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CESTAT: Blending & Crushing 'Iron Ore' Does Not Result Into 'Concentrates', Allows Importer Benefit Of Exemption

12 Aug 2022 8:49 AM GMT
CESTAT: Blending & Crushing Iron Ore Does Not Result Into Concentrates, Allows Importer Benefit Of Exemption

CESTAT Mumbai holds that process of crushing and screening 'Iron Ore' after mining and its subsequent blending with 5-10% iron ore concentrate would result in the classification of goods imported under CTI 2601 11 31 as 'Iron Ore' fines and not Iron Ore concentrates under CTI 2601 11 50, hence, entitled for exemption benefit from CVD payment under Sr. No. 56 of Notification No. 12/2010-CE dated March 17, 2012; Observing the lack of definition for 'concentrates' except in Chapter Note 4 to the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985, the position clarified in Circular No. 9/2012-Cus dated March 23, 2012, and SC ruling in National Minerals Development Corporation, CESTAT derives that "iron ore concentrate refers to an ore that has been subjected to special processes for removal of all or part of the foreign matter i.e. gangue contained in the ore, with which it naturally occurs" and "ores that have been merely subjected to the processes of crushing and screening, cannot be said to have been concentrated"; Further, derives that these special process are milling with hydraulic separation, magnetic separation, processes of concentrate thickening are, inter alia, as contemplated by the Circular; Asserts that "both, the show cause notice and the impugned order, have in passing, contended that processes, beyond crushing and screening, have been undertaken on the Iron Ore" but "no evidence has been led to even suggest, let alone prove, that other processing had taken place.." and holds, "The burden to prove that processes beyond crushing and screening had been carried out was on the Revenue, but it failed to establish.."; Hence, noting that burden of proof has not been discharged by the Revenue and that CBIC has itself in the Circular dated February 17, 2012 clarified that crushing and screening are mere preparatory processes and do not tantamount to concentrating an ore, confirms assessee's classification as correct while setting aside the impugned order : Mumbai CESTAT

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