DRI investigating Rs653-cr customs duty evasion by Xiaomi
06 January 2022
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has started investigation against Xiaomi India and its contract manufacturers in India over customs duty evasion of n estimated Rs653 crore through undervaluation of imports.
DRI said searches conducted at the premises of Xiaomi India led to the recovery of incriminating documents indicating that Xiaomi India was remitting royalty and licence fee to Qualcomm USA and to Beijing Xiaomi Mobile Software Co Ltd, under contractual obligation.
During the investigations, it further emerged that the “royalty and licence fee” paid by Xiaomi India to Qualcomm USA and to Beijing Xiaomi Mobile Software Co Ltd, China (related party of Xiaomi India) were not being added in the transaction value of the goods imported by Xiaomi India and its contract manufacturers.
The investigations conducted by the DRI further showed that Xiaomi India is engaged in the sale of MI brand mobile phones and these mobile phones are either imported by Xiaomi India or assembled in India by importing parts and components of mobile phones by contract manufacturers of Xiaomi India. The MI brand mobile phones manufactured by the contract manufacturers are sold exclusively to Xiaomi India, in terms of the contract agreement.
Evidence gathered during the investigations by the DRI indicated that neither Xiaomi India nor its contract manufactures were including the amount of royalty paid by Xiaomi India in the assessable value of the goods imported by Xiaomi India and its contract manufacturers, which is in violation of Section 14 of the Customs Act, 1962 and Customs valuation (determination of value of imported goods) Rules 2007. By not adding “royalty and licence fee” into the transaction value, Xiaomi India was evading customs duty being the beneficial owner of such imported mobile phones, the parts and components thereof.
After completion of the investigation by the DRI, three show-cause notices have been issued to Xiaomi Technology India Private Limited for demand and recovery of duty amounting to Rs653 crore for the period 1 April 2017 to 30 June 2020, under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962.
DRI carried our searches at the premises of Xiaomi India based on intelligence that Xiaomi Technology India Private Limited (Xiaomi India) was evading customs duty by way of undervaluation, according to a finance ministry release.
DRI recorded statements of key persons of Xiaomi India and its contract manufactures, during which one of the directors of Xiaomi India confirmed the payments, according to the finance ministry release.