Rulings, remedies and court proceedings for customs and trade professionals

Newly Released CBP HQ Rulings Aug. 24

The Customs Rulings Online Search System (CROSS) was updated Aug. 24 with the following headquarters rulings (ruling revocations and modifications will be detailed elsewhere in a separate article as they are announced in the Customs Bulletin):

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H305377: Revocation of NY N294603, NY N196451 and NY M84487 and modification of NY N235681; tariff classification of one-step step stools

Ruling: The plastic one-step step stools (1), (2) are classified in subheading 3924.90.56 as “Tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and hygienic or toilet articles, of plastics: Other: Other.” The one-step step stool made of MDF (3) and the wooden step stool (4) are classified in subheading 4421.99.97 as “Other articles of wood: Other: Other: Other: Other”. The column one, general rate of duty is 3.3% ad valorum.
Issue: Are the one-step step stools properly classified in heading 9401 as seats, in heading 9403 as other furniture or classified according to their constituent materials in headings 3924 or 4421?
Items: (1) A step stool made of high-density plastic with slip resistant dots on the top of the stool to provide sure footing. (2) A one-step step described as a folding step stool made of plastic. It is collapsible and features a carrying handle.(3) A one-step step stool for children made of wood. (4) A one-step step stool described as a children's step stool made of MDF.
Reason: CBP previously addressed the classification of step stools with two or more step and classified multi-step step stools by their constituent material rather than as furniture. CBP determined that multi-step step stools are not used to equip private dwellings and were more like ladders. Heading 9401 covers seats. The EN for Heading 9401 describes stools that are used as a seat such as piano stools, draughtsman's stools, typists’ stools, and dual-purpose stool-steps. The types of stools listed in the exemplar are all either round or shaped for use as seating. Heading 9403 includes other furniture such as stools and foot stools. The instant step stools do not equip or furnish a private dwelling. The step stool does not share in the characteristics of furniture used to equip a private dwelling for rest, relaxation, storage or display. The step stools are not designed to rest the feet.
Ruling Date: Oct. 4, 2022