Rulings, remedies and court proceedings for customs and trade professionals

Newly Released CBP HQ Rulings April 8

The Customs Rulings Online Search System (CROSS) was updated April 8 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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H282909: Application for Further Review of Protest No. 3401-16-100029; Classification of Ceramic Knives

Ruling: By application of GRIs 1 and 6, the ceramic knives are classified under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. heading 6912, specifically in subheading 6912.00.48, which provides for: “Ceramic tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, other than of porcelain or china: Tableware and kitchenware: Other: Other: Other: Other.” The 2015 column one, general rate of duty is 9.8% ad valorem. The protest is denied.
Issue: Are the ceramic knives classified in subheading 6912.00.39, HTSUS, as ceramic tableware available in specified sets; or in subheading 6912.00.48, HTSUS, as ceramic tableware suitable for food?
Item: The subject merchandise are knives with blades made of zirconium oxide ceramic material. The ceramic knives are safe to be used with food. The merchandise consists of one entry, which was entered under heading 6911, as porcelain tableware, at the Port of Pembina on Aug. 17, 2015. On July 1, 2016, however, the entry was liquidated under subheading 6912.00.48.
Reason: The merchandise is knives with blades made of zirconium oxide, which is a ceramic material. Although knives are not explicitly mentioned as tableware in EN 69.12, they are listed as examples of tableware in EN 39.24, which provides for plastic tableware. Knives constitute tableware under the HTSUS. Therefore, the issue is at the 6-digit subheading level of the HTSUS.
Ruling Date: Feb. 7, 2024

H305019: Application for Further Review of Protest No. 4601-2019-102002; Pipe Fittings from the People’s Republic of China under Antidumping Orders A-570-875 and A-570-881; Scope

Ruling: The protest should be granted with respect to SEPCO’s entry of malleable cast iron pipe fittings liquidated under antidumping duty order A-570-881. This entry should be reliquidated without the assessment of AD pursuant to DOC Message 9042308. In addition, the protest should be denied with regard to the port’s assessment of antidumping duties under AD order A-570-875 to SEPCO’s entry of non- malleable cast iron pipe fittings (NMPF).
Issue: Did CBP properly assess AD on SEPCO’s entry of NMPF?
Item: The merchandise is two categories of cast iron pipe fittings that are subject to two different antidumping orders. SEPCO describes these goods as electrical conduit fittings: (1) the first category consists of conduit pipe fittings made from malleable iron, which were subject to AD order A-570-881; and (2) the second category of merchandise consists of non-malleable cast iron pipe fittings, which are subject to AD order A-570-875.
Reason: CBP has not erred as a matter of fact in determining that the NMPF falls under the language of the ADD order and CBP followed Commerce’s instructions, CBP properly assessed antidumping duties on SEPCO’s entry of NMPF.
Ruling Date: Feb. 8, 2024

H319727: Classification and Country of Origin of Wood Repair Starter Kit

Ruling: The wood repair starter kit is (1) classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule subheading 8467.29.0090, which provides for: “Tools for working in the hand, pneumatic, hydraulic or with self-contained electric or nonelectric motor, and parts thereof: With self-contained electric motor: Other: Other” and a (2) product of Taiwan and Canada for country of origin marking purposes. Each item must be individually marked to indicate its own country of origin -- the electric glue gun as a product of Taiwan and the wood putty sticks, scraper, and aluminum cooling block each as products of Canada.
Issue: (1) What is the proper classification of the subject merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)? (2) What is the country of origin of the subject merchandise for marking purposes?
Item: The wood repair starter kit has a 120 VAC, 60 Hz, a 300 W electric glue gun, wood putty sticks made of calcium carbonate, a hot melt adhesive, and color pigment, an aluminum cooling block and a scraper made of steel and rubber. The electric glue gun has an interchangeable nozzle, a “stroke adjuster” for regulating the amount of putty the gun produces, a temperature dial, and a power switch. The electric glue gun plugs into an AC outlet. When in use, the electric glue gun extrudes wood putty onto a damaged area of wood; the aluminum cooling block is then placed over the filled in area; finally, the scraper tool is used to remove any excess putty. The electric glue gun is manufactured in Taiwan. The wood putty sticks, aluminum cooling block, and scraper are manufactured in Canada. All four items to the wood repair starter kit are packaged in Canada. No other items are added to the wood repair starter kit after importation into the United States.
Reason: (1) We find that the instant electric glue gun is the component that gives the wood repair starter kit its essential character. (2) Each of the materials in the kit retain their independent functions and separate identities. Thus, all components of the wood repair starter kit must be individually marked with their country of origin provided such marking is visible through the packaging; alternatively, the packaging must identify the origin of each of the items as products of Taiwan and Canada.
Ruling Date: April 8, 2024

H336409: Application for Further Review of Protest No. 5501-23-106828; Brighton-Best International, Inc.; Antidumping and Countervailing Duties; Steel threaded rods.

Ruling: CBP improperly assessed antidumping duties on the entries of merchandise under the terms of the order covering steel threaded rods from China. Therefore, the protest is GRANTED in full.
Issue: Did CBP properly assess antidumping duties on the entries of merchandise under the terms of the order covering threaded steel rods from China?
Item: On May 6, 2021, Brighton-Best International Inc. (“BBI” or “Protestant”) entered the merchandise subject to this protest. CBP determined that four lines of the entry were subject to antidumping and countervailing orders on steel threaded rods from China. Lines 281, 282, 283, and 584 on the entry refer to three variants of “sleeve anchor hexagonal nut” and a “square head bolt.” The sleeve anchor hexagonal nuts are partially threaded rods fitted into a metal sleeve with the threaded end capped with a hexagonal nut and the unthreaded end that tapers outward at a wider diameter than the threaded portion of the rod. The square head bolt is a partially threaded rod with a square head. On December 8, 2022, CBP liquidated the entry with AD/CV duties. On April 21, 2023, BBI protested the liquidation claiming that the merchandise is not in scope of the AD/CV orders because they are not threaded rods.
Reason: The sleeve anchor hex nuts, as observed by schematics and pictures provided by BBI, closely match the concrete wedge anchor in Commerce’s scope ruling, both having unthreaded ends that taper outward to the full diameter of the product. The sleeve anchor hex nut is a headed product. The square head bolt, having a head, is also a headed product. Accordingly, the subject articles are headed products and are not in the scope of the orders.
Ruling Date: Feb. 8, 2024