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CBP Ruling Revocations and Modifications on Beds, Jewelry, Auto Parts, Cheese, Etc.

Monday, June 20, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The following proposed or final revocations and modifications of U.S. Customs and Border Protection rulings are included in the June 15, 2016, Customs Bulletin and Decisions. Comments on the proposed revocations and modifications are due no later than July 15 and the final revocations and modifications will be effective for goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after Aug. 15.

Polyetheramine. CBP is proposing to reclassify JEFFAMINE D-2000 polyetheramine as an other polyether under HTSUS 3907.20.0000 (6.1 percent duty) rather than as an other synthetic polymer under HTSUS 3911.90.9010 (6.5 percent duty). CBP explains that this product both meets the definition of a polymer and has an average of at least five monomer units. Ruling NY N255361 would be revoked to reflect this change.

Bed Components. CBP is proposing to reclassify a headboard, footboard and side rails of a twin poster bed when shipped separately as wood furniture under HTSUS 9403.90.70 (duty-free) rather than as wooden bedroom furniture under HTSUS 9403.50.9045 (duty-free). CBP states that these articles constitute an unassembled article of wooden bedroom furniture when imported together but do not when shipped separately; no further explanation is provided. Ruling NY N220458 would be modified to reflect this change.

Mozzarella Cheese. CBP is proposing to reclassify mozzarella cheese made from water buffalo milk as other fresh cheese under HTSUS 0406.10.95 (8.5 percent duty) rather than as other cheese under 0406.90.8075 (10 percent duty). Rulings HQ 956094 and NY 870353 would be revoked to reflect this change.

Similarly, CBP is proposing to reclassify mozzarella cheese made from cow’s milk as other fresh cheese under HTSUS 0406.10.84 (10 percent duty; except if the quantitative limits of that subheading have been exceeded, in which case the cheese is classified under HTSUS 0406.10.88, $1.509/kg plus additional duty rates specified in HTSUS 9904.06.38-9904.06.49, as applicable) rather than as other cheese containing cow’s milk under HTSUS 0406.90.95 (10 percent duty). Rulings HQ 957175 and NY E83545 would be modified to reflect this change.

In both cases CBP explains that mozzarella is eaten while fresh and that Explanatory Note 04.06 specifically names mozzarella as a type of fresh cheese.

Commemorative Gold Rounds. CBP is proposing to reclassify commemorative gold rounds as goldsmiths’ wares under HTSUS 7114.19.00 (7.9 percent duty) rather than as other articles of gold under HTSUS 7115.90.3000 (3.9 percent duty). CBP explains that these items (a) are similar to medals and medallions in that they are for decorative or ornamental use and (b) have no technical or laboratory use. Rulings NY N260757 and NY N260343 would be revoked to reflect this change.

Plastic Pipes. CBP is proposing to reclassify a specially designed portion of drain pipe that allows a dishwasher drain to be connected directly to a drain assembly as a plastic fitting under HTSUS 3917.40.00 (5.3 percent duty) rather than as a rigid plastic pipe under HTSUS 3917.22.0000 (3.1 percent duty). CBP explains that this piece is eight inches long and that for more than 25 years it has relied on the plumbing trade practice that cut-to-length steel pipe sections less than 12 inches in length are regarded as fittings and not tubes or pipes. Ruling NY N235599 would be modified to reflect this change.

Jewelry Charms. CBP is proposing to reclassify jewelry charms containing cubic zirconia stones as jewelry of semiprecious stones under HTSUS 7116.20.0580 (3.3 percent duty) rather than as other imitation jewelry under HTSUS 7117.19.9000 (11 percent duty). CBP explains that the charms are articles of personal adornment, that cubic zirconia qualifies as a semiprecious stone, and that articles with semiprecious stones affixed cannot be described as imitation jewelry. Ruling NY N053948 would be modified to reflect this change.

Auto Parts. CBP is modifying rulings NY N263924 and NY N260230 to state that auto parts imported into the U.S., shipped to Mexico for packing into retail packaging and reimported into the U.S. are not exempt from duties as U.S. goods returned without having been advanced in value or improved in condition under HTSUS 9801.00.20. One of the criteria for qualifying for such treatment is that the goods are reimported by or for the account of the person who imported them into and exported them from the U.S. In this case, however, the company claiming duty-free treatment purchased many of the parts after their initial importation from distributors who paid the respective duties and there was no indication that the distributors were acting as agents by or for the account of the claimant.

Fishing Rod Holders. CBP is withdrawing a March 2015 proposal to reclassify fishing rod holders with boat mounts as other plastic articles under HTSUS 3926.90.99 (5.3 percent duty). As a result, these items will remain classified as parts and accessories of fishing rods under HTSUS 9507.10.0000 (6 percent duty) and ruling NY R00811 will not be modified. CBP said it has determined the latter classification is proper but offered no explanation.

Plastic Sheeting. CBP is reclassifying woven polypropylene/polyethylene sheeting coated on either one or two sides with a plastic film or laminated to a paper backing as other articles of loofah under HTSUS 4602.90.0000 (3.5 percent duty) rather than as plaits and similar articles of plaiting materials under HTSUS 4601.99.9000 (3.3 percent duty). CBP explains that the coating of such sheeting is a level of manufacturing that is beyond the scope of heading 4601 and that it has consistently classified such sheeting under heading 4602. Ruling HQ H230079 will revoke rulings NY N213335, NY N213337 and NY N213340 reflect this change.

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