In the Oct. 19, 2022, Customs Bulletin and Decisions, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is proposing to reclassify paper face masks as sanitary paper articles under HTSUS 4818.90.00 (duty-free) rather than as paper clothing accessories under HTSUS 4818.50.00 (duty-free).

The masks at issue, which are part of a disposable protection kit, are made of a lightweight paper pulp. They are specially folded to fan out over and cover the mouth. Two stretch loops that fit over the ears are sewn into either side of the mask. The top edge of the mask has a wire insert that can be bent to conform securely over the nose when worn.

CBP states that these masks do not constitute clothing accessories because they are not a class or kind of goods that are principally used to accessorize clothing or that add to the beauty, convenience, or effectiveness of clothing; instead, they are independently used for sanitary purposes.

Ruling HQ 088173 would be modified to reflect this change. Comments on this proposal are due no later than Nov. 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.

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