In ruling NY N305076, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) determined the classification of the Four Layer Vertical Aeroponic Plant Growth System, the Single Layer Aeroponic Plant Growth System and the Two Layer Aeroponic Plant Growth System. All three systems operate in the same manner with the main differences being the number of layers and the size.

The Four Layer Vertical Aeroponic Plant Growth System is for indoor use and is comprised of a 65” x 32” x 83” irrigation and dosing unit connected via both irrigation piping and drainage piping to one or more twelve tub plant growth sections (three tubs per layer).

A PVC spray manifold with nozzles fit inside each tub, which sprays nutrient rich fluid to the roots of the plants, which grow through the sixty-three circular cutouts of the tray that sit on top of each tub. The plant stems are suspended in each cutout by neoprene collars inserted in cup holders that sit in the cutouts. The irrigation and dosing unit is comprised of a 50 gallon PVC reservoir with an aluminum cover and seven one-gallon bottles, each with a pump, which are mounted into an aluminum T-slot frame structure with four legs and caster wheels. Integrated above each tub is an LED flat panel light. PH, EC, and temperature sensors sit in the reservoir, which provide measurements used by the operating software to determine the dosage of the nutrients that need to be added.

The Single Layer Aeroponic Plant Growth System is for indoor use and is comprised of up to ten ABS tubs. Each tub has an external dimension of 57” x 43.5” x 12” mounted on its corresponding aluminum T-slot framing structure. The system contains many of the same features as the four-layer system described above.

The Two Layer Aeroponic Plant Growth System is for indoor use and is comprised of similar elements of both the four layer and single layer systems. The units external dimensions are 65” x 32” x 83”. The main difference to the other two systems is the size and number of layers.

CBP determined that the applicable subheading for the items in question is 8424.82.0090 HTSUS, which provides for Mechanical appliances (whether or not hand operated) for projecting, dispersing or spraying liquids or powders; fire extinguishers, whether or not charged; spray guns and similar appliances; steam or sand blasting machines and similar jet projecting machines; parts thereof: Other appliances: Agricultural or horticultural: Other. The rate of duty will be 2.4% ad valorem.

Products of China classified under subheading 8424.82.0090, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to the List 2 additional 25% ad valorem rate of duty. At the time of importation, 9903.88.02 must be reported in addition to subheading 8424.82.0090.

Additionally, CBP determined that the items could be subject to duty free treatment as agricultural or horticultural machinery under subheading 9817.00.50. This was determined through a three-part test. Firstly, subheading 8424 is not excluded from classification in 9817 by operation of Section XXII, chapter 98, Subchapter XVII, U.S. Note 2, HTSUS. The second part of the test calls for the unit to be included within the terms of the subheadings. Subheading 9817.00.50, as required by GRI 1, states the unit must be “machinery”, “equipment” or “implements” used for “agricultural or horticultural purposes”. CBP determined that the subject merchandise falls within “equipment” which fulfills the requirement of a horticultural pursuit. Lastly, based on the information provided, the items are classifiable in subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUS, if the actual use conditions and requirements of Sections 10.131 through and including 10.139, Customs Regulations, are met.

Additional duties imposed through Section 301, do not apply to goods for which entry is properly claimed under a provision of chapter 98 of the HTSUS, except for goods entered under headings 9802.00.40, 9802.00.50, 9802.00.60, and 9802.00.80.