Monday, February 8, 2010

Parts & Accessories

In keeping with our discussions on the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) and classification, this week we explore the differences 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 HTSUS provisions provide for parts and accessories, while others only provide for parts. The following information provides some guidelines to use when trying to determine if an imported good is a part or accessory.

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.

The following items are either parts or accessories for a laptop computer. Try to determine the proper designation for each. Check back next Monday for the answers!

· Monitor
· Flash Drive
· Internal Hard Drive
· Textile Storage Case

Trivia Answers – February 1, 2010

1. Prior to the implementation of the new HTSUS in 1989, there tariff numbers consisted of SEVEN digits.
2. The Word Customs Organization maintains the international version of the HTS.
3. The Tariff of 1828 was also known as the Tariff of Abominations because of the detrimental effects it had on the southern economy.
4. The Tariff Act of 1930 is also known as the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930.

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