Background

The following proposed revocations and modifications of U.S. Customs and Border Protection classification rulings are included in the Jan. 19, 2022, Customs Bulletin and Decisions. Comments on these proposed changes are due by Feb. 18.

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.

Solar Modules

CBP is proposing to reclassify solar modules as photosensitive semiconductor devices under HTSUS 8541.40.60 (duty-free) rather than as electric generators under HTSUS 8501.31.80 (2.5 percent duty). Ruling NY N255298 would be revoked to reflect this change.

The subject goods are the solar-generating components of a solar roof tile. They consist of an ultra-thin solar cell membrane attached to a connector board and insulating polyvinyl fluoride backing. The attached connector board contains a diode that prevents back feed and overheating as well as male and female connector plugs used to connect multiple solar panels together to generate DC electricity.

CBP states that whether a given solar panel is classified as a solar generator of heading 8501 or as a panel of photovoltaic cells of heading 8541 is based on whether the subject device is equipped with elements that allow it to supply power directly to another article (i.e., an external load) that consumes such power. Here, the instant panel is not so equipped. While the module produces electrical power from its solar cells, that current is intended to pass through to multiple connected solar modules and eventually to an external inverter located in a home, which is the element that enables the panel to supply power directly to an external load.

Bandage Scissors

CBP is proposing to reclassify bandage scissors as scissors under HTSUS 8213.00.90 (3 cents each + 3 percent duty) rather than as medical instruments under HTSUS 9018.90.80 (duty-free). Rulings HQ 957534 and NY N014017 would be revoked, and ruling NY 810138 would be modified, to reflect this change.

The subject goods are stainless steel scissors used by health care professionals in a variety of non-surgical applications; e.g., cutting gauze and other bandage material.

CBP explains that these scissors are used to remove bandages after a medical procedure has been completed and are very similar to those used by EMTs and first responders to cut off patients’ clothing. They are thus not used to diagnose or treat an illness nor in a surgical setting. In addition, their offset blades and blunted safety tips do not connote sufficient specialization for them to be considered instruments used in medical or surgical sciences.

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