Abrief summary of recent decisions, rulings, notices, etc., involving the tariff classification of goods.
Edamame (Frozen Soybeans)
CBP is proposing to revoke a 2018 ruling concerning the tariff classification of frozen soybeans or edamame. In NY N296408, CBP classified the subject goods (i.e., flash-frozen young soybeans in the pods to be consumed as microwavable snacks) under subheading 0710.22.3700, which provides for “Vegetables (uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water), frozen: Leguminous vegetables, shelled or unshelled: Beans (Vigna spp., Phaseolus spp.): Not reduced in size: Other.”
Following a review, CBP has determined the ruling to be in error and that the goods are properly classified under subheading 2008.99.6100, which provides for “Fruit, nuts and other edible parts of plants, otherwise prepared or preserved, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter or spirit, not elsewhere specified or included: Other, including mixtures other than those of subheading 2008.19: Other: Soybeans.”
Wi-Fi Infrared Motion Sensors
In a 2014 ruling, CBP classified Wi-Fi infrared motion sensors under subheading 8543.70.40 (since changed to 8543.70.45), which provides for “[E]lectrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter.” After review, CBP has determined the ruling to be in error and now holds that the subject goods are properly (prima facie, in fact) classified under subheading 8531.80.90, which provides for “[E]lectric sound or visual signaling apparatus…: Other apparatus: Other.”
Dried Garlic & Onion Mixtures
CBP has received a petition on behalf of Olam West Coast Inc., a Fresno, California based producer of dried garlic, challenging a series of prior rulings that classified mixtures of dehydrated garlic and onions under subheading 0712.90.85, which provides for “Dried vegetables, whole, cut, sliced, broken or in powder, but not further prepared: Other vegetables; mixtures of vegetables: Other vegetables; mixtures of vegetables.” The petitioner contends that the subject goods, which are overwhelmingly composed of dried garlic and are marketed as such, should be more properly classified in subheading 0712.90.40 as “Dried vegetables, whole, cut, sliced, broken or in powder, but not further prepared: Other vegetables; mixtures of vegetables: Garlic.”
The petitioner argues that combining “negligible” quantities of dried onion (as little as 1% in some cases) with dried garlic is actually a “duty avoidance strategy” employed by importers to circumvent the protective 29.8% tariff that would otherwise be applicable and to instead enter the goods as “a mixture of vegetables” dutiable at the much lower rate of 8.7%. However, aside from narrowly construed dictionary definitions, the goods cannot reasonably be considered “mixed vegetables” under the “common and commercial meaning” of the term and, therefore, classification should be determined according to the “essential character” (i.e., dried garlic), the petitioner contends.
Prior to making a determination on this matter, CBP is accepting comments from interested parties until October 12, 2021.