AUTHORITY FOR ADVANCE RULINGS
(CENTRAL EXCISE, CUSTOMS & SERVICE TAX)
Thursday, the twenty fourth November Two Thousand Five
Ruling Nos. AAR/27(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 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 ASN Submarine Line Terminating Equipment 1620 (SLTE 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 SLTE 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, 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 Submerged Line Terminating Equipment 1620 is classifiable under tariff item 8517 50 99.
Pronounced in the open Court on this 24th day of November, 2005.