In ruling NY N319727 (June 8, 2021), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discussed the classification of the “Solar Powered Phone Charging Pole” (Charging Pole) from China. This item is a stainless-steel pole measuring 106 inches in height. It has a 45 W photovoltaic (PV) panel incorporated at its top. Because it is solar powered, the Charging Pole does not connect to the electrical grid and functions as a stand-alone charger. The pole comes with a small steel table for users to place their electronic devices while they charge as well as a charge controller, a 30 Ah lithium-ion battery, three USB outlets, and one Qi charging pad. The item includes additional optional components—such as an advertising display, a Wi-Fi router, and LED spotlights. However, because these features are not explicitly included with the Charging Pole, CBP did not consider these optional features in its ruling.

CBP determined that the applicable subheading for the Solar Powered Charging Pole is 8504.40.9580, HTSUS, which provides for “Electrical transformers, static converters…: Static converters: Other: Other.” The general duty rate is free.

Additionally, CBP determined that pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, Chinese products under the 8504.40.9580, HTSUS—unless excluded—are subject to an additional 25% ad valorem rate of duty. As such, the chapter subheading 9903.88.03 must be reported in addition to subheading 8504.40.9580.