Case nº Ruling Nos. AAR/25(Cus)/2005 in Application No. AAR/44(Cus)/37/2005 of Authority for Advance Rulings, November 24, 2005 (case Alcatel India Ltd. Vs Commissioner of Customs)

JudgeFor Respondents: A.K. Roy, Joint CDR CESTAT
PresidentSyed Shah Mohammed Quadri, J. (Chairman), Somnath Pal and B.A. Agrawal, Members
Resolution DateNovember 24, 2005


(Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax)

Syed Shah Mohammed Quadri, J. (Chairman)

  1. In this application under Section 28H of the Customs Act, 1962 (for short "the Act"), M/s. Alcatel India Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Alcatel, France, proposes to import into India the latest technology equipment of Optical Networking/GSM equipment etc. To ascertain its customs duty liability in regard to the hardware and optical fibre cables for submarine telecommunications systems, it seeks advance ruling of the Authority on the following question:

    "Whether the Alcatel 1678 Metro Core Connect proposed to be imported into India, is classifiable under Heading No. 8517 5099 of the First Schedule of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975."

    The Alcatel 1678 Metro Core Connect (for short "the goods") is a hybrid of optical, electronic and mechanical systems that forms part of a telecommunication system for use in transmission of aggregate data. The goods are intelligent transmission optical multi-band node (ION) with an unique density of 4096 STM1 equivalent/6400 within one single shelf. Because of the innovative architecture, both network applications of SDH/SONET are supported: broadband (VC-4nc/VC-4 or VC3nc/VC3) and wideband (VC3/12 or VT2/VT.15) with modular building blocks. Intelligent optical networks are supported, with Gigabit Ethernet, ASON/GMPLS and flexible, transparent OTN (G.709) switch. It integrates L2 Ethernet and MPLS functionalities as well. All kind of broadband (STM-1/4/16/64, GE, 10GE), wideband (E1, E3, STM1, E/FE) and Optical G. 709 (OTM1, OTM2, colored) interfaces are integrated with a family concept to support traditional TDM, data aware, long haul SAN and Transparent services. The goods can operate in any mesh, ring, restoration or hub and spoke telecommunication topology, because of their superior blocking free cross-connect architecture. It is submitted that in accordance with Rule 1 of the General Rules for the Interpretation of the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act 1975 (for short "the Rules") the said goods are classifiable under Tariff heading 8517; in accordance with Rule 6, these goods will fall under sub-heading 8517 50 and that the appropriate tariff heading is 8517 50 99. It is added that the U.K. and Australia have classified the said goods under tariff heading 8517 50.

  2. In his comments the Commissioner of Customs states as follows:

    Comments: On the basis of description of goods given in annexure II...

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