NEW DELHI, FEB. 5. The Centre has liberalised certain specificationsprescribed hitherto on crude palm oil and palmolein imported at aconcessional duty of 65 per cent by actual users. The revised norms havebeen notified and came into effect yesterday, an official statement saidhere on Saturday.
Crude palm and its fractions currently attract a concessional rate of 65per cent customs duty, subject to the condition that the importedcommodities meet the prescribed norms. Among other things, the normsstipulate that the imported oil must have a carotenoid (as beta carotene)content in the range of 500-2,500 mg per kilogram with an acid value of 2.These specifications were prescribed mainly to discourage the import ofrefined palm oils in the guise of crude palm oil.
The vanaspati industry and edible oil refiners had been representing thatcrude palm oil or its fractions in the prescribed range of carotenoidcontent were not available in the international market. And, even if attimes available, the carotenoid content got reduced during handling andtransportation. Taking the industry's views into consideration, the Centrehas now scaled down the minimum carotenoid content from 500 mg to 250 mgper kg while revising the acid value from 2 to 4 for crude palm oil to beeligible for the concessional import duty. As per the actual userconditions, such imports will be permitted, provided the imported oil isused for the manufacture of refined oil, refined palmolein, vanaspati andbakery products.
For crude palmolein imports, however, the statement noted that theexisting specifications of carotenoid content (500-2,500 mg/kg) would holdgood, though with a revised acid value of 4, subject to the same actualuser conditions.