AUTHORITY FOR ADVANCE RULINGS
(CENTRAL EXCISE, CUSTOMS & SERVICE TAX)
Hon'ble Mr.Justice Syed Shah Mohammad Quadri (Chairman)
Mr.Somnath Pal (Member)
Ruling Nos. AAR/03&04(Cus)/2006
R U L I N G
The following two applications filed by the applicant are clubbed for issuing the advance ruling since they both relate to Pump Units (unrepeatered) :-
(a) Application No. AAR/44/21(Cus)/2005 raising the question - "Whether Remote Pump (unrepeatered) proposed to be imported into India, is classifiable under Heading No. 8517 50 99 of the First Schedule of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975".
(b) Application No. AAR/44/19(Cus)/2005 raising the question - "Whether Raman Pump Unit (unrepeatered) proposed to be imported into India, is classifiable under Heading No. 8517 50 99 of the First Schedule of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975" .
2. As per the technical information furnished by the applicant these Pump Units are a hybrid of optical, electronic and mechanical systems that forms part of a submarine telecommunication system for use in transmission of aggregate data. They are/can be installed in the Alcatel URW telecommunications subrack when there is a requirement for amplification of the telecommunication signal. These pump units are of an Alcatel generic design and include features that allow the configuration of the pump units to suit a given system. The Remote Pump Unit can be used standalone for single channel applications (e.g. with Alcatel 1666 UT transponder), or for WDM applications in the Red-C band (up to 32 channels) and full-C band (up to 80 channels). The Alcatel Raman Pump Unit can be used independently for single channel application or with other Alcatel Raman Pump Units/Telecommunication Equipment for WDM telecommunication applications in the full-C band (up to 80 channels).
During the hearing the Ld. Representatives of the applicant referred to the block diagrams of these pump units as given in the Customs Technical Document and clarified that though they are used in the telecommunication system when there is requirement of amplification of a traffic signal, they are not 'amplifiers' as understood for the purpose of tariff heading 8543. Besides the optical 'pump' per se, these units also house other components like filter, detectors and shutdown logic. The Raman Pump Unit (RNP1425C) contain, in addition, splice and a combiner. Alcatel pump units function as dedicated unit for the transmission of aggregate data. Relying on the Rule1 of the General Rules for Interpretation of the First Schedule of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975, it was submitted that the goods in question are undoubtedly classifiable under the tariff item 8517 50 99 and that being so, there is no need to go to Rule 3(c) as an alternative option as contended by the Commissioner. The applicant also referred to the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) Schedule from India to WTO according to which amplifiers used in telecommunications are classified under heading 8517.
3. Though in his initial comments the Commissioner had taken the stand that these pump units are more appropriately classifiable under tariff item 8543 89 79 as high or intermediate frequency amplifiers, the Learned Joint CDR representing the Commissioner, however, conceded during the hearing that having regard to the technical information furnished by the applicant and further elaborated and explained by their representatives, the goods in question would fall under tariff item 8517 50 99. He also cited in this context the recent rulings of the Authority given in the applicant's case in regard to classification of 'Equalisers' and 'Repeaters' which have been held to be falling under tariff heading 8517 50 99.
4. We have carefully examined the nature and function of the two pump units under consideration in the light of the technical details furnished by the applicant in writing as well as the verbal submissions during the hearing. We are satisfied that these pump units cannot come within the coverage of tariff heading 8543 whose scope we have already examined in detail in our earlier Ruling No. AAR/14(Cus)/2005 dated 24.11.2005 in the applicant's case. Having regard to the functional characteristics of the two pump units we are of the view that they are a combination of optical, electronic and mechanical elements and their function is an integral part of the telecommunication system for transmission of aggregate data. Being so, they merit classification as an apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems falling under tariff heading 8517. In his final comments, the Ld. Joint CDR representing the Commissioner has also taken this stand. Keeping in view the tariff structure under the relevant sub-heading 8517 50, it is apparent that the goods in question would fall under tariff item 8517 50 99.
5. In view of the above, we rule on the questions raised in these two applications that the Remote Pump (unrepeatered) and the Raman Pump Unit (unrepeatered) are classifiable under tariff item 8517 50 99 of the First Schedule of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975.
Pronounced in the open Court of the Authority on this 5th day of January, 2006.
Sd/- Sd/- Sd/-
(B.A.Agrawal) (Justice S.S.M.Quadri) (Somnath Pal)
Member Chairman Member