Background

In the Dec. 15, 2021, Customs Bulletin and Decisions, U.S. Customs and Border Protection proposed to reclassify hydraulic dock levelers used to assist in the loading and unloading of truck cargo as other machines and mechanical appliances under HTSUS 8479.89.94 (2.5 percent duty) rather than as other loading or unloading machinery under HTSUS 8428.90.00 (duty-free).

The product at issue is a tilting platform affixed to a pit in a truck dock. Dual hydraulic cylinders incorporated in the unit allow the platform to be tilted and a steel tip to be lifted and swung out to accommodate variations in truck trailer height. The leveler also features velocity fuses to prevent the dock from moving in the event of leaking or loosened hydraulic hose lines.

CBP explains that this item neither handles objects via mechanical means nor operates by mechanical means to raise or lower objects; instead, it merely acts to create a level bridge between the loading dock and truck trailers, which in turn enables the loading and unloading of vehicles.

Ruling NY I81157 would be revoked to reflect this change. Comments on this proposal are due no later than Jan. 14.

For more information on how to seek or utilize classification and other rulings, please contact attorney Deb Stern at (305) 894-1007 or via email. Click here to register for ST&R’s upcoming webinar on classification changes under the 2022 HTSUS.

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