Classifying Your Import Shipment

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1 Classifying Your Import Shipment

2 Presenter Korrie Thomas Director, Compliance Houston Joined BDP in years of trade experience Licensed Customs broker since 1994

3 Agenda The Basics What, Why, Who General Rules of Interpretation Structure of the HTS CFR 19 Chapter 10

4 What is Classification? Determination of the appropriate HTS numerical code to: identify the proper rate of duty all statistical data Applies for every product even Responsibility of the Importer under the Mod Act (1994)

5 Why Classify? Classification linked to Partner Government Agency (PGA) requirements. Determines revenue to U.S. Government in the form of Customs Duty. Provides information for statistical reporting to Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census.

6 Who Classifies Goods Importers Customs (via Ruling Requests) Custom Brokers (in tandem with importers) Attorneys Consultants The legal liability lies with the importer but also with any expert they may have employed or relied upon for guidance. Accuracy of any classification is only as good as the information received about the commodity.

7 Things to Consider HTS Classification Country of Origin Normal Trade Relations (NTR) Special Programs (C/O related) GSP/AGOA Caribbean Basin Initiative Free Trade Agreements Special Programs (Non C/O related) Pharmaceuticals Civil aviation Anti-Dumping Binding Rulings

8 Reasonable Care Established under the Mod Act transferred legal responsibility from Customs to the importer of record for: proper classification valuation Applies to all parties in the transaction Provide proper documentation to back up

9 Getting Started: Questions to Ask What is the product called? Synonyms Generic name What does it do? How does it work? How is it used? In what industry is it used? Commercial Industrial Home Simple or complex?

10 Information Required Detailed description Illustrative materials Samples Sketches Diagrams Brochures Breakdown by percentage Principle use of goods Commercial, scientific, or common designations. Any other pertinent information

11 Tools for Classifying Goods Support is available from: HTS Customs Personnel Customs Bulletins Ruling Module/CROSS Website Explanatory Notes Internet Subscription Services

12 Common Classification Problems Shipments arrive without purchase orders Classification on documents missing or inaccurate Delays occur while classification being researched Inadvertent non-reporting to PGA s

13 General Rules of Interpretation Govern classification in the tariff schedule Hierarchy based Most fall under the first three rules US does not use rule 4 Rule 5 deals with packaging Rule 6 use headings

14 GRI 1 The table of contents, alphabetical index, and titles of sections, chapters and sub-chapters are provided for ease of reference only; for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to the following provisions:

15 GRI 2 (a) Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. It shall also include a reference to that article complete or finished (or falling to be classified as complete or finished by virtue of this rule), entered unassembled or disassembled. (b) Any reference in a heading to a material or substance shall be taken to include a reference to mixtures or combinations of that material or substance with other materials or substances. Any reference to goods of a given material or substance shall be taken to include a reference to goods consisting wholly or partly of such material or substance. The classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule 3.

16 GRI 3 When, by application of rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows: (a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods. (b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable. (c) When goods cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) or 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.

17 GRI 4 (not used in the US) Goods which cannot be classified in accordance with the above rules shall be classified under the heading appropriate to the goods to which they are most akin.

18 GRI 5 In addition to the foregoing provisions, the following rules shall apply in respect of the goods referred to therein: (a) Camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, drawing instrument cases, necklace cases and similar containers, specially shaped or fitted to contain a specific article or set of articles, suitable for long-term use and entered with the articles for which they are intended, shall be classified with such articles when of a kind normally sold therewith. This rule does not, however, apply to containers which give the whole its essential character; (b) Subject to the provisions of rule 5(a) above, packing materials and packing containers entered with the goods therein shall be classified with the goods if they are of a kind normally used for packing such goods. However, this provision is not binding when such packing materials or packing containers are clearly suitable for repetitive use.

19 GRI 6 For legal purposes, the classification of goods in the subheadings of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, mutatis mutandis, to the above rules, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable. For the purposes of this rule, the relative section, chapter and subchapter notes also apply, unless the context otherwise requires.

20 Additional Rules of Interpretation One rule which provides guidance on use provisions for purposes of classification. 1. In the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires-- (a) a tariff classification controlled by use (other than actual use) is to be determined in accordance with the use in the United States at, or immediately prior to, the date of importation, of goods of that class or kind to which the imported goods belong, and the controlling use is the principal use; (b) a tariff classification controlled by the actual use to which the imported goods are put in the United States is satisfied only if such use is intended at the time of importation, the goods are so used and proof thereof is furnished within 3 years after the date the goods are entered; (c) a provision for parts of an article covers products solely or principally used as a part of such articles but a provision for "parts" or "parts and accessories" shall not prevail over a specific provision for such part or accessory; and (d) the principles of section XI regarding mixtures of two or more textile materials shall apply to the classification of goods in any provision in which a textile material is named. Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation are found only in the U.S. version of the HTS

21 Treatment of Parts and Accessories Classified in own heading (Eo Nomine) Classified with the article if heading so provides Classified in specific heading for parts and accessories

22 Eo Nomine Parts 8407 Spark-ignition Engines 8408 Diesel Engines 8413, 8414 Pumps 8481 Valves 8482 Bearings 8483 Transmissions 8484 Gaskets 8501 Motors, generators 8508 Electro-mechanical hand tools 8511 Electrical ignitions/starting equip 8535 Switches 8536 Motor Starters (not an exhaustive list)

23 Roadmap to Successful Classifying Use the General Rules of Interpretation, in order Consult Legal Notes, Section and Chapter notes Stick to headings, the same sub-description may appear under more than one heading Have substantive back-up for all classifications used or for any changes made by either you or by customs; Review at least annually; develop communication protocols with your customs broker.

24 Legal Notes Define the scope Direct user to the appropriate location in the tariff Provide exclusion details Provides specific inclusions Provides definitions and terms used Legal Notes should be consulted first, before continuing

25 The Harmonized Tariff International 21 Sections, by industry 97 Chapters by general description headings, sub-headings United States 22 Sections, by industry 99 Chapters by general description Chapter 98 and 99 Special classes, temporary provisions

26 The Structure of the US HTS Chapters 1-97: Commodity Provisions Chapter 98: Special Classification Provisions Chapter 99 Temporary Legislation Temporary Modifications Additional Import Restrictions

27 Contents of the US HTS Title Pages Table of Contents General Rules of Interpretation (GRI) General Notes (GN) General Statistical Notes (GSN) Statistical requirements Statistical annotations Statistical reporting number Abbreviations Reporting of exports Chemical Appendix Pharmaceutical Appendix Intermediate Chemicals for Dyes Appendix Statistical Annex A (Schedule C, Country and Territory Designations for U.S. Foreign Statistics) Statistical Annex B (International Standard Country Codes-ISO) Statistical Annex C (Schedule D, U.S. Customs Districts and Port Codes for U.S. Foreign Statistics) Alphabetical Index Change Record

28 Finding a Tariff Number Section Title Page (Section Notes) XI Chapter Title Page (Chapter Notes) 61 Heading Descriptions 6106 Subheading Descriptions (International Level) U.S. Subheading National Level (Tariff Assessment) U.S. Statistical Subdivision

29 Example Flashlights are classified under HTSUS Portable electric lamps designed to function by their own source of energy Chapter 85 Heading 8513 Subheading Rate Subheading Statistical Subheading

30 Section, Chapter & Subheading Notes Also called legal notes Have same legal weight as headings and subheadings Have international status Make heading and subheading both concise and precise

31 Duty Rate Types Unconditionally Free Ad Valorem Specific duty rate Compound duty rate

32 (19CFR) Regulations Chapter 10 Articles conditionally free, subject to a reduced duty rate Special Programs Free Trade Agreements Other Preferential Trade Programs Instruments of International Trade Returned Articles Temporary Imports Actual Use Review this portion of the CBP Regulations to ensure that you have met all of the documentary requirements for any duty free or reduced duty program you are utilizing.

33 Special Programs Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) A, A*,A+ African Growth and Opportunity Act D Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act E, E* Andean Trade Preference Act J, J*, J+ Dominican Republic/Central America (DR/CAFTA) P, P+ Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership R

34 Free Trade Agreements Australia FTA AU Morocco FTA MA Singapore FTA SG Peru FTA PE Oman FTA OM Korea FT KR Colombia FTA CO Panama FTA PA Bahrain FTA BH NAFTA Canada CA NAFTA Mexico MX Chile FTA CL Israel FTA IL Jordan FTA JO CAFTA-DR P

35 Other Preferential Trade Programs There are other duty free/reduced duty programs that have nothing to do with the country of origin. Agreement on Trade in Pharmaceutical Products (K) Immediate Chemicals for Dyes (L) Automotive Products Trade Act (B) Agreement on Civil Aircraft (C)

36 Instruments of International Trade Special IIT bond Residue

37 Final thoughts Classification is an art, not a science It is subject to interpretation, court cases, and precedent classification expertise is built over time Customs compliance expectation is 94-97% accuracy It is easy to have a misclassification

38 Our complementary webinar 101 series will Import topics on Wednesdays at 10:00 A.M. Central Export topics on Thursdays at 10:00 A.M. Central Registration is required for each event. Upon successful registration, you will receive an with logon details. (Please check your spam if you do not see information within 24 hours)

39 Contact information Korrie Thomas Phone: Mobile: JFK Blvd, Suite 700, Houston, TX To download today s presentation please make note of the following link:

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