Federal Circuit - Tuna products properly classified and valued 

September 16:  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today affirmed a decision of the trade court, concluding that imported tuna products were properly classified and valued on importation into the United States. Del Monte Corp. v. United States, 2013-1105 (Fed. Cir. September 16, 2013)

Read the Federal Circuit decision [PDF 106 KB]

Summary

A U.S. company imported tuna products consisting of cooked tuna, together with sauce, in a package.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) classified two of those products under subheading 1604.14.10 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, which covers tuna packed “in oil” because the sauces included some oil (the packaging described the tuna as “packed . . . in added oil . . . and other substances”).


The U.S. company asserted the proper HTSUS classification would be tuna “not in oil.”


Also, CBP appraised the goods based on the price that the U.S. company paid its supplier at the time of importation—i.e., the transaction value—without adjusting for approximately $1.5 million that the U.S. company subsequently received from its supplier after negotiations over the accuracy of the amount originally paid.


The U.S. company asserted that it had agreed to a formula with the supplier and that the transaction value must take that formula into account.


The U.S. Court of International Trade held that the goods were properly classified and valued. Today, the Federal Circuit affirmed.



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