Background

The following proposed revocations or modifications of U.S. Customs and Border Protection classification rulings are included in the Sept. 6, 2023, Customs Bulletin and Decisions. Comments on these proposed changes are due by Oct. 6.

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 for more information on ST&R’s upcoming classification webinars.

Protein Powder

CBP is proposing to reclassify rice protein powder as a food preparation under HTSUS 2106.10.00 (6.4 percent duty) instead of as a protein substance under HTSUS 3504.00.5000 (4 percent duty). Ruling NY N308405 would be modified to reflect this change.

The product at issue is a rice protein powder consisting of 80 percent or greater rice protein on a dry basis. The remaining 20 percent consists of residual materials of the protein extraction process such as ash, moisture, and fat. The protein is imported in 20 kg poly-lined paper bags and sold to food manufacturers for use as an ingredient in various food applications, including bars, chips, protein blends, ready-to-drink beverages, and dips.

Among other things, CBP explains that according to prior rulings substances classified in heading 3504 are generally for use in making pharmaceuticals, textiles, or plastics, whereas the powder at issue is to be used as an ingredient in various food applications for human consumption.

Temporary Railings

CBP is proposing to reclassify a strap rail tensioning system as a mechanical appliance with individual functions under HTSUS 8479.89.95 (2.5 percent duty) rather than as a winch under HTSUS 8425.39.0100 (duty-free). Ruling NY N246928 would be modified to reflect this change.

The product at issue uses web strapping as a temporary railing to prevent workers and objects at construction sites from falling. This system uses a ratchet mechanism to tension the strapping to support the weight of a person or object.

CBP finds that the ratchet mechanism imparts the essential character of this system because it tensions the temporary railing. CBP further states that this mechanism is not a winch because it is not an independently-housed device that consists of a drum or cylinder turned by a crank or motor.

Reaching Aids

CBP is proposing to modify rulings HQ H327276 and HQ D330680 to specify that two reaching aids are not classified as articles for the handicapped under HTSUS 9817.00.96 (duty-free). As a result, these articles would be classified solely as aluminum articles under HTSUS 9616.90.5080 (5.1 percent duty).

The articles at issue are reachers and turners of various designs for use in retrieving objects beyond an individual’s reach or for picking up items off the floor. On one end is a handle with control mechanisms, and on the other are “jaws” to grip items.

CBP explains that these articles are not specially designed or adapted for the use or benefit of the handicapped within the meaning of the Nairobi Protocol because an evaluation of the five factors adopted by CBP and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (e.g., easily distinguishable from articles useful to the general public or imported by companies dealing in handicapped articles) weigh against such a determination.

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