Doubts have been raised
whether on imports of Ore Concentrate classifiable under Chapter 26 of
the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act, 1975, the benefit that is
admissible to “Ore” under Serial Number 4 of the Notification No. 4/2006
– CE dated 1.3.2006 can be granted to the “Concentrate” of that Ore. The
issue was taken up for discussion during the Conference of Chief
Commissioners of Customs on Tariff and allied matters held in May 2011.
2. The matter related to:
(a) whether the term ‘Ore' includes Concentrate, and (b) Whether
insertion of Chapter Note 4 in the Chapter 26 will have any impact on
the admissibility of notification benefit to Concentrates, was examined.
The Conference noted the HS definitions of Ore and Concentrate are as
“The term ‘ore' applies to
metalliferous minerals associated with the substances in which they
occur and with which they are extracted from the mine; it also
applies to native metals in their gangue (e.g. metalliferous
“The term ‘concentrates' applies to
ores which have had part or all of the foreign matter removed by
special treatments, either because such foreign matter might hamper
subsequent metallurgical operations or with a view to economical
It was also seen that the
recent changes in the Central Excise Tariff treating the concentration
of ore as amounting to manufacture would not in any way change the
definition of Ore or Concentrate for the purpose of classification. This
has been reiterated in a number of judgments and also vide
No.696/12/2003 – CX dated 26.2.2003.
3. In view of Chapter
Note 4 to Chapter 26 of CETA, 1985 inserted vide Finance Act 2011, Ores
and Concentrates are two distinct products. Thus, Concentrates suffer
Central Excise duty being a manufactured product. The implication for
imported Concentrates is that the benefit of exemption of additional
duty of Customs leviable under Section 3 of Customs Tariff Act, 1975 in
terms of a notification that applies only to Ores is no longer available
to Concentrates, even if Concentrates and Ores fall under the same
4. Thus, it is concluded
in the Conference that the benefit of exemption notification under Sr.
No. 4 of the
Notification 4/2006-CE dated 1.3.2006 will be available only to
imported Ores and not to imported Concentrates.
5. Suitable instructions
may be given to the field formation and all pending assessments, if any,
may be finalized accordingly. Difficulty faced, if any, may be brought
to notice of the Board.