Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Excise & Customs, New Delhi
Subject: Central Excise-Classification of printed materials of advertising nature on metal plates-Regarding.
I am directed to say that certain doubts have been expressed regarding the correct classification of printed metal plates which are of advertising nature. The issue is whether metal plates printed by offset process, merit classification under Chapter 49 as product of printing industry or as advertising sing plates falling under Chapter 83 of the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985.
2. In this regard it has been represented that printed materials of advertising nature on metal plate merits classification under Chapter Heading 49.01 of CETA, 1985 attracting nil rate of duty which includes printed books, newspapers, pictures and other products of the printing industry. It has been further stated that exclusion from Chapter 49 as per HSN notes (at page 700-Section X) shall not apply in the instant case as Chapter 49 of CETA, 1985 is not aligned with Chapter 49 of HSN.
3. The issue has been examined in depth by the Board. Board has observed that metal sign plates falling under Heading 83.10 are excluded from Chapter Heading 49.11 as per the Explanatory Notes to the HSN. On the other hand, advertising sign plates, are included specifically under Chapter Heading 83.10. While Chapter 83 of the Schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985 is fully aligned with the HSN Chapter 49 is not. Now, where there is divergence in practice to the extent of interpretation of correct entry in the Schedule, the heading which provides the more specific description is to be preferred over a Heading providing a more general description. Looking at the goods in question, it is observed that the essential character is derived from the fact that it is sign plate advertising a certain product. The fact that it is a product of the printing industry, is incidental to its primary function as an advertising sign plate. Board is therefore of the view that since Chapter 83 of Schedule to CETA, 1985 is fully aligned with Chapter 83 of HSN, the goods, viz., advertising sign plates, are appropriately classifiable under Heading 83.10 of the Schedule to the CETA, 1985.