Federal Circuit - Tariff classification, glass vases imported from China 

July 9:  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today issued a decision affirming the holding of the U.S. Court of International Trade with respect to the tariff classification of certain types of glass merchandise—specifically glass vases for flowers, imported from China. Dependable Packaging Solutions, Inc. v. United States, 2013-1300 (Fed. Cir. July 9, 2014).

Read the Federal Circuit decision [PDF 131 KB]

Summary

Vases were imported and sold by the importer to mass-market flower-packing houses that, in turn, filled them with water and flowers and shipped the flower-packed vases to supermarkets or similar retailers, for sale as a single unit. Similar vases are sold empty at retail, but the importer’s vases were not sold empty at retail.


When the vases were imported, it was agreed that the tariff classification was under HTSUS chapter 70 (Glass and glassware), but there was a disagreement about the appropriate heading.


At liquidation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection classified the vases under the heading 7013. The importer countered that the appropriate heading would be under heading 7010.


The trade court determined that CBP’s classification was correct and granted summary judgment for the government.


Today, the Federal Circuit affirmed, finding that “…nearly every Carborundum factor weighs heavily in favor of classifying [the] merchandise under heading 7013 rather than heading 7010, and not one supports [the importer].”



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