Chess Olympiad medals were cleared as per Bill of Entry, none claimed exemption: Customs

By Venkatachari Jagannathan
Chennai, Dec 3 : Neither the DHL Express India Ltd nor the non-playing captain of the Indian chess team that won the FIDE Online Olympiad gold medal claim any exemption from Customs duty for the medals received from Russia, said the Commissioner of Customs (Airport), Chennai I, on Thursday.

“The Bill of Entry was filled on November 28 by DHL Express India Ltd on behalf of (Grandmaster) Srinath Narayanan, the non-playing captain of the Indian chess team, in Chennai Customs (Courier Import) for the clearance of 12 medals for Online Chess Olympiad coming from Korshunov Maxim Alexandrovich, Russia,” the Commissioner of Customs clarified to IANS.

According to the official, the Bill of Entry was presented to the Customs assessing officer for assessment on November 30 by DHL and the same day it was assessed and the goods were cleared on the basis of the facts presented in the Bill of Entry.

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“While filling the Bill of Entry, the DHL neither claimed any notification benefit, nor did it approach the Assistant Commissioner of Customs, Courier, by mail or personally for claiming exemption as provided in the notification no. 41/2017-Cus dated June 30, 2017,” he said.

The official also said the invoice claimed that the import was for personal use and Srinath Narayanan had not given any declaration/letter for claiming the notification exemption benefit.

“The shipment was filed on merit rate of duty which comes to Rs 5,533. Accordingly, the Bill of Entry was assessed on November 30 and was cleared on the same day,” the Commissioner of Customs clarified.

To a query as to why the medals were sent to him instead of the All India Chess Federation (AICF), Narayanan told IANS that perhaps it was due to the power struggle within the federation, as the global governing body for chess, FIDE, is yet to recognise any one faction.

“As a non-playing captain, I was interacting with the FIDE and the Olympiad officials,” he added.

Narayanan said he had given a letter to DHL addressed to the Customs Department, Bengaluru, mentioning what the medals were all about.

Normally, Customs duty is exempted for Indian sportspersons returning from overseas after winning medals in international sporting events.

A senior Customs department official had told IANS on Wednesday that under Notification No. 41/17-Cus dated 30.6.2017, complete exemption is eligible for Indians returning from abroad after winning medals in international matches/tournaments.

“The Indian team comprised 13 members, including me. Today I got 12 medals and paid customs duty of Rs 6,300 for all the medals. I paid the courier company DHL which had already paid the duty,” Narayanan had told IANS on Wednesday.

According to Narayanan, GM Pentala Harikrishna got his medal last month as he lives outside India.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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