Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Amusing Diversion of Overturning a Custom's Classification

Recently at the United States International Court of Trade, Judge Richard W. Goldberg, ruled in favor of Springs Creative Products Group ("SCPG") and against the United States, in the question of the correct tariff classification of a Make-It-Yourself Fleece Throw Kit. Plaintiff SCPG challenged the United States Bureau of Customs and Border Protection's ("Customs" or "CBP") classification of its Make-it-Yourself Fleece Throw Kits under Subheading 6001.22.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS"), 19 U.S.C. § 1202 (2006). The evidence at trial supported a conclusion that the subject merchandise is properly classified under HTSUS 9503.00.00. Based upon the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, the court entered final judgment in favor of SCPG.

At issue was whether the throw was a durable and useful article of textile (properly classified under Subheading 6001.22.00, with rate of duty of 17.2%) or a toy intended for pleasurable diversion (properly classified under Subheading 9503.00.00, with rate of duty of zero). The judge wrote that: "Although the completed throw is durable and of high quality, the court finds that the principal reason that the ultimate purchaser would purchase and use the throw kit is for the amusement and diversion of assembling the throw."

Judge Goldberg's opinion may be read on the CPB website by clicking here, starting at page 131.

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