High Sea sales (HSS) is a sale carried out by the actual consignee (ie, the consignee shown in the Bill of Lading) to another buyer while the goods are yet on high seas or after their dispatch from the port of loading (POL) and before their arrival at the port of discharge (POD). HSS contract/agreement should be signed after dispatch of goods from origin & prior to their arrival at destination. The agreement should be on stamp paper. The word ‘Sea’ appearing in HSS should not be taken by it’s literal meaning. As long as the sale is formalized after dispatch from port of origin and before arrival at the first port of discharge at destination, such sale is considered as HSS.

Same goods can be sold more than once on high seas. In such cases, HSS agreement should give indication of previous title transfers. The last HSS buyer should also obtain copies of previous HSS agreement as such documents may be called upon by the customs. HSS is considered as a sale carried out outside the territorial jurisdiction of India. Accordingly, no sales tax is levied in respect of HSS. The title of goods transfers to HSS buyer prior to entry of goods in territorial jurisdiction of India.

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