MP AAR | Can ‘Fried Fryums’ be equated with ‘Papad’? Authority determines correct classification

Authority for Advance Ruling, Madhya Pradesh (AAR): A Division Bench of Virendra Kumar Jain Choubey and Manoj Kumar, Members, examined the classification of Fried Fryums of different shapes, sizes and varieties which are ready to eat and in regard to the HSN Code and GST rate applicable on such goods manufactured.

Applicant through the present application sought correct classification of ‘Papad’ and ‘Papad Fryums’ of different shapes, sizes and varieties (commonly known as Fried Fryums). The applicant is involved in the activity of manufacturing and selling of the said ready-to-eat product.

Further, at the time of the hearing, the applicant reframed the question as follows:

What is the correct classification of Fried fryums of different shapes, sizes and varieties which are ready to eat and What is the HSN Code and GST rate applicable on such goods manufactured?

The officer concerned stated that the Fried Fryums will be classified under Tariff 2016 90.

Decision & Analysis

Bench noted that the main issue is with regard to the classification of Fried Fryums and the GST rate applicable to it.

As the applicant tried to equate Fried Fryums with Papad, it is important to know what ‘Papad’ is:

Papad as such has not been defined under Customs Tariff Act, 1975, GST Act or the Notification issued under the CGST Act, 2017/MGGST Act, 2017.

As per the settled principle of interpretation of statute, word not defined in the statute must be construed in its popular sense, the sense which people conversant with the subject matter with which the statute is dealing would attribute to it.

Observation

Fried Fryums are eatable and used as food articles or eatables and such fried, salted Fryums are found to be commonly known and used as ‘Namkin’ ‘papad’ even after roasting or frying are known and used as ‘Papad’ only.

Whereas, in commercial or trade parlance also, the ‘Fried Fryums’ cannot be said to be known as ‘Papad’.

Hence, Fried Fryums cannot be equated with ‘Papad’.

Authority ruled that Fried Fryums will be classified under Tariff Item No. 2106 90 99 and GST Rate of 18% (CGST 9% or IGST 18%) will be applicable to the said product. [Alisha Foods, In Re., 2019 SCC OnLine MP AAR-GST 91, decided on 28-11-2019]

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