AUTHORITY FOR ADVANCE RULINGS
(CENTRAL EXCISE, CUSTOMS & SERVICE TAX)
Thursday, the twenty fourth November Two Thousand Five
Ruling Nos. AAR/22(Cus)/2005
R U L I N G
(Hon'ble Mr. Justice Syed Shah Mohammed Quadri)
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 1670 SM Optical Multi-service Metro Core Mode to be imported into India, is classifiable under Heading No. 8517 5099 of the First Schedule of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975."
The Alcatel 1670 Optical Multi-service metro-code node is telecommunication equipment. It is hybrid of optical, electronic and mechanical systems that forms part of a telecommunication system for use in transmission of aggregate data (referred to in this ruling as "the goods"). The goods are STM-1/4/16/64 Network Element for transmission and cross-connection of a wide range of PDH, SDH and Ethernet telecommunication data signals. It can operate as a Multi Terminal or Add/Drop Multiplexer. Moreover the system can be configured as a cross-connect with a matrix size of upto 512x512 STM-1 equivalent at the High Order VC level. Therefore, they are multifunctional. 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 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, including line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier - current line system or for digital line system; videophones: is correct.
Conclusion: In view of above, proposed classification of item under tariff heading 8517 5099 may be accepted."
3. It is evident that the proposed classification by the applicant is accepted by the Commissioner of Customs.
4. Tariff heading 8517 , the relevant sub-heading and the tariff items read as follows:
TARIFF HEADING 8517
Heading 8517 deals with electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy including line telephone sets with cordless hands-sets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems.
SUB-HEADING AND TARIFF ITEMS
On a combined reading of Rules 1 and 6 of the Rules and the terms of the heading, sub-heading and tariff items, having regard to the description of the goods, given above, we rule that "Alcatel 1670 SM Optical Multi-service Metro Core Mode" (Node) is classifiable under tariff item 8517 50 99.
Pronounced in the open Court on this 24th day of November, 2005.