Saturday, August 02, 2014

Ruling of the Week 2: Flashing Jewel Sticker

In HQ H236025, which is technically still a proposed ruling, Customs and Border Protection will change the tariff classification of a star-shaped green plastic jewel. The jewel includes a battery and an light. When pressed, it flashes. And, to make it really useful at your next rave, the jewel is adhesive and can be worn anywhere on the body.

Anyone want to guess its tariff classification?

CBP's analysis is mostly about what this thing is not. It is not imitation jewelry because it does not imitate the small articles of person adornment of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal. In other words, this thing is not trying to look like earrings or a brooch for example and, therefore, won't be classified as imitation jewelry.

Next question is whether it is a portable electric lamp. I guess it is possible that kids at Lollapalooza might get close enough in the dark to read by the light of their green jewel stickers. But, CBP noted that the light flashes and does not provide much illumination. Because the purpose of this gizmo is to adorn the body rather than provide light, Customs excluded it from classification as a portable electric lamp.

That leaves Heading 3926, the final resting place of many plastic tchotchkes. Heading 3926 covers "other articles of plastic" and 3926.90.40 covers imitation gemstones.

To me, that raises an interesting question. Customs excluded this item from imitation jewelry because it did not imitate traditional jewelry. Last time I looked, no natural gemstones flash to the beat of The So So Glos, which seems to say it is also not trying to imitate a gemstone. Maybe somewhere else in 3926 would be more appropriate.

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