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Tariff classification of pet carriers based on imports’ purpose

Tariff classification of pet carriers

The U.S. Court of International Trade found that the purpose of the subject imports—cloth pet carriers—was to carry pets and not items. Accordingly, the trade court found the imported pet carriers were excluded as a matter of law from heading 4202 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), the tariff classification that applies for travel bags.

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However, the trade court found that there was not enough information in the pleadings to determine the proper classification. Thus, the importer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings was granted in part and denied in part, pending future proceedings.

The case is: Quaker Pet Group, LLC v. United States, Slip Op. 18-9 (CIT February 12, 2018). Read the trade court’s decision [PDF 541 KB]

Summary

The importer contested the tariff classification of five of its pet carrier products imported from China.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) classified the pet carriers under HTSUS heading 4202 that covers travel, sports, and similar bags, and is subject to a 17.6% customs duty rate.

The importer asserted that pets are not “personal effects” and that the pet carriers (cloth and mesh carrying bags) were classifiable under the residual provision for textile articles, HTSUS heading 6307, and subject to a customs duty rate of 7%.

The trade court agreed that given that the pet carriers’ primary purpose is to carry pets and not items, they are excluded as a matter of law from HTSUS heading 4202. However, the court found there were not sufficient facts contained in the pleadings for the court to determine the proper classification for the imported products.

 

For more information, contact a professional with KPMG’s Trade & Customs practice:

Douglas Zuvich | +1 (312) 665-1022 | dzuvich@kpmg.com

Andrew Siciliano | +1 (631) 425-6057 | asiciliano@kpmg.com

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