In ruling NY N313010 (July 22, 2020), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discussed the classification of the AquaFusion Water Filter.

General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1, HTSUS, states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings, any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI’s taken in order. Goods that are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, are classifiable in accordance with GRI 3, HTSUS. CBP stated that the articles are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking. Therefore, the item in question is within the term “goods put up in sets for retail sale.” GRI 3(b) states in part that goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a), are to be classified as if they consisted of the component that gives them their essential character. In this case, CBP found that the essential character of the AquaFusion is filtering component. The item’s primary function is to filter water with an auxiliary or secondary feature of mixing the flavor in the end. Without the filter function, the machine will not work but not vice versa. Water filters are more specifically provided for elsewhere.

CBP determined that the applicable subheading for the AquaFusion will be 8421.21.0000, HTSUS, which provides for “Centrifuges, including centrifugal dryers; filtering or purifying machinery and apparatus, for liquids or gases; parts thereof: Filtering or purifying machinery and apparatus for liquids: For filtering or purifying water.”  The general rate of duty is Free.

Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheading 8421.21.0000, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty.  At the time of importation, the Chapter 99 subheading, 9903.88.01, in addition to subheading 8421.21.0000, HTSUS, must be reported.