Monday, January 25, 2010

Section XXII of the HTSUS

Thank you for joining us for our series on classification. For the past 6 months, we’ve been studying the various sections of the HTSUS. If you’ve been following this series, you should have a better understanding of the commodities contained in each section and chapter of the HTSUS. We conclude our series with a review of Section XXII, which is only contained in the U.S. version and not used internationally. First, let’s look at the answer to last week’s question.

Answer to Section XXI Question
The chair is an antique because it is more 100 years old (1908). If for some reason it is determined that the chair were not an antique, the classification would be 9401.61.40. Note – both classifications result in duty- free treatment.

Section XXII covers Chapters 98 and 99, which consist of special classification provisions and temporary legislation. This section is unique to the United States. The HTSUS numbers in this section cannot be used for export documents. For qualifying products, the special provisions usually provide some alternative to the normal payment of duties. For example, companies importing merchandise pursuant to a contract with the military may be able to obtain duty-free entry on merchandise that would normally be dutiable if the proper documentation is filed under 9808.00.3000. It is not necessary to memorize each provision; however, it is important to be familiar with the various alternatives in order to provide economical solutions to your organization and/or clients.

Chapter 98 covers the importation of specific products under specific conditions. CBP may request additional documentation to prove eligibility for Chapter 98 provisions. Pay special attention to U.S. Note 2, which states that the tariff status of an article is not affected by the fact that it was previously imported and cleared through CBP. Some of the duty-free provisions include the following. Since these provisions are not used as frequently, you might consider making a list of the items included in each sub-chapter.

9801.00 – Articles Exported and Returned - Not Improved, U.S. Goods & Animals Returned
9802.00 - Articles Exported and Returned - Improved
9803 - Substantial Containers
9804 - Personal Exemptions, Residents and Non-Residents
9808 - Government Importation
9810 - Religious, Educational and Scientific Imports
9811 - Samples
9813 - Temporary Importation

Chapter 99 pertains to the importation of specific products that are subject to special or temporary alteration in duty or other customs treatment pursuant to legislative, executive and administrative actions. Chapter 99 only applies to U.S. imports and cannot be used for exports. The other sections of the HTSUS refer the user to Chapter 99 by the use of footnotes used with corresponding HTSUS numbers. Since the sections in Chapter 99 are temporary in nature, it is not necessary to spend large amounts of time learning the intricate details of each section. Just be aware that Chapter 99 provides for temporary changes to tariff treatment, and this could include reductions as well as increases.

This concludes our study of the 22 sections included in the HTSUS. Since we are approaching the April Customs Broker Exam, we will likely devote Mondays to some discussion of classification. Please feel free to post comments, suggestions or questions in the blog or send them to

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