1. When this case was called for hearing on 29-6-83, no one represented the appellants. The appellants' letter dated nil, received on 27-6-83, was brought to our notice in which the appellants have requested that their appeal may be decided on the basis of their revision application (which on transfer to this Tribunal has been taken up as the subject appeal). The Bench, therefore, decided to take up the merits of the case.
2. In this case, the appellants imported rubber aprons made of synthetic rubber. The Department assessed the goods as a manufacture of rubber under heading 40.05/16(1) of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975. The appellants' plea is that the rubber aprons are a part of the carding machine used in the woollen industry, that the rubber apron as such cannot be independently used except as a part of the carding machine, that, therefore, it is immaterial whether it is made of leather or rubber or of any material whatsoever and that accordingly it should be assessed under heading 84.38(1) of the CTA as a part of the carding machine.
3. The Department's representative did not dispute that goods were a part of the carding machine but stated that Note l(a) to Section XVI of the CTA specifically excluded articles of rubber used on machinery from the purview of that section.
4. We have carefully considered the matter. It is not in dispute that the goods were made of synthetic rubber and that they were apart of the carding machine. The appellants' plea to assess the goods under the heading relating to carding machines proceeds on the assumption that all parts of machinery have to be assessed under the appropriate machinery heading. But we find from the Customs Tariff that it contains no such golden rule of universal application. On the contrary, there are numerous section notes and chapter notes in the Tariff which specifically exclude certain parts of machinery from the scope of the machinery chapters and provide for their assessment on the basis of their material composition under other chapters. Note 2 to Section XVI which governs the classification of parts and components under various machinery headings is itself subject to the provisions of other notes which exclude certain parts and components from the scope of the machinery chapters. One such exclusion note is Note 1(a) to Section XVI which says, inter alia, that articles of a kind used on machinery, mechanical or electrical appliances or for other industrial purposes, of un-hardened vulcanized rubber (for example, washers) are excluded from the scope of Section XVI (which encompasses all machinery chapters) and are to be assessed under heading 40.05/16. Section notes and chapter notes are a part of the Customs Tariff and they determine the scope of the respective chapters and headings. In view of the specific provision made in Note l(a) to Section XVI, rubber aprons, even though a part of the carding machine, have to be assessed under heading 40.05/16(1) only. In the circumstances, we uphold the impugned order and reject this appeal.