1. The goods involved in this case are "Castings in semi-finished condition for manufacture of Motor vehicles CKD Motor vehicle parts - Rear Axle housing (Iron castings)", as per the description given in the relevant Bill of Entry. The appellants are aggrieved of countervailing customs duty being charged on these goods under Item 25 of the Central Excise Tariff. This item covers, inter alia, "iron cast in any other shape or size". During the hearing before us today, the appellants maintained that the subject goods, after being cast, underwent further processes of annealing, straightening, buffing and rough machining and surface protection by metallic or non-metallic coatings in the foreign country before being shipped to India. They stated that after these processes, the goods ceased to be mere iron cast in any shape or size and became semi-finished articles which were not covered (SIC) goods at the material time, the goods were free from countervailing duty. The Departments' representative stated that the further processes which the goods underwent in the foreign country were not such as would convert that into another identifiable article and that the goods still remained iron castings only. He added that the expression "iron cast in any other shape or size", being a general one, would include all varieties of iron castings (ECR 1983-65 D-BOM).
2. We have carefully considered the matter. We agree with the Departments' representative that the further processes mentioned by the appellants which the subject goods reportedly undergo in the foreign country are such as would not convert iron castings into another identifiable article and these processes are in the nature of cleaning and strengthening of the iron castings. The machining which they undergo is only rough machining to give a smooth surface. The real processing or machining which would convert the iron casting into motor vehicle parts takes place after importation of the castings into India.
In view of these facts, we hold that the subject goods were covered by Item 25 CET and were correctly charged to countervailing duty thereunder. Accordingly we reject this appeal.