the Chennai Bench of Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appeal Tribunal (CESTAT) while removing the 1% excise duty, held that embossing the customer’s name on goods does not amount to “branding” if the goods are not sold by customers.

The two member bench consisting of Sulekha Beevi CS (Judicial member) and P.Anjani Kumar (Technical member) noted that as long as the goods are not sold by the customers of the appellant/rated under the brand of which they are manufactured , the these cannot be required to carry a brand name making them liable to duty.

The appellants were manufacturers of gold jewelery and gold coins falling under Chapters 7113 and 7114 of the Central Excise Tariff Act 1985. The appellant manufactured and supplied gold coins to be distributed by the Government of Tamil Nadu under a welfare program undertaken by the also to M/s. Chettinad Cement Corporation Pvt. Ltd., for distribution to their employees.

The department found that the appellant manufactured gold coins bearing the trade name of others and therefore gold manufactured by them was subject to a 1% duty under Notice No. 12 /2012-CE of 17.03.2012 pursuant to Sl. No. 200.

A show cause notice (SCN) was issued to the appellant and was confirmed by the contested order, in which the commissioner confirmed the rights and applied the amount paid to duties and interest and imposed an equal penalty under the Section 11 AC of the Central Excise Act, 1944.

Counsel for the appellant argued that the contracting authority did not assess the alleged Notice No. 12/2012 and that a simple reading of it would indicate that the appellants are entitled to the exemption therein. is contained; the “symbols/marks” in this case are not used in connection with a product, for the purpose of indicating or so as to indicate a connection in the course of trade between the product and a person using this name or this mark with or without indication of the identity of the person; general information like weight, purity, etc., is engraved with the hologram or symbol to their customers.

This is not the case of the department that the government of Tamil Nadu nor Chettinad Cement Corporation Pvt. Ltd., are engaged in the sale of gold coins under the said mark; no sales were affected by said customers; it is solely for identification purposes that the emblem, hologram or symbol has been used. The symbol is only a “housemark” to give identity to gold coins; there has been no commercial/commercial recognition of gold coins by means of the “temple tower symbol” inscribed on coins provided by the Government of Tamil Nadu or the “symbol of Chettinad Cements Corporation Pvt. Ltd.”, inscribed in the gold coins provided to them.

Counsel for the appellant further added that the embossing of symbols “was merely for the purpose of identifying the manufacturer to the general public with respect to the Government of Tamil Nadu and for the same purpose with respect to coins. of gold supplied to Chettinad Cements Corporation Pvt. Ltd.

The court found that what the contracting authority lost sight of was the fact that although the appellants had inscribed/stamped the names of the clients as well as the name of the government. of Tamil Nadu and Chettinad Cements Corporation Pvt. Ltd., it cannot be said to be a “mark” used in the course of the person’s business. It is not the department’s position that any of the appellant’s clients engage in the trade and gold coins bearing their mark. Therefore, the very concept of branded products is not enjoyed in a legal and proper way.

Case title: M/s.Mohanlal Jewelers Pvt. ltd. Versus Commissioner of GST and Central Excise

Quote: Excise Appeal No. 40502 of 2020

Counsel for the Appellant: Lawyer Joseph Prabhakar

Counsel for the Respondent: Superintendent Arul C. Durairaj

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