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 Case Digest


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Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985
Chapter Heading 3003.10 of the First Schedule
Chapter Heading 3003.10 of the First Schedule
Whether Vaseline Intensive Care Heel Guard (for short, 'VHG') is to be treated as merely a skin care preparation or it is a medicament having curing properties - In the instant case, the issue before the SC was "Whether Vaseline Intensive Care Heel Guard ('VHG) is to be treated as merely a skin care preparation or it is a medicament having curing properties. If it is only a skin care preparation then VHG is classifiable under Chapter Heading 3304.00 of the First Schedule to the Act". The SC held that the Vaseline Intensive Care Heel Guard, is marketed as a solution for cracked heels and it is claimed that this solution is specially developed by the scientists at Vaseline Research. The Tribunal, while deciding that the product is a medicament, pointed out that the product was formulated and essentially used for treatment of 'cracked heels', protection from further cracks in the human heels due to extreme climatic conditions and low humidity, constant exposure of feet to water and due to absence of shoe or other protection while walking. It also found that the product was manufactured under a drug licence as drug authorities had treated the same as a medicament. The Tribunal also found that the usage of the product was related to the effect of therapeutic or mitigating substance of prophylactic substances added. Thus, the effect of mitigation of an external condition is primary effect and the effect of smoothing the skin was secondary in nature and, therefore, it was to be treated as a medicament and classified under Chapter 30. The decision of the Tribunal holding the product in question to be a medicament and, therefore, covered by Chapter Heading 3003.10 is perfectly justified and does not call for any interference. Appeal was dismissed.
Commissioner of Central Excise, Chennai-IV Vs. Hindustan Lever Limited, Supreme Court of India, Civil Appeal No. 1941 of 2006, D/d 25.8.2015

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