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Bicycle Child Carrier Not Classified in Duty-Free Provision, Court Rules

Thursday, July 11, 2019
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Court of International Trade ruled July 9 that a bicycle child carrier is properly classified as a bicycle accessory under HTSUS 8714.99.80 (10 percent duty). The CIT rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the carriers are seats under HTSUS 9401.80.40 (duty-free).

The product at issue attaches to a bicycle via a supporting bar attached to the handlebar and seat post of an adult bicycle. Its sole purpose is to allow a child to ride on an adult’s bicycle, situated between the adult seat and the handlebars.

The plaintiff argued that the carriers are classifiable under both heading 8714 and heading 9401 and that the latter heading is more specific. The plaintiff cited Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(c), which provides that in the absence of special language or context, a provision for parts of an article covers products solely or principally used as a part of such articles, but a provision for parts and accessories will not prevail over a specific provision for such part or accessory. Finally, the plaintiff asserted that classification should be determined by General Rule of Interpretation 3(a), which provides for classification under the most specific of two or more eligible provisions.

However, the CIT pointed out that Note 1(h) to HTSUS Chapter 94 provides that articles of heading 8714 are precluded from classification in this chapter. This note constitutes the sort of “special language or context” mentioned in ARI 1(c), the court said, and therefore renders it inapplicable. The carriers are thus classifiable under heading 8714 pursuant to GRI 1.

For more information on tariff classification issues, please contact customs attorney Deb Stern at (305) 894-1007.

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