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Animal Medication Importer’s Case Given More Time After Complaint Amended 2 Years Later

In a third amended scheduling order, the Court of International Trade set a new Aug. 13 deadline for motions in a case that has been ongoing since 2022. The extension follows an amended complaint filed April 1 in which plaintiff Zoetis Services said that CBP had classified a “nearly identical” product to its own under a Harmonized Tariff Schedule heading it preferred (Zoetis Services LLC v. U.S., CIT #22-00056).

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The order grants parties more time in a case that Zoetis, an importer of chlortetracycline concentrate feed grade powder (CTC concentrate), initially brought to CIT to argue for classification of its imports under HTS heading 3003, which provides for “medicaments … consisting of two or more constituents which have been mixed together for therapeutic or prophylactic uses” and doesn’t carry Section 301 tariffs (see 2202250021). CBP liquidated the entry under heading 2309, which does.

Zoetis said in its April 1 amended complaint that CBP issued a recent customs ruling classifying another CTC contentrate product under heading 2491, which covers antibiotics and is also free of Section 301 tariffs, in August 2023. That product was described by CBP as “a broad-spectrum substance that is used in the manufacture of veterinary drug products, namely Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) Type A medicated articles.” Zoetis said that its own CTC concentrate also is a broad-spectrum antibiotic used in the manufacturing of Type A medicated articles.

It added that “the range of the active ingredient Chlortetracycline in the subject CTC-Concentrate (23.8-24.7%) is nearly identical to the range of the active ingredient Chlortetracycline in the CTC-FG product at issue” in CBP’s 2023 ruling, 22-24%.

And “upon information and belief,” Zoetis alleged that both its product and the product from that 2023 ruling came from the same manufacturer, Jihne.

If its CTC concentrate was not found to be properly classified under heading 2491, Zoetis said, it should then be classified under heading 3003 for medicaments.

Zoetis also noted in its motion to amend its original complaint that it had “identified certain discrepancies” in its original complaint. In that first complaint, Zoetis said it wrongly called its products FDA-recognized “Type-A Medicated Feed Articles,” whereas it should have described them simply as “Type-A Medicated Articles."