KARACHI: The PCT Committee of the Model Customs Collectorate of Appraisement-East has concluded that item declared as “Rubber Seal Strips” is most appropriately classifiable under PCT heading 4008.1190 in terms of Rule(c) to the General Rules for Interpretation.
According to details, Collector, Model Collectorate of Customs (East) had referred a case to the Committee in the light of Findings/Recommendations of Federal Tax Ombudsman in complaint No. 550/LHR/CUS(21)/13552014 dated December 1, 2014.
The case pertained to a consignment of Rubber Seal Strips imported by M/S Shaheen Rubber Store, Lahore against PCT heading 4016.9320 which was assessed by the Collectorate under PCT heading 4008.2110.Cotton Craft (Pvt) Ltd under PCT 2520.1010. The goods were provisionally assessed in PCT 2520.2000. The importer aggrieved with the assessment approached the Federal Tax Ombudsman who vide the Findings/Recommendations mentioned above disposed off the matter on grounds that the complaint was outside the jurisdiction under Section 9(2)(b) of the Ordinance.
The Classification Committee held its meetings on November 11, 2014 and December 22, 2014. The importer and his representative explained that Rubber Seal Strips are used in generators, power looms and allied machinery, etc. for reduction of noise and control of vibration and thus the impugned item could not be termed as component for vehicle.
The Committee examined the representative sealed sample of the item and consulted the Chapter/Section notes and Explanatory Notes. It found importer’s contention not tenable as heading 40.16 covers “other articles of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber” and subheading 4016.9320covers washers and other seals of rubber composed of cellular rubber. Since the item under consideration is not “an article” and is a “strip”, hence it falls outside the scope of definition of article.
The Collectorate’s stance about classification of item under PCT heading 4008.2110 is also not maintainable as the impugned product in question is a strip of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber, being made of cellular rubber, in length and not cut to size. PCT heading 4008.2110 being proposed by the Collectorate restricts the scope of non cellular rubber plates, sheets and strip to use in vehicles of Chapter 87 which includes weather strips for doors and luggage compartments for motor cars of heading 87.03 and vehicles of sub-heading 8703.2113, except weather strip moulding (inner/outer) for glass; weather strips for doors and glass for vehicles of subheading 8704.2190; weather strips for doors for vehicles of sub-heading 8704.3190.
After considering all aspects of the matter the Committee deliberated upon PCT heading 4008.1190 which encompasses in its scope sheets, strips of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber under the description of “Other”.
The Explanatory Notes to Chapter 40.08 cover plates, sheets and strip (having any cross-sectional dimension exceeding 5mm) in length, or merely cut to length or into rectangles (including squares).
Considering the nature of impugned item, the cellular rubber strips are imported in length/rols and their usageis not restricted to doors, glass or luggage compartment of vehicles, for which the cellular rubber strips, should be cut to size as per dimensional requirement of each vehicle. Instead the rubber strips are in length, hence usable in doors, glass or luggage compartment of vehicles as well as in machinery and other items.
In the light of the above facts, the PCT committee concluded that the impugned item is appropriately classifiable under PCT heading 4008.1190 in terms of Rule 3© to the General Rules for Interpretation.
The public notice to this effect dated January 8, 2015 was issued by Additional Collector I, Chairperson Classification Committee Zeba Bashir Ahmed.