Background

In the Dec. 9, 2020, Customs Bulletin and Decisions, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is proposing to reclassify empty cosmetic containers with a brush as plastic articles for the conveyance or packing of goods under HTSUS 3923.90.00 (3 percent duty) rather than as brushes under HTSUS 9603.29.4090 (0.2 cents + 7 percent duty), 9603.30.2000 (2.6 percent duty), 9603.30.4000 (duty-free), or 9603.30.6000 (duty-free).

The items at issue consist of a hollow molded plastic tube with an applicator brush. When the cap is unscrewed it serves as the brush handle. The tube will be filled with mascara after importation.

CBP explains that HTSUS chapter 39 encompasses all articles of plastics commonly used for the packing or conveyance of all types of products and that the empty containers are thus classifiable in heading 3923 even though the cap includes a brush. Even if resort to GRI 3 is necessary to account for the brush, CBP states that as imported (i.e., empty) the products’ core function is to contain and store cosmetics, which is fulfilled by the containers. CBP notes that the utility of the brushes is not realized until after importation when the products are filled with mascara.

Rulings NY I82716 and NY D88064 would be revoked to reflect this change. Comments are due by Jan. 8, 2021.

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

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