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CBP Ruling Changes Proposed on Fence Post Bracket Assemblies, Sofas, Cell Phones

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

The following proposed revocations or modifications of U.S. Customs and Border Protection rulings are included in the April 24, 2019, Customs Bulletin and Decisions. Comments are due no later than May 24.

Fence Post Bracket Assembly. CBP is proposing to reclassify a wood fence post bracket assembly as a threaded stud of iron or steel under HTSUS 7318.15.5090 (duty-free) rather than as other articles of iron or steel under HTSUS 7326.90.8587 (2.9 percent duty). This assembly is composed of a bracket (an L-shaped steel rod), a locknut made of zinc-plated steel and an injection molded nylon insert, and a plastic bobbin used to support a live wire on an electrified fence. CBP states that the assembly is a composite good but that none of its components provide its essential character. As a result, the assembly must be classified under GRI 3(c) in the heading that occurs last in numerical order among those that equally merit consideration. Ruling NY L83439 would be revoked to reflect this change.

Reclining Sofa. CBP is proposing to reclassify a wood-framed reclining sofa as an other seat under HTSUS 9401.61.6011 (duty-free) rather than as a chair under HTSUS 9401.61.4011 (duty-free). CBP explains that for seats to be classified as chairs they can only accommodate one person, whereas the sofa at issue seats three people. Ruling NY N289071 would be modified to reflect this change.

Cell Phones with Testing Software. CBP is proposing to modify ruling HQ H014068 regarding the country of origin for marking purposes of a pocket network testing device. This device is a commercially available fully functional cellular phone designed in Sweden and typically assembled in China or Malaysia onto which network testing software is loaded in Sweden. In ruling HQ H014068 CBP determined that the installation of the software substantially transformed the use and function of the phones. However, CBP now states that the installation of the software represents an enhancement to the phones’ existing functionality and not a substantial transformation. CBP is therefore proposing to state that the country of origin of these devices for marking purposes is China or Malaysia or any other country of manufacture where an article recognizable as a mobile telephone is created.

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

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