Background

The Court of International Trade has ruled again that child safety seats for bicycles are properly classified as bicycle accessories under HTSUS 8714.99.80 (10 percent duty) rather than as seats under HTSUS 9401.80.40 (duty-free).

After CBP issued a ruling to the plaintiff in 2005 classifying the subject goods under heading 8714, the plaintiff submitted multiple protests and post-entry amendments arguing for classification under heading 9401. CBP approved some of these but rejected others. CBP also issued three rulings to the plaintiff’s competitors classifying their child bicycle seats under heading 9401 but later revoked those rulings in light of the original 2005 ruling to the plaintiff.

The plaintiff argued that CBP established a treatment of classifying the seats under heading 9401 by approving some of the protests and PEAs and thus violated the treatment provisions of 19 USC 1625(c). However, the court noted that during the same time CBP liquidated some of the plaintiff’s entries under heading 8714 and thus did not meet the requirement for a consistent application of a classification determination on a national basis over a two-year time period. The court cited the same reasoning in rejecting the plaintiff’s arguments regarding the rulings issued to its competitors.

The plaintiff also contended that CBP had an established and uniform practice of classifying the seats under heading 9401 in “hundreds of entries at 14 ports of entry over a 10-year period” and thus violated the EUP provisions of 19 USC 1315(d) by classifying the seats under heading 8714. However, the court stated that this argument disregards the 2005 ruling, which was never revoked, as well as all of the plaintiff’s entries made over a six-year period that were liquidated under heading 8714.

For more information on tariff classification issues, please contact Deb Stern at (305) 894-1007.

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