Background

In the June 15, 2022, Customs Bulletin and Decisions, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is proposing to reclassify hot and cold water dispensers under HTSUS 8516.79.00 (2.7 percent duty) rather than under HTSUS 8418.69.0120, 8418.69.0020, 8418.69.0085, or 8418.69.0180 (all duty-free).

The items at issue include (1) a thermoelectric desktop water dispenser featuring a stainless-steel hot water tank, a separate thermoelectric chamber for cold water, a removable drip tray, and a light-emitting diode indicator light, (2) a drinking water dispenser providing cold water or hot water that has a compression-type refrigeration system and a band heater for hot water, and (3) water coolers dispensing hot and cold water where the cold water is produced by a reciprocating compressor with coils mounted on the back of the unit to receive refrigerant circulated by the compressor.

CBP states that all of these water dispensers perform two complementary functions: a refrigeration function designed to chill water and a heating function designed to heat water. Although they are configured differently (e.g., differing uses of tanks and different types of refrigeration or heating technology), the heating and cooling of water is accomplished in parallel. Likewise, there is no indication that the refrigerating or heating equipment housed within the dispensers is more robust or effective. As such, neither the refrigeration function nor the heating function constitutes the principal function of the dispensers. CBP is therefore proposing to classify these items under the heading occurring last in numerical order among those that equally merit consideration.

Rulings NY B88990, NY R00569, and NY N283857 would be revoked to reflect this change. Comments on this proposal are due no later than July 15.

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.

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