The following proposed and final revocations and modifications of U.S. Customs and Border Protection rulings are included in the Sept. 4, 2019, Customs Bulletin and Decisions. Comments on the proposed changes are due by Oct. 4, and the final changes will be effective with respect to goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after Nov. 4.

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

Coated Silicon Wafers

CBP is proposing to reclassify anti-reflection coated silicon wafers, which are manufactured into complete solar panels after importation, as unfinished diodes under HTSUS 8541.40.60 (duty-free) rather than as parts of unfinished diodes under HTSUS 8541.90.00 (duty-free). CBP explains that these items have the essential character of a photosensitive semiconductor device upon importation. Ruling HQ 957189 would be revoked to reflect this change.


CBP is proposing to reclassify plywood laminated with medium-density fiberboard as surface covered plywood under HTSUS 4412.33.57 (8 percent duty) rather than as not surface covered plywood under HTSUS 4412.33.0670 (duty-free) or 4412.33.3285 (8 percent duty). CBP explains that the plywood at issue is surface covered on the back ply with a surface covering that is not clear or transparent. Rulings NY L86523 and NY N027781 would be revoked to reflect this change.

Solar Kits

CBP is reclassifying solar kits used to charge vehicle batteries as electric generators under HTSUS 8501.31.80 rather than as photosensitive semiconductor devices under HTSUS 8541.40.60. CBP states that the essential character of the kits is determined by the classification of the solar panel components, which include apparatus that allow them to supply power to a vehicle’s battery. Ruling HQ H298151 will revoke ruling HQ H298151 to reflect this change.

Cell Phones with Testing Software

CBP is issuing ruling HQ H243924 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 therefore finds 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.

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