The U.S. Court of International Trade granted summary judgment for the government with respect to the classification of imported sunflower seeds.
The case is: Well Luck Co., Inc. v. United States, Slip Op 17-16 (CIT February 15, 2017). Read the trade court’s decision [PDF 527 KB]
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) imposed a customs duty rate of 17.9% ad valorem after it classified the imported sunflower seeds under subheading 2008.19.90 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) that covers:
“Fruits, 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: Nuts, peanuts (ground-nuts) and other seeds, whether or not mixed together: Other including mixtures: Other”
The importer challenged this classification of its imports of roasted, salted, and/or flavored whole sunflower seeds in their shell. The importer asserted that CBP had misclassified the entry, and that subheading 1206.00.00 was the correct subheading in covering “Sunflower seeds, whether or not broken”—at a duty-free rate.
The trade court granted the government’s motion for summary judgment because the sunflower seeds—after having been processed—were not suitable for general use (e.g., for sowing). To fall within Heading 1206 HTSUS, the seeds must be suitable for general use, rather than a specific use, the court concluded.
For more information, contact a professional with KPMG’s Trade & Customs practice:
Douglas Zuvich | +1 (312) 665-1022 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Siciliano | +1 (631) 425-6057 | email@example.com
© 2017 KPMG LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership and the U.S. member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.
The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's Federal Tax Legislative and Regulatory Services Group at: + 1 202 533 4366, 1801 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006.