The Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), established under the Food Safety Standards Authority of India Act, is responsible for the regulation of food products in India and is governed by the guidelines issued under the act. To standardize food regulations, the government introduced the Food Safety and Standards (Standards for Foodstuffs and Food Additives) Regulations 2011. This regulation includes provisions for dairy products, oils, fruits and vegetables, cereals, confectionery, non-dairy products and fruit and vegetable drinks.

The table below lists the microbiological requirements for lime and lemon in heat-treated canned, bottled, flexible and/or aseptically packaged fruit drinks/fruit drinks/ready-to-serve fruit drink additives) and carbonated fruit drinks or fruit drinks made from fruit juice and water. or sparkling water containing sugar:

According to FSSAI regulations, if the drink contains a fruit content > 10% (5% in the case of lemon), this drink must be considered a fruit-based drink and classified under Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs. 99 20 and is taxable at 12%.

However, if the drink contains a fruit content 5% but

In 2013, “Nimbooz” was launched by PepsiCo under its brand, 7Up. It has been described as a drink made with real lemon juice, with no fizziness or artificial flavors. This has led to a debate over its categorization, whether Nimbooz should be considered a lemonade or a fruit juice/juice made from fruit pulp.

The company was asked to pay the duty from February 2009 to December 2013 in the form of lemonade.

The Commissioner of Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax, Hyderabad – I Commissionerate had passed an order dated 31.03.2015, that, differential duty amounting to Rs. 11,34,506/- on Nimbooz which was removed during the period from April 2013 to December 2013 with interest and penalties but the proposed claim beyond the normal limitation period was not confirmed. As a result, two appeals were filed, including one by M/S Aradhana Foods to set aside the commissioner’s order. The second appeal was filed by the Commissioner of Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax, Hyderabad-I, to have part of the Commissioner’s order set aside. Nimbooz, according to the appellants, should have been classified under CETH 2022 10 20 of the First Schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act 1985.

Now Aradhana Foods and Juices Pvt. Ltd (Aradhana) approached the Supreme Court of India and challenged the order of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appeal Tribunal of Allahabad (CESTAT) in which it was ruled that ‘Nimbooz’ would be classifiable under the Central Excise Tariff Act as ‘drinks made from fruit pulp or fruit juice’.

Aradhana maintained that the “Nimbooz” could be classified under the heading “Lemonade”. Commerce, on the other hand, argued that the product merited classification as “drinks made from fruit pulp or fruit juice.” Now the question raised before the Apex Court for consideration is whether ‘Nimbooz’ can be classified under the item ‘lemonade’ or ‘fruit pulp or fruit juice drinks? »

A bench of judges consisting of two judges, MR Shah and BV Nagarathna, agreed to hear the motion filed to determine the excise duty on the beverage and asked the parties to submit their counter certificates in April 2022.

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