Case nº Ruling Nos. AAR/27(Cus)/2005 in Application No. AAR/44(Cus)/41/2005 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; Customs Tariff Rules, 1975 - Rules 1 and 6
Resolution Date:November 24, 2005

Judgment:

(Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax)

Syed Shah Mohammed Quadri, J.

  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 telecommunication systems, it seeks advance ruling of the Authority on the following question:

    "Whether the Submerged Line Terminating Equipment 1620 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 ASM Submarine Line Terminating Equipment 1620 (SITE 1620) (for short "the goods") is a hybrid of optical, electronic and mechanical systems that forms part of a submarine telecommunication system for use in transmission of aggregate data. The goods are of an Alcatel generic design and include features that allow the configuration of the SITE to suit a given system. The goods are designed for telecommunication systems utilizing submerged equipment typically operating at N x 10 Gbit/s and to provide up to 84 channels on the ITU (Internal Telecommunication Union) 50 GHz grid, up to 105 channels on the 40 GHz grid or 126 channels on the 33 GHz grid. The goods manage the integrity, quality, receipt and transmission of telecommunication aggregate data between the submerged equipment and the land based telecommunication system. 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., the USA and Australia have classified the said goods under tariff heading 8517 50.

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

    Comments: On the basis of description of goods given in annexure II and General characteristics given in Technical documents, it appears that the party's contention that in accordance with Rule 1 of the general Rule of interpretation, these goods are classified under tariff heading 8517 electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy...

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