gold, which is supplied almost entirely through imports