In ruling NY N320579 (July 27, 2021), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discussed the tariff classification of an outdoor wooden swing from India. The seat of the swing is 18” in width, 9” in depth, and 2” in thickness. It is made of Meranti wood and has no armrest, backrest, or footrest. The seat is meant to be suspended from a tree or a rafter using a 50” polyester rope with tassels, a pair of 2.25” iron S hooks, and a pair of 2.5” iron O-ring mounting hardware. The tassels from the polyester rope are 12” in length and extend from each corner of the seat base. The swing is meant to provide outdoor seating for a single individual and has a weight capacity of 264 lbs.
In its determination, CBP used the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“ENs”). It found that because the swing set is designed to be hung, it fell within the construct of Chapter 94, Note 2(b) – which states that “articles (other than parts) referred to in headings 9401 to 9403 are to be classified are to be classified in those headings only if they are designed for placing on the floor or ground. The following are, however, to be classified in the above-mentioned headings even if they are designed to be hung, to be fixed to the wall or to stand one on the other: (b) Seats and beds.” CBP also considered the Meranti swing seat to be a composite good made up of three different components—metal from the mounting hardware, polyester textile from the rope with the tassels, and wood from the seat. Of these three components, CBP found that the wood component was “the indispensable attribute that strongly marks or serves to distinguish the structure, core or condition of the article,” and that the essential character of the seat is imparted by the wood. Thus, CBP determined that the applicable subheading for the Meranti wood swing seat was 9401.69.6031, (HTSUS), which provides for “Seats, whether or not convertible into beds, and parts thereof: Other Seats, with wooden frames: Other: Other: Chairs: Other: Other.” The rate of duty is free.