SAMSUNG INDIA ELECTRONICS P. LTD. Vs. COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS, NOIDA
CUSTOMS EXCISE AND GOLD(CONTROL) APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
SAMSUNG INDIA ELECTRONICS P. LTD.
Commissioner Of Customs, Noida
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R.K.SINGH, J. -
(1.)The only issue in these appeals is the classification of Liquid Crystal Devices (LCDs) imported by the appellants. While the appellants sought classification of LCD under Heading 9013 80 10, the Revenue classified them under CTH 8529 90.90 on the ground that these are parts suitable for use solely or principally with LCD TV of CTH 8528. The ld. Advocate for the appellant contended that:
(i) LCDs are specifically covered under CTH 9013.80 and it cannot be said that CTH 8529 covers them more specifically as 8529 did not mention them by name and contained a general description.
(ii) As per Note 1(m) to Sec. XVI of Customs Tariff Schedule this Sec. does not cover articles of Chapter 90 and therefore LCDs are outside the scope of this Sec. which covers Chapter 84 and 85 only -
(iii) In the case of Videocon Industries Ltd. v/s. CCE -, 2009 (92) RLT 383 - LCDs have been classified under CTH 9013 and not under CTH 8529.
(iv) The adjudicating authority in the impugned order relied upon the judgment of CESTAT in the case of M/s. Secure Meters Ltd. v/s. CC, New Delhi - : 2004 (168) E.L.T. 63 (Tri. -Del.) but that decision of CESTAT has since been altered by Supreme Court vide order dated 5 -5 -2015 in Civil Appeal No. 7526 of 2004 [ : 2015 (319) E.L.T. 565 (S.C.)] by holding the LCDs for energy meters to be classifiable under CTH 9013.
(v) The reliance by Revenue on Regulation (EU) No. 1202/2011 of 18 November 2011 of the European Union is misplaced because their description of sub -heading CTH 8529 90 is not the same as the description under CTH 8529 90 in Indian Customs Tariff Schedule.
(2.)Per contra, Revenue has contended that:
(a) CTH 9013 specifically excludes LCDs which constitute articles provided for more specifically in other headings and as these LCDs are without any doubt parts of LCD televisions, they are more specifically covered under 85.29.
(b) The Supreme Court judgment in the case of Secure Meters Ltd. (supra) is not directly applicable to these cases because in that case the dispute was classification of LCDs imported for manufacture of energy meters which were themselves covered under the same chapter (Chapter 90) and therefore attracted Note 2 to Chapter 90 for the purpose of classification while in the present case, Note 2 of Sec. XVI of the Customs Tariff gets attracted.
(c) The identical goods have held to be classifiable under 8529 by European Union.
(d) The Videocon judgment cited by the appellant is not applicable as in that case the goods were liquid crystal panels while the goods involved in these appeals are merely LC panels but LC panels attached with driver, circuit, backlight unit, circuitry PCB and inverter etc. all in a metal casing and thus the goods are not merely LC panels but "LCD modules" which constitute articles provided for more specifically under CTH 8529 as the parts suitable for use solely or principally with LC television.
(3.)We have considered the contentions of both sides. It is a fact that goods imported are not merely liquid crystal panels but articles comprising liquid crystal panel, driver, circuit, backlight unit, circuitry PCB and inverter etc. all in a metal casing. The Revenue calls these articles 'LCD modules'. Therefore there is force in the contention of Revenue that the judgment in the case of Videocon Industries Ltd. (supra), cited by the appellant may not be applicable to the present case as in that case the goods were Liquid Crystal Panels. Nevertheless the first relevant question to answer in this case is whether the goods which the Revenue calls "LCD modules" are Liquid Crystal Devices (LCDs). According to Google, device means "a thing made or adapted for a particular purpose, specially a piece of mechanical or electronic equipment". There is no doubt that the impugned goods (which have liquid crystal panels along with several other components) are made for a particular purpose (for LCD TV) and therefore they are clearly covered under the scope of the expression "liquid crystal device" (LCD). Indeed even the components of the impugned goods like liquid crystal panel, driver, backlight unit, inverter etc. are nothing but devices in their own right and therefore a combination thereof would also be a device and as the impugned goods have liquid crystal panel as one of the components, the impugned goods are clearly liquid crystal devices (LCDs). That the impugned goods (which Revenue calls LCD modules) are LC devices is not seriously contested by Revenue also and therefore any elaboration on this point is shunned. The only issue which now remains to be decided is whether these LCDs are covered CTH 9013 or 8529. The relevant parts of CTH 9013, 8528 and 8529 are reproduced below for convenience:
It is evident that Liquid Crystal Devices (LCDs) are specifically mentioned in CTH 9013. Therefore CTH 9013 would cover them unless it can be demonstrated that they are more specifically provided for in other headings. The Revenue's contention is that CTH 85.29 covers them more specifically because the impugned LCDs are parts suitable for use solely or principally with LCD TV which is covered under Heading 8528. While there is no doubt that these LCDs are parts suitable for use solely or principally with LCD TVs covered under CTH 8528, it has to be determined whether description of CTH 8529 is more specific vis -a -vis the description in CTH 9013 as far as the coverage of LCDs is concerned. CTH 9013 covers LCDs by name. Indeed its sub -heading 9013 80 10 exclusively covers only Liquid Crystal Devices (LCDs) and nothing else. However, there are Liquid Crystal Devices which are known by specific names, for example, LCD television, energy meters (having LCDs) which, though Liquid Crystal Devices, are more specifically covered under 85.28 and 90.28 respectively and therefore would get out of the scope of CTH 9013. Similarly even a watch can be a Liquid Crystal Device but is classified under CTH 9012 being more specifically covered there. Thus there are indeed a number of Liquid Crystal Devices which are provided for more specifically in other headings and are consequently not covered under CTH 9013. However, as stated earlier, CTH 90.13 covers LCDs by name and CTH 9013 80 10 is exclusively carved for LCDs. In contrast, the description of CTH 85.29, "parts suitable for use solely or principally with the apparatus of Heading 8525 to 8528" is general in nature. Thus, while LCDs are specifically mentioned in CTH 9013 which has a sub -heading exclusively for LCDs only, their coverage under CTH 85.29 can be only on the ground that the general description of CTH 8529 would cover LCDs as parts of LCD TV. It is thus obvious that between CTH 9013 and CTH 8529, the impugned LCDs are far more specifically provided for in CTH 9013 than under in CTH 85.29.
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