Nimbooz classified under Category of Fruit Juice based Drinks and not Lemonade, No GST payable: CESTAT [Read Order]

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The Allahabad Bench of Customs, Excise, and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) held that Nimbooz was classified under the category of fruit juice-based drinks and not Lemonade so no GST payable.

The appellants, M/s Varun Beverages Limited manufacture beverages such as ‘Nimbooz by 7 UP’ and ‘Nimbus Masala Soda by 7 UP’ and classified them under chapter heading 22029020 (fruit pulp or fruit juice based drinks) of the First Schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985 (CETA). Revenue disputed the classification opening that these beverages are classified under Chapter Heading 22021020 and not under CTH 22029020, as claimed by the appellant and hence liable to excise duty as Lemonade. The period involved is February 2009 to December 2013 and is covered under two successive show-cause notices.

Similar issue had arisen earlier also in appellant’s own case and others before this Tribunal, and vide Final Order dated 15.07.2019, this Tribunal referred the order to the Larger Bench decision of this Tribunal dated 30.04.2019, – 2019 (29) GSTL 418 (L.B.) wherein it has been held that these goods under dispute are classifiable under tariff item No. 22029020, which is for the category of fruit pulp or fruit juice-based drinks.

The coram of Judicial Member, Anil Choudhary, and Technical Member, P. Anjani Kumar while upholding the decision of the larger bench held that these goods under dispute are classifiable under tariff item No. 22029020. The appellant is entitled to consequential benefits, in accordance with the law.

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