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Business Exhibition Services [Sec 65(105)(zzo)]
Effective upto 30th June, 2012
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INTRODUCED: With Effect From 10th September 2004
Relevant Notifications / Circulars
Accounting Code
Service Tax 00440254
Penalty 00441390

According to Section 65 (105) (zzo), any service provided or to be provided to an exhibitor, by an organizer of a business exhibition, in relation to business exhibition, is a ‘taxable service’.

According to Section 65 (19a), ‘business exhibition’ means an exhibition, -

(a) to market; or

(b) to promote; or

(c) to advertise; or

(d) to showcase,

any product or service, intended for the growth in business of the producer or provider of such product or service, as the case may be.

Business exhibition service is a service rendered to an exhibitor by an organizer of a business exhibition that intends to market, promote, advertise or show case products or services for growth in business of the producers or providers of such products or services. Thus, organizers of events such as trade fairs, road shows, fashion shows, display show-cases kept in airports, railway stations, hotels etc. would be covered under this new levy. A display of consumer goods in shops or shopping centres for customers to select and purchase would normally not attract any Service Tax, as normally no separate charges are collected by the shop-keepers for displaying such goods. However, in case an amount is collected for merely displaying an item, the same would be chargeable to Service Tax.


(a)  Small service providers whose aggregate value of taxable services rendered in the previous year has not exceeded the limit of Rs. 10,00,000/-  (Service Tax Notification No. 8/2008-ST dated 01.03.2008)

(b)  Services provided to the United Nations or International Organisations

(c)  Services provided to Special Economic Zones (SEZ) units (including unit under construction) and SEZ developers

(d)  Services which are exported as per ‘Export of Services’ Rules

(e)  Services provided for official or personal use of foreign diplomatic missions and family members of diplomatic missions.

(f)  Services provided by Reserve Bank of India

(g)  Out of total value of service provided proportionate value of goods and material provided by the Service Provider

ISSUE 1: Exhibition Service Vs Event Management Service
Organizers of Trade Fairs and Exhibitions solicit participation from the trade and industry and provide space and other facilities, including furniture, cabins, security, electricity, etc., to display products and provision of services.  Whether services provided by the organizers of trade fairs / exhibitions are covered within the scope of event management service?

ANSWER 1: Trade fairs and exhibitions are organised by persons. Such organisers of trade fairs and exhibitions provide services to exhibitors in relation to business exhibition. Services provided by an organizer of trade fairs and exhibitions to an exhibitor in relation to business exhibition is liable to Service Tax under “Business Exhibition Service” [Section 65(105)(zzo)] w.e.f. 10.09.2004.
In addition, an organiser of the trade fair or business exhibition may engage an event manager to provide service to the organiser in relation to organising trade fairs and exhibitions.  In such cases, the event manager renders the service of “Event Management” to the organisers and is liable to pay Service Tax under “Event Management Service”.
The two services, namely “Business Exhibition Service” and “Event Management Service”, and the two service providers of the respective services are distinct.

ISSUE 2: Business Exhibition Service Vs Advertisement Service
Whether taxable services rendered in relation to a circular, label, documents, hoardings or any other audio visual representation of a product or service falls under “Advertisement Services”?

ANSWER 2: Taxable services rendered in relation to a circular, label, documents, hoardings or any other audio visual representation of a product or service falls under ''advertisement services'', the services relating to actual exhibition or display of the product or services would fall under the category of ''Business Exhibition Services''.

Service Tax Notification No. 18/2004-S.T., dated 10-09-2004. Exemption for services provided prior to 10-09-2004


Service Tax Circular No. 96/7/2007 dated 23-08-2007. Clarification of Scope

Service Tax Circular No. Letter F. No. B2/8/2004-TRU, dated  10-09-2004  S.T. Budget changes for 2004-05 effective from 10-09-2004
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Case Laws Related

  • STO 2013 CESTAT 819
  • Business Exhibition Service: Event Management Service: Adjudicating authority has observed that activities undertaken by the appellants would fall under Event Management Service: Directions issued for partial pre deposit.

  • STO 2013 CESTAT 159
  • Business Exhibition Service: Appellants have not organised any exhibition but have paid for participating in such exhibition: Vast difference between organising and participating in an exhibition: Both the lower authorities have not considered this obvious difference: Matter remanded.

  • STO 2012 CESTAT 643
  • Business Exhibition: Services taken abroad in relation to participation in such exhibition being services totally rendered outside India: Prima facie service tax not payable under 66A: Stay granted.

  • STO 2012 CESTAT 667
  • Business Exhibition: Outside India: Service tax demanded under BAS under reverse charge mechanism: Stay granted.

  • STO 2012 CESTAT 604
  • Business Exhibition Service: Manufacture on behalf of: Period prior to 16.6.2005 to be examined on merits: Directions issued for making pre deposit.

  • STO 2010 CESTAT 570
  • Service Tax: Collection of rent from the business exhibitors: 'Business Exhibition Service': Scope and liability: Waiver of pre-deposit: The exhibitions are not conducted or performed by the appellant on their own, but provided required facilities only. The amounts collected by the appellant are towards rent for hiring of various stalls. The activity undertaken by the appellant by hiring out the facilities, may not get covered under the definition of 'business exhibition' services. Pre-deposit waived(Para 5).

    Stay granted.

  • STO 2009 CESTAT 1403
  • Service Tax: Service of business exhibition: Scope and liability: The Commissioner as the Revisionary Authority concluded that the services of business exhibition can be provided indirectly through an agent, which is, what the appellant has done in this case. It is also his finding that the Karnataka Exhibition Authority is the authority who owns the land which has been leased out. The Karnataka Exhibition Authority had leased out the land having stalls, by way of tender. Leasing stalls and land will not fall under the category of ‘business exhibition services' as held by the ld. Commissioner as the Revisionary Authority. The applicant has made out a prima-facie case for waiver of pre-deposit(Para 6).

    Stay granted.





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