Monday, July 27, 2009

Parts & Accessories

Thank you for joining us for our series on classification. Last Monday, we discussed temporary importations. Today, we will explore the difference between parts and accessories.

Sometimes it is important to know whether the imported item is a “part” or “accessory” in order to properly classify the item. Some HTS provisions provide for parts and accessories, while others only provide for parts. The following information defines what CBP considers to be parts and what it considers to be accessories.

Parts Criteria
· It cannot be used on its own; or
· It must be combined with other articles to be used; or
· It is an integral, constituent or component part without which the article to which it is joined could not function; or
· It lends to the safe and efficient operation of the article; and
· It is identifiable by the shape or other characteristics as being an article solely or principally used as a part.

Accessory Criteria
· It may facilitate use or handling; or
· It may widen the range of use of the named article; or
· It may improve the operation of the main article; and
· It is not needed to enable the articles with which it is used to fulfill their intended function; and
· It is something nonessential but desirable that contributes to an effect or result.

Example: Trailer Cover
A polyester weather cover is imported for use in covering a metal bike trailer to keep rocks and other debris from injuring someone riding in the trailer or damaging the contents on the trailer. The trailer is classified in 8716.90.5060 which provides for trailers and parts thereof. The provision does not provide for accessories. The polyester cover is not considered a part of the trailer as the trailer can function without it and could be used on a wide range of applications

Click HERE to read the CBP Ruling related to this example.

Join us next week as we tackle another challenging classification issue. If you have any specific commodities or sections of the HTSUS that you would like to see discussed in this series, please feel free to post a comment or send your suggestions to

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