In ruling NY N321700 (October 1, 2021), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discussed the tariff classification of five different riflescopes from China. The first scope – identified as the GLX 2x Prism – is an optical scope designed to be affixed to the top of a firearm. The item contains a variety of glass, crystal, and plastic prisms within a cylindrical housing. On one end is a lens and on the other end is a reticle incorporating a targeting symbol and diopter to allow the user to manually focus the image. It also contains a battery powered light source that illuminates the reticle for shooting in low light situations. This scope can magnify an image to 2x and is not adjustable to the end user. The second, third, fourth, and fifth scopes are identified as the SLx 2.5x Prism, SLx 3x Prism, SLx 3x MicroPrism, and SLx 5x Prism, respectively. The four scopes contain all the same features as the first scope mentioned above; however, the second scope can magnify an image to 2.5x, the third and fourth scopes can magnify to 3x, and the fifth scope can magnify to 5x.

When considering the classification of the item, CBP noted that, when in use, the optical scopes are designed to be attached to the sight rail of a variety of different rifles. Light enters one end of the scope and is then magnified through telescopic means by the incorporated prisms and crystals at the set level. For its determination CBP concluded that the applicable subheading for the GLX 2x Prism, SLx 2.5x Prism, SLx 3x Prism, SLx 3x MicroPrism, and SLx 5x Prism is 9013.10.1000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Liquid crystal devices, not constituting articles provided for more specifically in other headings; lasers, other than laser diodes; other optical appliances and instruments, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter;…: Telescopic sights for rifles: Not designed for use with infrared light.”  The general rate of duty is 14.9% ad valorem.

Additionally, pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, Chinese products under subheading 9013.10.1000, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 7.5% ad valorem duty rate. As such, the chapter subheading 9903.88.15 must be reported in addition to subheading 9013.10.1000, HTSUS.