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CBP Moves to Revoke or Modify Rulings on Classification, Origin Marking, Duty Exemption

Wednesday, September 30, 2015
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 Sept. 30, 2015, Customs Bulletin and Decisions. Comments on the proposed revocations and modifications are due no later than Oct. 30 and the final revocations and modifications will be effective for goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after Nov. 30.

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Fly-Trapping Glue Boards. CBP is proposing to reclassify fly-trapping glue boards that consist of sheets of paperboard with an adhesive on one side as fly ribbons under HTSUS 3808.91.10 (2.8 percent duty) rather than as other insecticides put up as preparations or articles under HTSUS 3808.91.50 (5 percent duty). CBP explains that these items are a form of fly paper, a term that is interchangeable with fly ribbons. Ruling NY N238867 would be revoked to reflect this change.  

Tires. CBP is proposing to reclassify tires for use on earthmover equipment described as large dump trucks as tires of a kind used on construction or industrial handling vehicles and machines under HTSUS 4011.62 or 4011.63 (duty-free), 4011.93 (4 percent duty) or 4011.94 (3.4 percent duty) rather than as tires of a kind used on trucks under HTSUS 4011.20 (3.6 to 4.0 percent duty). CBP explains that the vehicles for which these tires are used are not trucks but instead are construction or industrial handling machines because they are used for off-road applications such as construction and mining. Rulings HQ 958100 and HQ 959730 would be modified, and ruling HQ 966360 would be revoked, to reflect this change.

BBQ Wood Chips. CBP is proposing to reclassify flavored barbecue wood chips containing a mixture of wood shavings and a mixture of herbs and spices in a gelatin base as other sawdust and wood waste and scrap under HTSUS 4401.39.40 (duty-free) rather than as other articles of wood under HTSUS 4421.90.90.40 (5.1 percent duty). CBP explains that since both the wood chips and the herbs and spices provide flavoring, which is the primary purpose of the product, it cannot determine which gives the product its essential character. CBP then turns to GRI 3(c) to classify the product under the heading that occurs last in numerical order. Ruling HQ 951145 would be revoked to reflect this change.

Solar Panels. CBP is proposing to revoke rulings NY R00721 and NY N047417 relating to the country of origin marking under NAFTA of solar panels manufactured in Mexico from solar cells and other components from Japan and the U.S. Ruling NY R00721 held that the solar panels are goods of Mexico for marking purposes because they meet the tariff shift requirement set out in the NAFTA marking rules, while ruling NY N047417 advised that if the countries of origin of the components used in the assembly process are included, the countries of all the components must be provided. CBP now holds that the solar panels’ country of origin for marking purposes is Japan because the panels do not undergo the required change in tariff classification as a result of the operations in Mexico and the single material or component that imparts the essential character to the panels is the solar cell, which originates in Japan.

Copper Sheets. CBP is proposing to reverse its determination that copper or copper alloy sheet produced abroad from scrap generated by the processing of foreign-made metal in the U.S. is not eligible for the partial duty exemption under HTSUS 9802.00.60. Ruling HQ 540430 would be revoked to reflect this change.

Fireplace Mantels. CBP is reclassifying freestanding wooden fireplace mantels as other furniture under HTSUS 9403.60.80 (duty-free) rather than as other articles of wood under HTSUS 4421.90.97. CBP explains that, similar to the exemplars listed in the Explanatory Notes to heading 9403, which include cabinets, chests and tables, the mantels’ wooden frame and secondary shelving provide for the storage of supplies related to the article’s primary function. Ruling HQ H129856 will revoke ruling NY N057275 to reflect this change.

Craft Kits. CBP is reclassifying four “mess-free glitter” craft kits for children as toys under HTSUS 9503.00.0073 (duty-free) rather than classifying the items of these kits individually. CBP explains that these kits are clearly marketed toward children to inspire imaginative thinking through play, are sold primarily in toy stores or in other normal commercial channels for toys, are understood by children to be used as toys, and are used to produce objects that have little to no economically practical use beyond that of a plaything. Ruling HQ H258767 will modify ruling NY N255938 to reflect this change.

Sponge Art Set. CBP is issuing ruling HQ H194138 to modify ruling HQ 957131 by amending the reasoning for its classification of a sponge art set composed of six shaped sponges, six jumbo glitter watercolor paints, six sheets of coated paper and one artist brush. CBP classified this product, including the coated paper packaged with the set, as a set under HTSUS 3213.10.0000 (6.5 percent duty) by application of GRI 1. It is now CBP’s position that the product may not be classified as a GRI 1 set because the plain language of heading 3213 does not include any reference to sheets of paper or other media onto which the user will paint. Instead, the product is properly classified under HTSUS 3213.10.0000 by application of GRI 3(b) because the watercolor glitter paint provides the essential character of the product.

Planters. CBP is reclassifying planters made from mixtures of coir with adhesive substances as worked, unhardened gelatin and articles of unhardened gelatin under HTSUS 9602.00.50 (2.7 percent duty) rather than as other vegetable products under HTSUS 1404.90.9090 (duty-free) or coconut and other vegetable fibers not elsewhere specified or included under HTSUS 5305.00.00 (duty-free). CBP explains that while these products contain vegetable matter they are more specifically described by the manner in which this material is worked. Ruling HQ 122355 will revoke rulings NY N020080 and N010591 to reflect this change.

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