A copy of email sent to TNT Courier Services:
AWB No. [protected] of September 13, 2007
Recently my brother-in-law in Australia sent me a courier through TNT Courier Services, containing a car stereo and three DVDs, AWB No. [protected] of September 13, 2007
On September 13, the company delivered the packet with a demand for Rs 3,841. We were shocked how could a simple car stereo have an import duty component more than its original price, in this age of liberalisation?
The car stereo cost AUS $ 85 or about Rs 3,000. Along with the DVDs, the total value of the consignment was written down as AUS $100. When I saw the copy of the valuation paper, I was shocked that the total valuation, including value of the goods, freight and insurance, of Rs 4,200 has been arbitrarily escalated to Rs 10,100 or nearly AUS $ 300 as the amount on which customs duty would have to be levied.
My contention is if Indian customs were escalating the original value of the goods, then I should have been informed and given the option either to argue my case with Indian customs or agree to get the parcel delivered home through TNT on payment of the duty of Rs 3841.
This arbitrary hike in the basic valuation of a product is so capricious that I am surprised that a company of such repute allowed it to happen and then did not even bother to inform me of the same.
Not for one moment did someone bother to reason that a car stereo is available in India for a cost less than the duty being charged.
My brother in law, at WAIS Australia is also appalled at this incident.
Worse, I also note that there are other people and companies on the same list as me, for instance a fabric company in Noida, whose basic valuation of Rs 3000 has been increased to Rs 12,000, then this figure too has been slashed and then increased to Rs 23,000, on which amount the customs duty is levied.
Doesn't your company offer any resistance to arbitrary hikes by customs, that far exceed the declared value of goods? Doesn't your company bother to inform the recipient about any excessive customs duty charge?
Doesn't your company care about its customer? If you want, I can ask my brother in law to produce the invoice for the car stereo.
I hope we can still resolve this issue.