Circular No. 191/25/96-Central Excise

dated 27/3/96
F.No. 151/10/95-CX.4

Government of India

Ministry of Finance

Department of Revenue

(Central Board of Excise and Customs), New Delhi

Subject:- Central Excise – Classification of pigtail/ patch cord made of fibres – Classification regarding.

Doubts have been expressed about the classification of pigtails and patchcords as to whether the products are classifiable under chapter heading 85.44 as optical fibre cables, made up of individually sheathed fibres or under heading 90.01 as optical fibre cables other than those of heading 85.44 or under heading 90.93 as part and accessories for machine, appliances, instruments or apparatus of Chapter 90. Pigtails are fibre optic cable accessory fitted with connectors at one end whereas the patchcords are fitted with connectors on both ends.

2. In this regard it has been represented that a single sheath fibre optical cord made up a single fibre can not fit in with the description of Heading 85.44 because this heading covers optical fibre cables mad up of individually sheathed fibres and to fall under this heading a cable should contain two or more sheathed fibres. As pigtails and patchcords are more in the nature of ready to use parts or accessories of instruments, the right classification should be under heading 90.33.

3.The matter has been examined. It was felt that classification under heading 90.33 is not appropriate as patchcords/ pigtails are not (mainly) used as parts or accessories for machines, appliances, instruments or apparatus of Chapter 90.

4. HSN explanatory notes at page 1404 and 1459 explains the goods covered under heading 85.44 and 90.01 respectively. The pigtails and pathcords can only be covered under heading 90.01 if they otherwise not fall under heading 85.44. While optical fibre cables of 85.44 are used mainly in telecommunications, the optical fibre cables of 90.01 are used primarily in optical apparatus particularly in endoscopes of heading 90.18. Since the product under question consists of a single fibre not a bundle, they are not to be included under optical fibre cables falling under 90.01. To be covered in 90.01, the cable should at least consist of one bundle, each fibre of which are not individually sheathed.

5. Heading 85.44 covers cable made up of individually sheathed optical fibres whether or not attached with electric conductor or fitted with connectors. As per General Clauses Act, the plural includes singular. Therefore, the term individually sheathed fibres can also mean a single fibre individually sheathed and then put in a cable. Board is, therefore, of the view that the pigtails and patchcords having individually sheathed fibres appropriately merit classification under chapter heading 85.44 of central Excise Tariff Act. 1985 as optical fibre cables, made up of individually sheathed fibres.

(Sanghamitra Panda)
Deputy Secretary to the Government of India

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