Showing posts from March, 2015

Ruling of the Week 2015.11: German Pizza, Chicago Pride

This one is pretty straight forward. The only reason I am covering it is that the notion of importing completely prepared pizza from Germany is oddly funny to me. Kind of like getting tacos from Australia. In N261593 (Mar. 11, 2015), U.S. Customs and Border Protection answered a ruling request from Freiberger U.S.A., Inc. asking for the tariff classification of a completely prepared and frozen pizza to be imported from Germany. Four varieties were involved including: flatbread with cream sauce and eleven-inch square. The correct tariff classification is in Heading 1905 which is the heading for: Bread, pastry, cakes, biscuits and other bakers' wares, whether or not containing cocoa; communion wafers, empty capsules of a kind suitable for pharmaceutical use, sealing wafers, rice paper and similar products . . . . I come from Chicago where we like our pizza thick, the way God intended it. Consequently, it makes sense to me that pizza would be treated as a bread product. Sp

Ruling of the Week 2015.10: Getting an iHandle on iLuggage

[UPDATE: It turns out that there is a reason for the ambiguity in the ruling discussed below. The ruling was not written for publication. It was inadvertently posted to CROSS. The "ruling" has now been removed. Hence, you should treat what follows as an interesting hypothetical discussion and nothing more.] Heading 4202 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States sees lots of legal action for two reasons. First, the duty rates are very high; some as high as 20%. Second, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seems to find that many items go in these high-duty provisions. For context, Heading 4202 covers: Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases, school satchels, spectacle cases, binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, holsters and similar containers; traveling bags, insulated food or beverage bags, toiletry bags, knapsacks and backpacks, handbags, shopping bags, wallets, purses, map cases, cigarette cases, tobacco po

Ruling of the Week 2015.9: Do Court Decisions Matter?

We sometimes take it for granted that when the Court of International Trade or Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit makes a determination on the tariff classification of some item, the decision matters beyond the specifics of the case. That, however, is not an obvious proposition or necessarily true. It is rare that the Court of International Trade will have two or more opportunities to decide the classification of exactly the same product, though it does happen. So, the direct impact of court decisions can be limited. Also, the Court of International is unique among federal courts in that the principal of res judicata does not apply in tariff classification litigation. As a result, an importer can lose a classification claim on its first entry and try again on its second, third, and fourth entries. Although the Court does apply the principal of stare decisis, under which it seeks uniformity in its decisions, one judge of the CIT cannot bind the decision of another judge. At th

Ladies and Gentlemen: Pitcairn Island Honey

Because I have some of the best and well-traveled readers (and their relatives) in the compliance business, I have received a picture of a Pitcairn Island country of origin label. An anonymous reader had this jar of honey in a cabinet. So, compliance pros, what do you think of the marking? Does "Pitcairn Island, South Pacific Ocean" satisfy the U.S. Customs and Border Protection requirement for country of origin marking? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Ruling of the Week 2015.8: Old Jersey and Pitcairn Island

For today's ROTW, I set out looking for a ruling dealing with some far off and preferably warm location. Turns out that, with the exception of coastwise transit issues, there are no Customs and Border Protection rulings involving Pitcairn Island or any of several Pacific Ocean microstates including Tuvalu , Niue , and Kiribati . Pitcairn Island What I did find is an interesting question about the country of origin marking for products of the Bailiwick of Jersey Island, Channel Islands. The ruling is HQ 561938 (Mar. 18, 2002). For those of you who may not know, Jersey is an island off the coast of Normandy, France. It is an independent international actor and not part of the U.K. although the U.K. is responsible for its defense and external relations. Also, the Queen is the Head of State in her capacity as "the Crown in Right of Jersey." It is, according to the U.S. Department of State, a " Crown Dependency " along with the Isle of Man and the Bailiwick o