In ruling NY N325496 (April 22, 2022), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discussed the tariff classification of an emergency hammer from China. The merchandise under consideration is a composite good that is designed for use in vehicles. It consists of a stainless-steel window breaker, a stainless-steel hammer, a stainless-steel seat belt cutter, a plastic ice scraper, and an analog tire pressure gauge all in one tool. The pressure gauge portion of the tool provides measurements in pounds per inch (PSI). The item is made of 80% plastic components and 20% base metal components, measures 6 inches tall by 3 inches wide by 1 inch thick, and weighs approximately 0.25 kilograms.

In order to classify the emergency hammer, CBP turned to the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) within the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Per CBP, the merchandise is considered a composite good within the meaning of 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 also determined that no one component of the emergency hammer imparts the essential character, and as such turned to GRI 3(c). This GRI states that “when goods cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) or 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.”

CBP stated in its decision that the tire pressure gauge in heading 9026, HTSUS, merits equal consideration to the item’s window breaker, hammer, seat belt cutter, and ice scraper. Because the tire pressure gauge’s classification occurs last in numerical order, the tire pressure gauge would be used to determine the classification of the merchandise. As such, CBP determined that the applicable subheading for the emergency hammer was 9026.20.8000, HTSUS, which provides for “Instruments and apparatus for measuring or checking the flow, level, pressure or other variables of liquids or gases (for example, flow meters, level gauges, manometers, heat meters), excluding instruments and apparatus of heading 9014, 9015, 9028 or 9032; parts and accessories thereof: For measuring or checking pressure: Other.” The rate of duty is free.

Additionally, pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, Chinese products under subheadings 9026.20.8000, 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 9026.20.8000, HTSUS.