May 31, 2004
F. No. 66/2/2003/CX.I
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Excise & Customs
Subject : Regarding Central Excise duty on packed tea during the period 02/06/1998 to 23/06/1998
I am directed to say that a number of representations have been received in the Board seeking a clarification whether tea packed in containers of capacity more than 20 kgs. was leviable to Central Excise duty during the period 2.6.98 to 23.6.98. Prior to 2.6.1998 tea was exempt from Central Excise duty, vide Notification no. 05/98-CE dated 2.6.98 duty of 8% was levied on tea put up in unit containers bearing a brand name and the other tea was subjected to Nil rate of duty. The above said notification was amended vide notification No. 16/98-CE dated 24.6.1998, so as to provide that tea put up in unit container exceeding 20 Kgs. shall attract Nil rate of duty.
2. Accordingly, the issue is whether duty was chargeable on tea put up in unit container exceeding 20 Kgs. during the period 2.6.98 to 23.6.1998.
3. The matter has been examined. It was not the intention of the Govt. to charge duty on bulk tea. A container containing tea above 20 kg is not normally treated as packaged tea for retail sale. Therefore, it is clarified that tea put up in containers exceeding 20 kgs. per container was attracting duty at Nil rate during the period 2.6.1998 to 23.6.1998.
4. Suitable Trade Notice may be issued for the information of the Trade.
5. Receipt of these instructions may be acknowledged.
Under Secretary to the Govt. of India