The Customs Act, 1962
45. RESTRICTIONS ON CUSTODY AND REMOVAL OF IMPORTED GOODS. –
(1) Save as otherwise provided in any law for the time being in force, all imported goods unloaded in a customs area shall remain in the custody of such person as may be approved by the 1Commissioner of Customs until they are cleared for home consumption or are warehoused or are transshipped in accordance with the provisions of Chapter VIII.
(2) The person having custody of any imported goods in a customs area, whether under the provisions of sub-section (1) or under any law for the time being in force, –
(a) shall keep a record of such goods and send a copy thereof to the proper officer;
(b) shall not permit such goods to be removed from the customs area or otherwise dealt with, except under and in accordance with the permission in writing of the proper officer.
2(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, if any imported goods are pilfered after unloading thereof in a customs area while in the custody of a person referred to in sub-section (1), that person shall be liable to pay duty on such goods at the rate prevailing on the date of delivery of an import manifest or, as the case may be, an import report to the proper officer under section 30 for the arrival of the conveyance in which the said goods were carried.
(i) Customs Commissioner had no power to direct International Airports Authority of India under the powers given to him under section 45 of the Customs Act, 1962; International Airports Authority of India v. Grand Slam International, JT 1995(2) SC 452.
(ii) If an authority is custodian of the imported goods because of provisions of the Customs Act, 1962, the authority would be entitled to charge demurrages for the imported goods in its custody and make the importer or consignee liable for the same even for the period during which he/it was unable to clear the goods from the customs area due to fault on the part of the customs authorities or of other authorities which might have issued detention certificates owning such fault; Trustees, Port of Madras v. K.P.V. Sheikh Mohd. Rowther & Co. P. Ltd., AIR 1995 SC 1922.
1. Subs. by Act 22 of 1995, sec. 50, for “Collector of Customs” (w.e.f. 26-5-1995).
2. Ins. by Act 22 of 1995, sec. 58 (w.e.f. 26-5-1995).