July 26, 2006
An action was recently filed in the U.S. Court of International Trade (“CIT”) to contest the classification of various articles used as protective gear in motocross and motorcycle/power sports, including:
- Motocross pants
- Motocross jerseys
- Motorcycle/power sports riding jackets
- Motorcycle/power sports riding pants
U.S. Customs classified these articles under various provisions in Chapter 61 (knit articles) or Chapter 62 (woven articles) of the Harmonized Tariff System.
Following on the successful litigation of hockey pants in Bauer Nike Hockey USA v. U.S. 393 F.3d 1246, 1252 (Fed. Cir. 2004) the importer claims that the merchandise in these four categories is classifiable under HTS subheading 9506.91.99 as general exercise equipment at the duty rate of 4.6%, or, alternatively, under HTS subheading 9506.99.60 as sport equipment at the duty rate of 4% ad valorem .
Importers may take advantage of this litigation and recover duties paid on current and future entries by filing protests on entries that involve similar types of articles and requesting that any decision on the protest be suspended pending a decision in the case. If Customs denies the protest, a summons can be filed in the CIT and then suspended pending a final decision in the test case. If the litigation is ultimately successful, stipulations can be filed requesting that the decision be applied to the articles under protest. Compound interest is paid on any refunds issued.
In light of the foregoing, we recommend that importers take pro-active measures to preserve their right to receive refunds by filing protests. The only method available to ensure that current and future imports of these articles receive a lower rate of duty is to file protests.
Should you have any questions regarding this issue or for information on how to file protests, please contact Stephen S. Spraitzar at (415) 288-0425 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or George R. Tuttle at (415) 288-0425 (email@example.com).
Stephen Spraitzar and George R. Tuttle are attorneys with the Law Offices of George R. Tuttle in San Francisco. The information in this article is general in nature and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship with respect to any event or occurrence, and may not be considered such.
Copyright © 2006 by Tuttle Law Offices.
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