Dr. Sajal Das, Dr. Uttam K. Dutta
Abstract: Customs Law of each nation governs the rules with regard to importation and exportation of dutiable goods. Developing nations heavily rely on a favourable trade policy which is expected to generate a surplus Balance of Trade. Disputes amongst neighbouring nations regarding territorial jurisdiction especially in coastal waters is always a bone of contention which hinders legitimate international trade. This paper explores the concept of territorial waters and its implication in Customs Law with a special focus on SAARC nations. India with the largest land mass amongst the SAARC nations and with a longest coast line faces more risk and higher disputes in maintaining her theoretical territorial waters. We explore the origin of the concept of territorial waters and study the international convention in determining the limits of territorial waters. Amongst the SAARC nations, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Maldives have coastal line where the concept of territorial waters is applicable. We compare the relevant limits of territorial waters amongst these nations and thereafter discuss the implications of Deemed Importation for India and the nature of the possible legal disputes that have arisen from it. We relied upon the landmark judgements to entangle the concept of deemed importation.
Keywords: Territorial Waters, Customs Water, Customs Law, Deemed Import, Taxation