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Classification Changes for Hangers, Boots, Car Covers, Fruit Products, Dietary Supplements

Monday, July 29, 2019
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The following final revocations and modifications of U.S. Customs and Border Protection rulings are included in the July 24, 2019, Customs Bulletin and Decisions and will be effective with respect to goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after Sept. 23.

For more information on how to seek or utilize classification rulings, please contact customs attorney Deb Stern at (305) 894-1007.

Plastic Hangers

19 USC 1322 and 19 CFR 10.41a allow instruments of international traffic to be released without entry or the payment of duty. CBP states that it has traditionally held that to qualify as an IIT an article must be used as a container or holder in international traffic, substantial, suitable for and capable of repeated use, and used in significant numbers in international traffic.

In rulings HQ H058876 and HQ H079697 CBP designated certain plastic garment hangers as IIT after concluding that they meet these criteria. Apparel items made overseas are placed on these hangers for transportation to the U.S. After the apparel items are purchased at retail the hangers are returned to the company that owns them, which sorts and inspects them and then ships those that are not damaged to foreign manufacturing locations for reuse.

CBP has now issued ruling HQ H300587 to reverse its previous designation and revoke these rulings. CBP explains that to be used as a holder pursuant to the IIT criteria, the plain meaning of the term “hanger” and prior precedent indicate that a garment hanger must physically suspend the underlying garment during transportation. In this case, however, the garments are hung on the hangers but then folded into cardboard boxes for shipment, meaning the garments are not suspended from the hangers during transport.

Women’s Boots

 

CBP is reclassifying women’s fashion boots with a fold-down fleece-like lining under HTSUS 6402.91.70 (90 cents + 37.5 percent duty) rather than under HTSUS 6402.91.4050 (6 percent duty). Ruling HQ H207579 will revoke ruling NY N196436 to reflect this change.

The boots at issue have an inner shaft lined with a fleece-like textile material and an outer sole made up of a rubber or plastic material. The decorative portion of the shaft was designed to be exposed when the shaft is cuffed. The boots feature metal snap buttons that connect the upper portion of the shaft to the mid-quarter of the boot. Once folded down the approximately three-inch exposed shaft is secured by the buttons.

CBP previously reasoned that the upper portion of the boots was not designed to be cuffed and therefore concluded that the textile materials constituted less than ten percent of the external surface area of the upper. However, CBP now states that these boots meet three of the four factors it has previously set forth as indicating that a boot is intended to be cuffed.

Textile Car Covers

CBP is reclassifying textile car covers as other made up articles under HTSUS 6307.90.98 (7 percent duty) rather than as motor vehicle parts and accessories under HTSUS 8708.99.50 (3.1 percent duty). CBP explains that the covers are not parts because they are not essential, constituent, or integral to the vehicle, nor are they accessories because they do not directly affect the car’s operation or contribute to the car’s effectiveness. Ruling HQ H260066 will revoke rulings NY 864763, NY 866826, and HQ 088040 to reflect this change.

Fruit Products

CBP is reclassifying fruit products containing pineapple and mango with lime juice and pineapple and banana with lime juice as mixtures of dried fruits otherwise prepared or preserved under HTSUS 0813.50.00 (14 percent duty) and to hold that they are entitled to duty-free treatment under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. CBP had previously classified these items as other fruit mixtures under HTSUS 2008.97.1040 (5.6 percent duty) or 2008.97.9094 (14.9 percent duty) and found that they were not eligible for duty-free treatment under AGOA. Ruling HQ H298338 will modify rulings NY N293259 and NY N296311 to reflect this change.

Dietary Supplement

CBP is reclassifying a dietary supplement that provides weight management under HTSUS 2106.90.98 (6.4 percent duty) rather than under HTSUS 2101.20.90 (8.5 percent duty). Ruling HQ H295066 is modifying ruling NY N293615 to reflect this change.

This product contains approximately 59 percent green tea extract and 18 percent guarana. CBP explains that heading 2101 provides for preparations based on extracts of coffee, tea, or mate, with added starches or other carbohydrates, and presented in lump, granular, or powder form. While this supplement meets the first criterion it does not meet the second two.

CBP also states that heading 2106 provides for food supplements based on extracts from plants and containing mixtures of chemicals designed to improve some of the supplements’ characteristics. In this case the tea extract is a plant extract, guarana is a plant ingredient, and several other of the supplement’s ingredients are used to improve its characteristics.

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