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Ruling Revocations and Modifications on Foods, Auto Parts, Pillowcases, Etc.

Monday, March 14, 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 March 9, 2016, Customs Bulletin and Decisions. Comments on the proposed revocations and modifications are due no later than April 8 and the final revocations and modifications will be effective for goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after May 9.

Prepared Nuts. CBP is modifying rulings NY E87234, NY F88926, NY H84143, NY H82352, NY R02589 and NY N228118 to reverse its previous determinations and find that raw nuts of foreign origin imported into Canada and subject to various processes there (e.g., roasting, blanching, salting) before being exported to the U.S. do not qualify for preferential tariff treatment under NAFTA and, in applicable cases, do not qualify to be marked as goods of a NAFTA country.

Cereal Bars. CBP is proposing to reclassify a name brand cereal bar as a chocolate and other food preparation containing cocoa under HTSUS 1806.32.90 (6.0 percent duty) rather than as a sugar confectionery not containing cocoa under HTSUS 1704.90.3550 (5.6 percent duty). CBP explains that while the cereal bar does have the character of a sugar confectionery it also contains a small amount of cocoa, which excludes it from classification under heading 1704. Further, the bar is excluded from classification as a food preparation under HTSUS 1904.10.00 because it has the character of sugar confectionery and as other food preparations under HTSUS 2106.90 because it is specifically provided for in heading 1806. Ruling NY N211715 would be modified to reflect this change.

Auto Parts. CBP is proposing to modify 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.

Baby Wipe Case. CBP is proposing to reclassify a refillable plastic case for baby wipes as a container with an outer surface of plastic sheeting under HTSUS 4202.92.9060 (17.6 percent duty) rather than as an other container under HTSUS 4202.99.9000 (20.0 percent duty). CBP notes that because the case is made of plastic sheeting rather than molded plastic, as inaccurately stated in the contested ruling, it is specifically provided for in HTSUS subheading 4202.92. Ruling NY N247516 would be revoked to reflect this change.


Medical Apparatus. CBP is reclassifying a tube string subassembly of a surgical instrument as other parts and accessories of electro-medical instruments and appliances under HTSUS 9018.90.75 (duty-free) rather than as parts and accessories of electro-surgical apparatus under HTSUS 9018.90.60. CBP explains that this apparatus does not serve to perform a surgical procedure by virtue of its electronic operation. Ruling HQ H152456 will revoke HQ 085366 to reflect this change.

Flocked Heat Transfers. CBP is reclassifying flocked heat transfers and textile/PVC material designed for transferring images to fabric or other surfaces as other transfers (decalcomanias) under HTSUS 4908.90.00 (duty-free) rather than as textile flock under HTSUS 5601.30.00 (0.5 percent duty) or other textile fabrics coated with plastics under HTSUS 5903.10.2500 (8 percent duty). CBP explains that it considers the subject goods to be printed matter because they are manufactured using machinery similar to that used in printing with ink and are used in the same manner as heat transfers made from other media (i.e., ink). Ruling HQ H265493 will revoke rulings NY J81335, NY J80560 and NY E85712 to reflect this change.

Pillowcases.CBP is reclassifying two pillowcases of 100 percent cotton woven fabric that are packaged in a small self-fabric bag as other napped bed linen under HTSUS 6302.31.70 (3.8 percent duty) rather than as cotton pillowcases under HTSUS 6302.31.9010 (6.7 percent duty). CBP explains that while only some fibers have been raised from the surface of the fabric, the level of napping is still visible to the eye and has been accomplished through the brushing process that is necessary for the formation of all napping. Ruling HQ H242650 will revoke ruling NY N239270 to reflect this change.

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