Saturday, 27 January 2018

CESTAT LB : 'Optical fibre cables' imported for telecommunication not individually 'sheathed', dutiable under CTH

CESTAT Larger Bench upholds classification of 'Optical Fibre Cables’ (OFC) imported for use in Telecommunication under CTH 90.01, leviable to customs duty at 10% under Notification No. 21/2002-Cus; Rejects assessees’ plea that telecommunication wires and cables are classifiable under CTH 85.44 and OFC in present case, consist of dual layers of Acrylic Coating over core and cladding which result in 'individually sheathed fibre', thus satisfying description of said CTH as well as design, feature and use stated in HSN Explanatory Notes thereto; Remarks that Tariff does not make distinction between CTH 85.44 and 90.01 on the basis of product use and sole distinction is based on manner in which fibres are 'sheathed', and that CTH 85.44 is not limited to telecommunication wires but covers all insulated wires and cables; Holds that simultaneous use of words “impregnated”, “coated”, “covered” or “sheathed” at various places in Tariff makes it clear that terms ‘coating’ and ‘sheathing’ have different meanings, while observing that colouring is solely for identification of fibres at both ends and no conclusion regarding ‘dual acrylic coating’ constituting sheath can be arrived basis same; Consequently, concurs with Division Bench decision in Reliance Communications Infrastructure Ltd. and findings of AAR in case of Alcatel Ltd., holding that OFCs made of individually sheathed fibres are only classifiable under CTH 85.44, while others would fall under CTH 90.01 : Mumbai CESTAT

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