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May and Baker (India) Ltd. Vs. Collector of Customs - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtCustoms Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal CESTAT Delhi
Decided On
Reported in(1983)LC2026DTri(Delhi)
AppellantMay and Baker (India) Ltd.
RespondentCollector of Customs
Excerpt:
1. the appellants imported 24,500 copies of printed matter titled "news bulletin". it contained highlights of the second international metronidazole conference anaerobic infection held between april 25-27, 1979. it was assessed to customs duty under heading 49.08/11 of the customs tariff act, 1975. the appellants sought re-assessment at lower rates under heading 49.02. their claim has been rejected by the lower authorities on the ground that the printed matter imported was in the nature of advertising material. in order to appreciate the arguments of the two sides, we reproduce below the text of both the headings : "49.02-newspapers, journals and periodicals, whether or not illustrated. 49.08/11 --transfers (de calcomanias); picture post cards, christmas and other picture greeting cards,.....
Judgment:
1. The appellants imported 24,500 copies of printed matter titled "NEWS BULLETIN". It contained highlights of the Second International Metronidazole Conference Anaerobic Infection held between April 25-27, 1979. It was assessed to Customs duty under heading 49.08/11 of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975. The appellants sought re-assessment at lower rates under heading 49.02. Their claim has been rejected by the lower authorities on the ground that the printed matter imported was in the nature of advertising material. In order to appreciate the arguments of the two sides, we reproduce below the text of both the headings : "49.02-Newspapers, journals and periodicals, whether or not illustrated.

49.08/11 --Transfers (De calcomanias); picture post cards, Christmas and other picture greeting cards, calendars, printed pictures and photographs; other printed matter, including trade catalogues and advertising material." 2. During the hearing before us today, the appellants reiterated that the News Bulletin imported contained highlights of the proceedings of the Geneva Conference. They stressed the point that the brand name "Flagyl", under which the drug Metronidazole was marketed by the appellants, was nowhere mentioned in the News Bulletin. They also stated that this drug was manufactured by a few other manufacturers also, besides the appellants. In reply to a query from the Bench, the appellants stated that the Second Geneva Conference in question was arranged by the appellants. They also stated that the News Bulletin in question was not a periodical.

3. The Department's Representative stated that heading 49.02 applied to newspapers, journals and periodicals which, as commonly understood, were periodicals, published at a regular interval. The News Bulletin imported by the appellants was not a periodical but had been brought out by the appellants to promote the use of the drug Metronidazole manufactured by them. The subject News Bulletin had, therefore, been correctly classified as advertising material. He read out certain Explanatory Notes of the BTN in support of his argument. These Explanatory Notes, we find, have also been cited in the orders of the two lower authorities.

4. We have carefully considered the matter. We agree with the Department's representative that only newspapers, journals and periodicals, which are published at regular interval, alone are covered by heading 49.02. Since the subject News Bulletin was an ad hoc publication brought out specifically to highlight the proceedings of a particular conference, it cannot obviously be classified under heading 49.02. We also find stated in the heading of the subject News Bulletin that it was "published as a Professional Service for May & Baker Ltd." The articles contained in this Bulletin related to the views of various participating doctors on usefulness of the drug Metronidazole. The appellants imported as many as 24,500 copies of the Bulletin, ostensibly for distribution among the medical practitioners in India.

From these facts, it is quite apparent that the whole exercise was to propagate and promote the use of the drug Metronidazole. The lower authorities were, therefore, not in the wrong when they classified the subject Bulletin as advertising material falling under heading 49.08/11. Incidentally, we find that their action finds support also from what is stated in the BTN. Accordingly, we uphold the impugned order and reject this appeal.


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