Thursday, May 10, 2007

New Stuff

Yes, I am still here. Swamped at work. You've heard it all before.

Here are a couple interesting things that crossed my desk recently.

First, HQ W968392 asks the fascinating question of whether a stone "Ushabti of Neferhotep," dating from 1479-1400 BC, are properly classifiable in heading 9703 as original sculptures, 9705 as a collectors piece of historical, archaeological or ethnographic interest or in heading 9706, HTSUS, which provides for antiques of an age exceeding one hundred years, might be more applicable. Good question.

It turns out that because this was a relatively common type of object in ancient Egypt, it lacks the quality of artistic originality necessary for 9703. Also, while it is clearly an antique, Customs held that it was better described as a collectors piece of archaeological or ethnographic interest.

It must be late, because for some reason, I find this fascinating. I would have loved to have been at the meetings with the client, Sotheby's, and Customs.

Second, someone read Tradewind Farms and let me know if I am crazy. It seems to me that the Court of International Trade just made it impossible for anyone to protest Customs' failure to treat something as classifiable in an actual use provision unless the claim was made at the time of entry or pursuant to 19 C.F.R. § 10.134. The reasoning seems to be that there are regulations for making these claims and they need to be followed.

Except that they don't. If an importer fails to make a GSP claim at the time of entry and can later prove that GSP applied, it can file a protest. Same goes for 9801 and 9802. Again, it is late and I may be missing something. Is there something special about actual use provisions that prevents Customs from correcting a liquidation based on proof of actual use? Would a Supplemental Information Letter work for an unliquidated entry?

Lastly, I have started riding my bike to work again. I hope to do that about three times a week. Its good for me, its good for you too because my carbon footprint is decreased. Except that my train still runs without me, meaning I waste that fuel by creating an empty seat. On the other hand, today was my third bike commute and I am aching all over. And, I only rode home today. Go figure. Some good pictures of Chicago area biking are here and here.

1 comment:

Nick said...

Larry, you're not crazy. The CIT is just saying that an actual use provision classification is a different animal, and
"Thus, under this regulation it is not
sufficient that an importer intend a particular use for its
merchandise, it must demonstrate that intention at the time of
entry by following specific procedures." ("This regulation" is here referring to 19 C.F.R. § 10.134.)
The lesson here is, if you want to classify an import under a lower duty rate available to you through an actual use provision, make sure you file a written declaration of actual use at the time of entry. Otherwise you're stuck with whatever classification CBP decides to give you. But I'll bet you're right, that if Tradewind Farms filed a PEA or SIL, they could have got around that procedural requirement. It sounds to me like they just weren't paying attention.
Oh, and interesting bit on the Egyptian artifact. While the distinction between "antiques of an age exceeding 100 years" and "a collector's piece of historical, archeological or ethnographic interest" is somewhat artificial, it still feels like the proper classification. The word "antique" seems to imply that the object still has some practical value (though this isn't always the case) whereas "artifact" seems to imply something that is solely used for display. And very old, older than an antique.
Lastly, at least you live in a city that has a useful mass transit system. Here in Houston, if you don't have a car, you're not going anywhere.