The U.S. Court of International Trade ruled March 7 that 23 models of toilet paper holders are properly classified as fixtures under HTSUS 8302.50.00, subject to a zero rate of duty, rather than as toilet and sanitary wares of zinc under HTSUS 7907.00.00, subject to a three percent duty, or as other sanitary ware of iron or steel under HTSUS 7324.90.00, subject to a zero rate of duty.

The subject paper holders are designed to be mounted on a wall and used to hang a roll of toilet paper. Some of these products have an arm that holds a toilet paper roll and a post that either pivots for ease of changing out the roll or has an attached pivoting head that performs this role. Other models have an arm that holds a toilet paper roll that may swivel for ease of use or a spring-loaded tube that fits between two mounted posts.

According to the CIT, it is reasonable to conclude that the phrase “similar fixtures” under heading 8302 references various types of racks, that is, items that are mounted on a wall and hold other articles. Indeed, the court explained that the unifying characteristics of the listed products in heading 8302 are that they (1) are affixed to a wall, and (2) hang, hold, or support other items. Since the subject entries are made of base metal, are designed to be mounted on a wall, and are used to hold, hang, or support an object, such as toilet paper, they are classifiable under heading 8302 and subheading 8302.50.00.

Classification under subheadings 7907.00.10 and 7324.90.00 (depending on their constituent material), as CBP sought, is not possible according to the court because the subject merchandise is more specifically covered elsewhere in the tariff schedule.

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