Background

The following proposed revocations and modifications of U.S. Customs and Border Protection rulings are included in the April 29, 2020, Customs Bulletin and Decisions. Comments on these proposed changes are due by May 29.

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

Metal Lunch Boxes

CBP is proposing to reclassify metal lunch boxes as school satchels and similar containers under HTSUS 4202.12.90 (20 percent duty) rather than as other articles of iron or steel under HTSUS 7326.90.1000 (duty-free), 7326.90.3500 (7.8 percent duty), or 7326.90.8588 (2.9 percent duty). Rulings HQ 965555, HQ 967931, HQ 966836, HQ 965554, HQ 963339, HQ965063, HQ 963647, NY H88277, NY N150496, NY N104149, and NYI82546 would be revoked, and rulings HQ 963670 and HQ 963539 would be modified, to reflect this change.

CBP states that it has traditionally classified multiple-use, metal or molded plastic lunch boxes and hinged containers with handles in heading 4202. However, in the rulings at issue CBP “erroneously departed” from that analysis due to the addition of language to Explanatory Note 42.02 regarding the exclusion of tool boxes not specially shaped or internally fitted for their tools. CBP now states that it does not believe this language should have been applied to lunch boxes.

Storage Boxes

CBP is proposing to reclassify textile-covered high-density fiberboard boxes as wood boxes lined with textile fabrics under HTSUS 4420.90.6500 (duty-free) rather than as other made-up articles under HTSUS 6307.90.9889 (7 percent duty). Ruling NY N302855 would be revoked to reflect this change.

The products at issue are two styles of storage boxes. The first is an open-faced drawer organizer with multiple divider panels inside. The second is a closed box sweater organizer with a see-through drop front panel that can be opened to provide access to the stored items. Both boxes come in a variety of sizes and can be used to store clothes, accessories, hosiery, and lingerie.

CBP explains that these boxes are composite goods and that pursuant to GRI 3(b) their essential character is provided by the high-density fiberboard, which “is what makes the boxes function as a box.” The textile covering, meanwhile, “is an aesthetic feature that does not change the essential character of the box or its use as a box.”

Slip-On Shoes

CBP is proposing to reclassify a men’s casual slip-on shoe as footwear having a foxing or foxing-like band under HTSUS 6404.19.9030 (9 percent duty) rather than as footwear not having a foxing or foxing-like band under HTSUS 6404.19.3940 (37.5 percent duty). Ruling NY N285624 would be modified to reflect this change.

The product at issue is a men’s closed-toe, closed-heel, below-the-ankle, casual slip-on shoe. The upper is made from 100 percent cotton textile material. Elastic gore is sewn on the lateral and medial sides of the vamp, and the medial side of the shoe has two metal ventholes covered with a mesh. The outer sole is made from 100 percent rubber or plastics. The shoe is not protective and does not have a foxing or foxing-like band.

CBP states that upon review of new information provided, along with an assessment of two samples, it finds that the outer sole that covers and overlaps the upper textile material of the shoe measures one-quarter inch vertically around the entire perimeter. Also, the foxing-like band of the shoe encircles the entire shoe, including the front toe area and the heel area, and has the appearance and characteristic of the foxing on traditional tennis shoes. Likewise, the foxing-like band does not stem from a separate component but instead is molded into and part of the outer-sole component.

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