Indian Treaty Series
BILATERAL AGREEMENT ON CUSTOMS COOPERATION
|The Customs Administration of the Islamic Republic
of Iran and the Central Board of Excise & Customs, Department of Revenue,
of Finance, Government of the Republic of India (hereafter referred
to as the Contracting Parties),
CONSIDERING that offences against Customs Laws are prejudicial to their economic, fiscal, social, cultural and commercial interests;
CONSIDERING the importance of accurate assessment of Customs duties and other taxes collected at importation or exportation and of ensuring proper enforcement of measures of prohibition, restriction and control;
RECOGNIZING the need for international co-operation in matters related to the application and enforcement of their Customs laws;
CONVINCED that action against Customs offences can be made more effective by close co-operation between their Customs Administrations based on clear legal provisions;
HAVING REGARD TO the relevant instruments of the Customs Co-operation Council, in particular the Recommendation on mutual administrative assistance of 5 December 1953;
HAVING REGARD ALSO TO
containing prohibitions, restrictions and special measures of control in
respect of specific goods;
For the purposes of this Bilateral Agreement:
1. The term "Customs law" shall mean: the statutory and regulatory provisions concerning the importation, transhipment, transit, storage and exportation of goods, the administration and enforcement of which are specifically charged to the Customs Administrations, and any regulations made by the Customs Administrations under their statutory powers.
2. The term "Customs Administration" shall mean: in the Republic of India, the Central Board of Excise & Customs, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance and in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Customs Administration of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
3. The term “Customs offence” shall mean: any breach or attempted breach of Customs law;
4. The term "person" shall mean: either a physical human being or a legal entity;
5. The term "personal data" shall mean: data concerning an identified or identifiable physical human being;
6. The term "information" shall mean: any data, documents, reports, certified or authenticated copies thereof or other communications;
7. The term "intelligence" shall mean: information which has been processed and/or analysed to provide an indication relevant to a Customs offence;
8. The term "Requesting Administration" shall mean: the Customs Administration which requests assistance or receives such assistance;
9. The term "Requested Administration" shall mean: the Customs Administration from which assistance is requested or which provides such assistance.
10.Tthe term "State" shall mean: the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Scope of the Agreement
1. The Customs Administrations will afford each other administrative assistance under the terms set out in this Agreement for the proper application of Customs law for the purpose of facilitating trade and for the prevention, investigation, prosecution and combating of Customs offences in relation to the movement of goods and persons between the two States.
2. The Customs Administrations may provide each other assistance in the development of human resources of each other.
3. All assistance under this Agreement by either Customs Administration will be performed in accordance with its normal 1egal and administrative provisions and within the limits of the Customs Administration’s competence and available resources.
4. This Agreement is intended solely for the mutual administrative assistance between the Customs Administrations. The provisions of this Agreement shall not give rise to a right on the part of any private person to obtain, suppress or exclude any evidence or to impede the execution of a request.
Scope of Assistance
1. The Customs Administrations shall provide each other, either on request or on their own initiative, with information and intelligence which helps to ensure proper application of the Customs law and the prevention, investigation, prosecution and combating of Customs offences in relation to the movement of goods and persons between the two States.
2. Either Customs Administration will, in making enquiries on behalf of the other Customs Administration, act as if they were being made on its own account or at the request of another authority in the jurisdiction of that Customs Administration.
3. The Requested Administration, upon request, may, subject to availability of resources and in accordance with the mutually agreed terms and conditions, provide assistance in the development of human resources of the Requesting Administration.
1. On request, the Requested Administration will provide all information about the Customs law and procedures, applicable in its jurisdiction and relevant to enquiries relating to a Customs offence.
2. Either Customs Administration shall communicate,
either on request or on its own initiative, any available information relating
3. On request, the Requested Administration will,
without delay, provide any available information:
Special Instances of Assistance
On request, the Requested Administration will in particular provide the Requesting Administration with the following information:
a) whether goods which are imported into the Customs territory of the Requesting Administration have been lawfully exported from the Customs territory of the Requested Administration.
b) whether goods which are exported from the Customs territory of the Requesting Administration have been lawfully imported into the Customs territory of the Requested Administration and about the Customs procedure if any under which the goods have been placed.
On request, the Requested Administration shall, in scope of its competence, provide information and intelligence on, and maintain special surveillance over:
a) particular persons known to the Requesting Administration to have committed a Customs offence or suspected of doing so particularly those moving into and out of the territory of the Requested Administration.
b) goods either in transport or in storage notified by the Requested Administration as giving rise to suspected illicit traffic towards the Customs territory of the Requesting Administration.
c) means of transport suspected by the Requesting Administration of being used to commit Customs offences in the Customs territory of either Customs Administration.
d) premises suspected by the Requesting Administration of being used to commit Customs offences in the Customs territory of either Customs Administration.
1. The Customs Administrations will provide each other, either on request or on their own initiative, with information and intelligence on transactions, completed or planned, which consitute or appear to constitute a Customs offence.
2. In serious cases that could involve substantial damage to the economy, public health, public security or any other vital interest of a Customs Administration, the other Customs Administration will, wherever possible, supply information and intelligence on its own initiative.
Information and Intelligence
1. Original information will only be requested in cases where certified or authenticated copies would be insufficient, and shall be returned as soon as possible; rights of the Requested Administration or of third parties relating thereto shall remain unaffected.
2. Any information and intelligence to be exchanged under this Agreement shall be accompanied by all relevant information for interpreting or utilizing it.
3. The documents provided for in this Agreement may be replaced by computerised information provided in any form for the same purpose. All relevant information for interpretation or utilisation of the material will be supplied at the same time.
Experts and Witnesses
1. On request, the Requested Administration may authorise its officials to appear before a Court or Tribunal in the Requesting Administration as experts or witnesses in the matter of a Customs offence, and to produce such files, documents or other materials or authenticated copies thereof, as may be considered essential for the proceedings.
2. The Requesting Administrations would ensure complete safety and security of the officials of the Requested Administration, when present in the Customs jurisdiction of the Requesting administration, as experts or witnesses.
3. In so far as witnesses are concerned, the provisions stated in clauses 1 and 2 above, shall be applicable only in such cases where the Requesting Administration is the Customs Administration of the Republic of India.
Communication of Requests
1. Assistance under this Agreement will be exchanged directly between the Customs Administrations.
2. Requests for assistance under this Agreement shall be made in writing and shall be accompanied by any documents deemed useful. When the circumstances so require, requests may also be made verbally. Such requests shall be promptly confirmed in writing.
3. Requests made pursuant to Article 2 of this
Article, shall include the following details:
4. A request by either Customs Administration that a certain procedure be followed, shall be complied with, subject to the national legal and administrative provisions of the Requested Administration.
5. The information and intelligence referred to in this Agreement shall be communicated to officials who are specially designated for this purpose by each Customs Administration. A list of officials so designated will be furnished by each Customs Administration in accordance with clause 2 of Article 17 of this Agreement.
Execution of Requests
1. If the Requested Administration does not have
the information requested, it shall in accordance with its national legal
2. Any enquiry under clause 1 of this Article may include the taking of statements from persons from whom information is sought in connection with a Customs offence and from experts or witnesses.
1. On written request, officials specially designated by the Requesting Administration may, with the authorisation of the Requested Administration and subject to conditions the latter may impose, for the purpose of investigating a Customs offence:
a) consult, with the officials of the Requested
Administration the documents, registers and other relevant data relevant
of that Customs offence.
2. When officials of the Requesting Administration are present in the Customs jurisdiction of the other Customs Administration in the circumstances provided for in clause 1, they should, at all times, be able to furnish proof of their official capacity. They will, while there, enjoy the same protection as that accorded to Customs Officials of the Requested Administration, and be responsible for any offence they might commit.
Confidentiality of Information
1. Any information or intelligence received within the framework of administrative assistance under this Agreement shall be used solely for the purposes of this Agreement and by the Customs Administrations, except in cases in which the Customs Administration furnishing such information has expressly approved its use for other purposes or by other authorities.
2. Any information or intelligence received under this Agreement will be treated as confidential and will at least be subject to the same protection and confidentiality as the same kind of information or intelligence is subject to under the domestic laws of the Customs jurisdiction where it is received.
Where personal data are exchanged under this Agreement, the Customs Administrations will ensure that these are used only for the purposes indicated and according to any conditions the Requested Administration may impose.
1. In cases where assistance under this Agreement would infringe upon the sovereignty, security, public policy or substantive interest of a Customs Administration or would be inconsistent with its national legal and administrative provisions, assistance may be refused.
2. If the Requesting Administration would be unable to comply if a similar request were made by the Requested Administration, it shall draw attention to that fact in its request. Compliance with such a request shall be at the discretion of the Requested Administration.
3. Assistance may be postponed by the Requested Administration on the ground that it will interfere with an ongoing investigation, prosecution or proceeding. In such a case, the Requested Administration shall consult with the Requesting Administration to determine if assistance can be given subject to such terms or conditions as the Requested Administration may require.
4. Where assistance is denied or postponed, reasons for the denial or postponement shall be given.
1. The Customs Administrations shall waive all claims for reimbursement of costs incurred in the execution of this Agreement, except for expenses and allowances paid to experts and to witnesses as well as costs of translators and interpreters other than Government employees, which shall be borne by the Requesting Administration.
2. If expenses of a substantial and extraordinary nature are or will be required to execute the request, the Customs Administrations shall consult to determine the terms and conditions under which the request shall be executed as well as the manner in which the costs shall be borne.
Implementation of the Agreement
1. The Customs Administrations shall take measures so that their officials responsible for the investigation or combating of customs offences maintain direct relations with each other.
2. The Customs Administrations shall decide on detailed arrangements to facilitate the implementation of this Agreement.
3. The Customs Administrations shall endeavour to resolve by mutual accord any problem or doubt arising from the interpretation or application of this Agreement.
4. Conflicts for which no solutions are found shall be settled through diplomatic channels.
This Agreement will be applicable to the territories of both Customs Administrations as defined in their national legal and administrative provisions.
Entry into Force and Termination
This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the second month after the Contracting Parties have notified each other in writing through diplomatic channels that the constitutional or internal requirements for the entry into force of this Agreement have been met.
1. This Agreement is intended to be of unlimited
duration but either Contracting Parties may terminate it any time by information
through diplomatic channels.
The Customs Administrations will meet in order to review this Agreement on request or at the end of five years from the date of its coming into operation, unless they notify one another in writing that no such review is necessary.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto have signed this Agreement
DONE at Tehran on the 10th day of April, 2001 in duplicate in the Hindi, Farsi, and English languages, all the texts being equally authentic. In the case of divergence in interpretation and implementation of the provisions thereof, the English version shall prevail.
For the Government of the Islamic Republic
Ministry Of External Affairs, India