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2023 (5) TMI 299 - AT - Central Excise
Classification of goods - Zymegold Plus - Dripzyme - classifiable under CTH 3808 as Plant Growth Regulator or under CTH 3101 as Fertilizer? - HELD THAT:- Presence of micronutrients in the products in issue has been taken against the appellants by the learned commissioner. It is interesting to note that plant growth regulators are grouped under CETH 38.08 alongwith other insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and disinfectants, all of which are intended to destroy pathogenic germs, insects, mosses and moulds, weeds, pests to achieve their results. They even considered as pesticides in some parts of the world whereas micronutrients are promoting only growth and health of the plant.
A co-ordinate Bench of the Tribunal in the matter of CCE vs. M/s. Aries Agrovet Industries Ltd.[[2017 (7) TMI 289 - CESTAT HYDERABAD]], while taking note of the job etc. of micronutrients has come to the conclusion that micronutrients cannot modify inhibit retard the growth of plants like plant growth regulators and they only promote normal growth - therefore, the presence of micronutrients in the products in issue before us does not make them plant growth regulator. It is also found support on this from the decision of this Tribunal in the matter of COMMISSIONER OF CENTRAL EXCISE MUMBAI – II VERSUS ARIES AGRO –VET INDUSTRIES LTD [2018 (6) TMI 1070 - CESTAT MUMBAI] in which it has been held that ‘micronutrients’ and ‘macronutrients’ are required for agriculture as fertilizers and ‘micronutrients’ are not plant growth regulators.
The department has taken resort to the definition of ‘fertilizer’ as provided in Fertilizer Control Order, 1985 for changing the classification which, according to us, could not have been done as the definition provided in other statutes, totally unrelated to statute in issue, cannot be made the basis for changing the classification. If the appellants are not complying with or are in violation of any provision of the said order, then it is for the authority mentioned therein to take necessary steps but on that basis the classification cannot be changed at all as the Excise Act is a complete code in itself and the authorities herein have to act within the four corners of the said statute.
The impugned order is liable to be set aside as the products in issue are fertilizers and therefore the appellants have rightly classified their products - Appeal allowed.