Background

The International Trade Commission is seeking comments by Dec. 14 on a proposal to modify the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. to reflect changes to the international Harmonized System that are slated to take effect Jan. 1, 2022. The ITC is also proposing to modify the HTSUS to classify blanched peanuts in heading 1202 instead of heading 2008. The ITC’s final recommendations to the president are due in March 2021.

According to the ITC, the proposed recommendations would modify the HTSUS to conform to about 350 amendments made to the HS nomenclature in a June 2019 World Customs Organization Council recommendation. Those amendments relate to a wide range of products and product groups, including the following.

- 3-D printers

- amusement park equipment

- cell therapy products

- cultural articles (i.e., antiquities)

- edible insect products

- edible microbial fats and oils

- electric vehicles

- electronic textiles

- electronic waste (e-waste) and other hazardous waste

- fentanyl-opioid substances and derivatives controlled by the International Narcotics Control Board

- hazardous chemicals controlled by the Rotterdam Convention

- novel tobacco products intended for inhalation without combustion

- ozone-depleting substances controlled by the Montreal Protocol

- parts for improvised explosive devices

- placebos and double-blind clinical trial kits

- rapid diagnostic test kits for detecting the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases

- smartphones

- unmanned aerial vehicles (i.e., drones)

- virgin and extra virgin olive oil

An ITC publication (available here) sets forth conforming modifications to the HTSUS, including article descriptions and heading and subheading numbers. Some of these would delete existing headings or subheadings and insert new ones. In addition, some proposed recommendations would modify section notes, chapter notes, additional U.S. notes, and general notes.

The ITC believes the proposed recommendations would ensure substantial duty rate neutrality and not alter existing conditions of competition for affected U.S. industries, labor, or trade.

In addition, the ITC is proposing to recommend modifying the HTSUS to implement a 2018 WCO classification opinion that blanched peanuts are classified in heading 1202, which covers peanuts that have not been roasted or otherwise cooked, rather than heading 2008, which covers preparations of peanuts obtained by cooking. The ITC states that this change would provide the exact same tariff nomenclature, rates of duty, quota treatment, and statistical treatment for such peanuts.

Copyright © 2021 Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.; WorldTrade Interactive, Inc. All rights reserved.

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