In ruling NY N323568 (January 19, 2022), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discussed the classification of two pet collar accessories The principal use of the two pet collar accessories – Product A and Product B – is to hold Apple AirTag tracking devices. The first version, Product A, consists of a red silicone plastic tag holder. The tag holder is round and features a cavity that is used to hold the AirTag. It also includes a metal ring that runs through a molded loop at the top of the accessory, which allows the accessory to be attached to a pet collar. Alternatively, Product B consists of a blue silicone plastic tag holder that features a cutout in the shape of the bone, allowing the AirTag to be inserted into the body of the accessory. Product B also has molded loops on either side, which allows a collar be fed through the product.

For its determination, CBP looked to the General Rules of Interpretations (GRIs) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Specifically, CBP turned to GRI 3(b), which states that:

Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

CBP found that GRI 3(b) applied to Product A as it considered the product a composite good, and was of the opinion that the silicone plastic component imparted the essential character of the item. Alternatively, Product B was wholly made of silicone plastic. As such, CBP determined that both items were articles of plastic and that the applicable subheading for both pet collar accessories was 3926.90.9985, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “[o]ther articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914: [o]ther: [o]ther: [o]ther.” The general rate of duty is 5.3% ad valorem.

Additionally, pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, Chinese products under subheading 3926.90.9985, 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 3926.90.9985, HTSUS.