Gujarat Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling upheld the decision of AAR; classified agricultural hand operated drum under HSN 8436, liable to GST at 12% rate


Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling (Gujarat): In an appeal for determining the Harmonised System of Nomenclature code (HSN) and applicable tax on the appellant’s product, the two-member bench of Milind Torawane and Vivek Ranjan upheld the decision of the Gujarat Authority for Advance Ruling that the appellant’s product is classified at HSN 8436 tariff item and liable to GST at 12% rate, and observed that as the appellant’s product is in its use, as well as its function is described under the said HSN Code, thus it is covered within the description provided under the said code.

The issue in this case was the classification of the product, namely, “Agricultural manually hand operated Seed dressing, Coating and Treating drum” and to decide applicable rate of GST on the same.

The Appellant submitted that only because their product consists of drum in which seeds are coated with chemicals before sowing, is not a correct base to classify their product under HSN Code 8436 as under this code, the machinery operates with use of additional power of mechanical or thermal kind. Whereas their product is not fitted with any mechanical or thermal equipment but it is rotated by hand and opened or closed by hand. Thus, it should either be classified under HSN 8201 which attracts Nil rate of GST where manually operated agriculture or animal driven tools are classified or under HSN 8437 which attracts 5% rate of GST where machinery for cleaning, sorting or grading of seed or grain is included.

The Authority observed that the classification of goods under GST regime has to be done in accordance with the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 (CTA) based on Harmonised system of Nomenclature However, once an item is classified in accordance with the CTA, the rate of tax applicable would be arrived at on the basis of notifications issued under GST by the respective Governments. Moreover, HSN 8201 includes tools which are used in hand like shovels, forks, etc. having a working blade, edge and surface, thus, manually operated seed dressing drum of the appellant cannot be classified under this heading. It was further viewed that HSN 8437 includes machines for cleaning sorting or grading seeds, grains etc. other than farm type machinery used by farmers during agriculture to cover, coat and treat chemicals on seeds before sowing.

The Authority took note of the explanatory notes to HSN 8436, which explains the scope of the entry, and viewed that other agricultural machinery includes seed dusting machines consisting of a revolving drum in which the seeds are coated with insecticidal or fungicidal powders, further, the appellants machinery is used to cover and coat chemicals over seeds or grains before sowing to increase their germination and immunity against disease. Moreover, the appellant’s product is agricultural machinery, and the same is farm-type machinery. Thus, it is covered under the heading 8436 and is liable to GST at 12% rate.

[Adarsh Plant Protect Ltd., In Re, Application No. AR/SGST & CGST/2021/AR/12, decided on 26.08.2022]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Present for the appellant: Shri Atish Patel and Shri Ketan Maheshwari.

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