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CBP Ruling Changes on Steamers, Storage Cases, Pencils, Toys, Soapstone Cubes

Friday, November 16, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The following proposed revocations and modifications of U.S. Customs and Border Protection classification rulings are included in the Nov. 14, 2018, Customs Bulletin and Decisions. Comments are due no later than Dec. 14.

Wallpaper Strippers. CBP is proposing to reclassify portable steam wallpaper strippers as other electrothermic appliances of a kind used for domestic purposes under HTSUS 8516.79.00 (2.7 percent duty) rather than as immersion heaters under HTSUS 8516.10.0080 (3.7 percent duty). CBP explains that the primary function of these items is the application of steam to fabric and not the heating of water. Ruling NY 898469 would be revoked to reflect this change.

Hard Drive Storage Cases. CBP is proposing to reclassify antistatic storage cases designed to protect computer internal hard drives as other plastic articles under HTSUS 3926.90.99 (5.3 percent duty) rather than as plastic household articles under HTSUS 3924.90.5650 (3.4 percent duty). CBP explains that these items are not strictly or even primarily used in the household and are therefore not similar to the other exemplars listed in Explanatory Note 39.24(C). Ruling NY N287024 would be revoked to reflect this change.

Twistable Colored Pencils. CBP is proposing to reclassify twistable colored pencils as mechanical pencils under HTSUS 9608.40.40 (6.6 percent duty) rather than as crayons or other pencils under HTSUS 9609.10.00 (14 cents per gross + 4.3 percent duty). CBP explains that these items fall squarely within the definition of “pencil” because they consist of a solid marking substance enclosed in a rigid sheath. Further, they have a lead that is moved forward by a mechanical device, which places them in the “twist” category of mechanical pencils. Ruling NY R00817 would be revoked to reflect this change.

Play Food. CBP is proposing to classify plastic play food separately from the plastic backpack in which it is packaged and to classify the backpack as such under HTSUS 4202.92.45 (20 percent duty). Currently the items are classified together as toys under HTSUS 9503.00.00. CBP explains that (a) these items are not packaged together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity and therefore do not constitute a GRI 3(b) set, (b) the backpack is not specially shaped or fitted to contain the play food and is therefore not similar to containers listed in GRI 5(a), and (c) the backpack is suitable for repetitive use and is therefore not packaging eligible to be classified with its contents under GRI 5(b). Ruling PC K88915 would be modified to reflect this change.

Soapstone Cubes. CBP is proposing to reclassify soapstone cubes meant to be frozen and used instead of ice cubes to keep distilled spirits cold as articles of worked monumental or building stone under HTSUS 6802.99.00 (6.5 percent duty) rather than as articles of semiprecious stone under HTSUS 7116.20.4000 (10.5 percent duty) and 7116.20.35 (4.5 percent duty). CBP explains that soapstone is not particularly rare or valuable and is not listed among the gemstones for sale on various websites. In addition, soapstone is a variety of natural steatite, which is specifically provided for as monumental building stone under note 2 to Chapter 68. Rulings NY N245635, HQ 958353, NY 811779, NY B86726, NY H80981, NY N063856, NY N156975, N156155, and NY 811379 would be revoked to reflect this change.

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