Case nº Ruling Nos. AAR/15-17(Cus)/2005 in Application No. AAR/44(Cus)/13/2005, AAR/44(Cus)/12/2005 and AAR/44(Cus)/11/2005 of Authority for Advance Rulings, November 24, 2005 (case Alcatel India Ltd. Vs Commissioner of Customs)

Judge:For Respondents: A.K. Roy, Joint CDR
President:Syed Shah Mohammed Quadri, J. (Chairman), Somnath Pal and B.A. Agrawal, Members
Defense:Customs Act, 1962 - Section 28H; Customs Tariff Act, 1975
Resolution Date:November 24, 2005
 
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Judgment:

(Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax)

Somnath Pal, Member

  1. The following three applications have been filed by M/s Alcatel India Ltd., Plot No. 25, Sector-18, Gurgaon, Haryana, India (hereinafter to be referred to as "the applicant") under section 28H of the Customs Act, 1962 (for short "the Act") as a wholly owned subsidiary Indian company of M/s Alcatel, France. The questions raised in these three applications for advance ruling are also indicated below against the corresponding application Nos:-

    (a) Application No. AAR-44(Cus)/13/2005 - "Whether Submerged passive tilt equalizer R4 proposed to be imported into India is classifiable under Heading No. 8517 50 99 of the First Schedule of the Customs Act, 1975" (apparently a printing error for Customs Tariff Act, 1975)

    (b) Application No. AAR-44(Cus)/12/2005 - "Whether Submerged Adjustable slope equalizer Unit R3 to be imported into India, is classifiable under Heading No. 8517 50 99 of the First Schedule of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975."

    (c) Application No. AAR-44(Cus)/11/2005 - "Whether Submerged Passive Equalizer Unit R2 proposed to be imported into India, is classifiable under Heading No. 8517 50 99 of the First Schedule of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975".

    We have clubbed these three applications for advance ruling since they contain the common question of classification of "Equalizer", though, in finer details, the three items under consideration function as equalizer for equalization of three different parameters, namely, "tilt", "slope" and "shape" of the gain/wavelength needed to optimize the overall transmission through the submerged cable.

  2. In respective Annexure-II to the three applications, the applicant, after giving brief description of the goods in question and referring to the General Interpretative Rule 1 of the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act has stated that the equalizers under consideration are clearly telecommunication apparatus. These, according to the applicant, are classifiable under tariff heading 8517 50 99 which reads "other apparatus, for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems". The applicant has enclosed alongwith these applications copies of the rulings given by the U.K./the U.S.A./Australian Customs all of whom have classified these products under tariff sub-heading 8517 50.

  3. The designated Commissioner, namely, the Commissioner of Customs, Air Cargo Exports, New Custom House, IGI Airport, New Delhi (hereinafter to be referred to as "the Commissioner") in his comments has, however, contended that the classification of the three equalizers under consideration would be under tariff heading item 8543 89 99. According to the Commissioner, the tariff heading 8543 appears more appropriate because it covers all electrical appliances and apparatus, not falling in any other heading of Chapter 85, nor covered more specifically by a heading on any other Chapter of the Nomenclature, nor excluded by the operation of a Legal Note to Section XVI or to the Chapter 85 from heading 8543. The electrical appliances and apparatus of this heading must have individual function. Tariff item 8543 89 81 covers graphic equalizers. The equalizers in question are similar equipment and having an independent function and not covered more specifically by a heading of any other Chapter of the Nomenclature, nor excluded by the operation of a legal note to Section XVI or to Chapter 85. They therefore merit classification under tariff item...

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