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CBP Ruling Changes on Flashing Buttons, Ceramic Beads, Pipe Fittings, Decorative Charms

Thursday, October 18, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The following proposed or final revocations and modifications of U.S. Customs and Border Protection classification rulings are included in the Oct. 3, 2018, Customs Bulletin and Decisions. Comments on the proposed changes are due no later than Nov. 2 and the final changes are effective with respect to goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after Dec. 3.

Electronic Flashing Buttons. CBP is proposing to reclassify electronic flashing buttons that are considered novelty items to be worn on festive occasions as plastic imitation jewelry under HTSUS 7117.90.75 (duty-free) rather than as other electrical apparatus under HTSUS 8543.70.9650 (2.6 percent duty). CBP explains that the buttons feature a pin or clip on which the buttons are mounted that is of a type routinely affixed to jewelry pins or brooches worn on a lapel or shirt. CBP adds that while one of these buttons is also classifiable as a festive article under heading 9505, under General Rule of Interpretation 3(a) it must choose the heading with the more specific description, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled that the “imitation jewelry” heading is more specific than the “festive articles” heading because it covers a narrower set of items. Ruling NY N020891 would be revoked to reflect this change.

Ceramic Grinding Media. CBP is proposing to reclassify ceramic beads used in grinding machines as other ceramics under HTSUS 6909.19.5095 (4 percent duty) rather than as porcelain ceramics under HTSUS 6909.11.20 (0.9 percent duty). CBP explains that these items do not contain clay materials and may not be white or translucent and therefore do not meet the common and commercial meaning of porcelain. Rulings HQ 962906, HQ 089007, and NY C88836 would be revoked to reflect this change.

Pipe Fittings. CBP is proposing to reclassify center sleeves and end rings for coupling assemblies as pipe fittings under HTSUS 7307.19.3085 (5.6 percent duty) rather than as other articles of iron or steel under HTSUS 7326.90.8588 (2.9 percent duty) or other cast articles of iron or steel under HTSUS 7325.99.10 (duty-free). CBP explains that the identity of the sleeve and end ring combinations is indelibly fixed as that of a coupling at the time of their entry and that there is no indication that either item is suitable for any other use. Rulings NY N270588 and NY N097562 would be revoked to reflect this change.

Decorative Charms. CBP is reclassifying plastic character charms on a textile strap with hook and loop closures that can be used to decorate various items as imitation jewelry under HTSUS 7117.90.75 (duty-free) rather than as other plastic articles under HTSUS 3926.40.0000 (5.3 percent duty). CBP explains that these items are similar to those listed as exemplars in Note 9(a) to HTSUS Chapter 71 and can thus be described as imitation jewelry. CBP also finds that these items cannot be described as toys and that heading 3926 describes only part of the items. Ruling HQ H249649 will revoke ruling NY N241834 to reflect this change.

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