1. No refund of CENVAT credit under rule 5B to service providers providing manpower supply/ security services
Rule 5B of the CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004 provides that service providers, rendering notified reverse charge services, being unable to utilise the CENVAT credit availed on inputs and input services for payment of service tax on such output services, shall be allowed refund of such un-utilised CENVAT credit. In this regard, earlier following partial reverse charge services were notified:
(i) renting of a motor vehicle designed to carry passengers on non-abated value, to any person who is not engaged in a similar business;
(ii) supply of manpower for any purpose or security services; or (iii)
(iii) service portion in the execution of a works contract Since with effect from 01.04.2015, service tax with respect to supply of manpower for any purpose or security services is payable on the basis full reverse charge, service providers of said services will no longer be eligible for refund of CENVAT credit availed on inputs and input services for payment of service tax on such output services. Further, application in Form A for claiming refund has also been suitably modified. The aforesaid amendment is effective from April 01, 2015. [Notification No. 15/2015 CE (NT) dated 19.05.2015]
2. Reversal of credit under rule 6 not required in case of ethanol produced from molasses generated from cane crushed in the sugar season 2015-16 [Clause (ix) inserted to rule 6(6) of the CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004]
The provisions of sub-rules (1), (2), (3) and (4) of rule 6 would not apply to ethanol produced from molasses generated from cane crushed in the sugar season 2015-16 i.e. 1st October, 2015 onwards, for supply to the public sector oil marketing companies, namely, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. or Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd., for the purposes of blending with petrol, under Notification No.12/2012 CE dated 17.03.2012.
In case of such removal, though ethanol is removed without payment of duty, CENVAT credit on inputs/capital goods/input services used in the manufacture of ethanol can be availed. Further, where common inputs/input services are used to manufacture ethanol and other dutiable final product, reversal of credit or payment of amount on removal of ethanol will not be required.
[Notification No. 21/2015 CE (NT) dated 07.10.2015]
3. Output service providers allowed to utilize credit of education cess (EC) and secondary and higher education cess (SHEC) for payment of service tax on any output service [Sixth, seventh and eighth provisos inserted to rule 3(7)(b) of the CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004]
Prior to 01.03.2015, education cess (EC) and secondary and higher education cess (SHEC) paid on excisable goods could be availed as CENVAT credit. Further, EC and SHEC paid on taxable services could also be availed as CENVAT credit till 31.05.2015. Credit of EC on excisable goods or taxable services could not be utilised for payment of any other duty except EC payable on excisable goods or taxable services. Similarly, credit of SHEC on excisable goods or taxable services could not be utilised for payment of any other duty except SHEC payable on excisable goods or taxable services. However, pursuant to EC and SHEC leviable on all taxable services ceasing to have effect (with effect from 01.06.2015), an output service provider has been allowed to utilise the following credits of EC and SHEC for the payment of service tax on any output service:
(i) credit of EC and SHEC paid on inputs/ capital goods received in the premises of the output service provider on or after 01.06.2015;
(ii) credit of balance 50% EC and SHEC paid on capital goods received in the premises of the output service provider in the financial year 2014-15; and
(iii) credit of EC and SHEC paid on input service in respect of which the invoice, bill, challan or Service Tax Certificate for Transportation of Goods by Rail (referred to in rule 9), as the case may be, is received by the output service provider on/ after 01.06.2015.
[Notification No. 22/2015 CE (NT) dated 29.10.2015]
4. Centralised registration allowed to manufacturers of aluminium roofing panels subject to fulfillment of specified conditions
Every manufacturing unit engaged in the manufacture of aluminium roofing panels* has been exempted from obtaining the central excise registration, subject to fulfillment of the following conditions:
(i) such roofing panels are consumed at the site of manufacture for execution of the project and
(ii) manufacturer of such goods has a centralised billing or accounting system in respect of such goods manufactured by different manufacturing units and he opts for registering only the premises or office from where such centralised billing or accounting is done.
*falling under tariff item 7610 90 10 of the First Schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985
[Notification No. 17/2015 CE (NT) dated 08.06.2015]
5. Conditions, safeguards and procedure for preserving digitally signed records and issuing digitally signed invoices prescribed
Rule 10(4) and rule 11(8) of the Central Excise Rules, 2002 provide for authentication of every page of excise records preserved in electronic form and of invoices respectively, by means of digital signatures. Further, rule 10(5) and rule 11(9) have authorized CBEC to notify the conditions, safeguards and procedure to be followed by an assessee for preserving digitally signed records and issuing digitally signed invoices.
In this regard, the following conditions, safeguards and procedure have been prescribed vide Notification No. 18/2015 CE (NT) dated 06.07.2015:
(a) Every assessee proposing to use digital signature shall use Class 2* or Class 3** Digital Signature Certificate duly issued by the Certifying Authority in India. *Class 2 Certificate: These certificates are issued for both business personnel and private individuals use and are available for download after verifying a person’s identity against a trusted and pre-verified database. **Class 3 Certificate: This certificate is issued to individuals as well as organizations. Since these are high assurance certificates, primarily intended for e-commerce applications, they shall be issued to individuals only on their personal (physical) appearance before the Certifying Authorities.
(b) Every assessee proposing to use digital signatures shall intimate the following details to the jurisdictional Deputy/ Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise, at least 15 days in advance:
• name, e-mail id, office address and designation of the person authorised to use the digital signature certificate;
• name of the Certifying Authority;
• date of issue of digital certificate and validity of the digital signature with a copy of the certificate issued by the Certifying Authority along with the complete address of the said Authority
However, in case of any change in aforesaid details, complete details shall be submitted afresh within 15 days of such change. In case of assessees already using digital signature, aforesaid details should be intimated within 15 days of issue of this notification.
(c) Every assessee who opts to maintain records in electronic form:
(i) and has more than one factory/ service tax registration shall maintain separate electronic records for each factory/ service tax registration.
(ii) shall on request (in a letter or e-mail) by a Central Excise Officer, produce the specified records in electronic form and invoices through e-mail or on a specified storage device in an electronically readable format for verification of the authenticity of the document.
(iii) shall ensure that appropriate backup of records in electronic form is maintained and preserved for a period of 5 years immediately after the financial year to which such records pertain.
(d) A Central Excise Officer, during an enquiry, investigation or audit, may direct an assessee to furnish printouts of the records in electronic form and invoices and may resume printouts of such records and invoices after verifying the correctness of the same in electronic format; and after the print outs of such records in electronic form have been signed by the assessee or any other person authorised by the assessee in this regard, if so requested by such Central Excise Officer.
Note: The above conditions will also apply in case of preservation of service tax records in electronic form and authentication of service tax invoices by digital signatures. Further, all importers and exporters using services of Customs Brokers for formalities under Customs Act, 1962, shipping lines and air lines have also been required to file customs documents under digital signature certificates mandatorily with effect from 01.01.2016. The importers/ exporters desirous of filing Bill of Entry or Shipping Bill individually may however have the option of filing declarations/ documents without using digital signature [Circular No. 26/2015 Cus. dated 23.10.2015].
6. Exemption from sealing in a package/ container to export of bulk cargo [for e.g. coal, iron-ore, alumina concentrate, heavy machinery etc.] which is difficult to seal in packages/container
The conditions and procedure relating to export (under bond) without payment of duty to all countries except Bhutan are contained in Notification No. 42/2001 CE (NT) dated 26.06.2001 issued under rule 19 of the Central Excise Rules, 2002. The said notification stipulates that before clearing the export consignments from the factory/ warehouse/ any other approved premises, goods needs to be sealed-either by Central Excise Officer after examination of such goods or by the exporter himself under self-sealing and self certification. However, bulk cargo e.g. coal, iron-ore, alumina concentrate, heavy machinery etc. are difficult to seal in packages or container. Consequently, Notification No. 23 /2015 CE (NT) dated 30.10.2015 has been issued which provides that where the nature of goods is such that the goods cannot be sealed in a package or a container such as coal or ore, etc., exemption from sealing of package or container may be granted by the Principal Chief Commissioner/ Chief Commissioner of Central Excise subject to safeguard as may be specified by him in the permission.