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No Ambiguity on Classification of ‘Sarees’: CBEC confirms Applicability of Chapter 52 on ‘Sarees’ [Read Circular]

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The Central Board of Excise and Customs, recently clarified that there cannot be any confusion among the classification of ‘sarees’ when chapter 52 of the Central Excise Tariff Act clearly provides for sarees made out of different fabrics as mentioned in it. The Board on Tuesday, issued a circular clarifying the same.

The Board had received several representations seeking clarification on the question that “whether the goods described as “Saree” which has undergone further processing such as embroidery, stitching of lace and tikki etc. and stitched with two or more kinds of fabrics is classifiable as “Saree” under Chapter 54 or as made-ups under Chapter 63 of the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985.”

In this regard, it is stated that “Saree” has been specifically classified under  Chapter 50, 52 and 54 of the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985 depending upon the material of the fabrics. Further, even after stitching, embroidery work and fixing of falls etc., a “saree‟ remains fabrics only as no new item emerges having distinct name, character and use. Stitching of two or more different kinds of fabrics also does not take away its classification from heading 50, 52 or 54 as in that case, by virtue of Section note 2(A) of Section XI, such “saree‟ will be classifiable under the heading as if consisting wholly of that one textile material which predominates by weight over any other single textile material. In case no one textile material predominates by weight, “saree‟ is to be classified as if consisting wholly of that one textile material which is covered by the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.”

According to the new circular, chapter 63 covers “Other made up textile articles; sets; worn clothing and worn textile articles; rags‟ which is a more general description. However, the term “saree‟ is not specifically classified in this chapter and therefore application of Rule 3(a) [refer para 2] would take out “Saree‟ outside the ambit of chapter 63.

“In view of above, it is clarified that “Saree‟ which has undergone further processing such as embroidery, stitching of lace and tikki etc. and stitched with two or more kinds of fabrics will be classifiable as “Saree” under Chapter 50, 52 and 54 of the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985 depending upon the material of the fabrics, and not as made-ups under Chapter 63 of the said Act. Each case may be decided on the basis of facts of the case and where further processing of “Saree‟ does not change the essential characteristics of the fabric as that of “Saree”, it should continue to be classified as ‘Saree’, the circular said.

Read the full text of the Circular below.

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