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.
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