Customs Ruling of the Week – Classification of a set of math tools from China

In NY Decision N324042 (February 10, 2022), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discussed the classification of a set of mathematical tools from China. The math tool set includes a plastic compass with a small wooden pencil attached as well as a plastic protractor. The math tool set is packaged as a set for sale and marketed as school supplies for children.

General Interpretative Rule (GRI) 1 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) states that classification should be determined based on the terms of the chapter title and any related section or chapter note. In addition, all goods that can be classified under two or more headings will be classifiable according to GRI 3 of the HTSUS. GRI 3(a) states that when two or more headings respectively refer to different items that make up the set offered for sale at retail, these headings should be considered as equally specific, “even if a heading gives a more precise description of the CBP has determined that the math toolset is classifiable in accordance with GRI 3. This is because the commodity consists of two or more different items that can be classified under different subheadings and are grouped together to carry out a specific activity. In addition, the items are also packaged in such a way that they can be sold directly to users without repackaging, thus making them goods packaged in sets for retail sale. GRI 3(b) states that goods packaged for retail sale that cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a) should be classified according to the product that provides the c essential character of the article. In its ruling, CBP said the drawing instruments provide the essential character of the mathematical toolset.

Therefore, CBP determined that the applicable subheading for the set of mathematical tools is 9017.20.8080, HTSUS, which provides for “instruments for drawing, tracing, or mathematical calculation (for example, drawing machines , pantographs, protractors, drafting sets, slide rules, disk calculators); length-measuring instruments, for manual use (e.g. measuring tapes and measuring tapes, micrometers, calipers), not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; parts and accessories thereof: Other drawing, tracing or calculating instruments: Other: Other. The duty rate is 4.6%.

In addition, pursuant to US Note 20 to Sub-Chapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, Chinese goods under subheading 9017.20.8080, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an ad hoc rate of duty. additional valorem of 25%. Thus, Chapter subheading 9903.88.03 must be reported in addition to subheading 9017.20.8080, HTSUS.

Geraldine D. Luckett