Jennifer R. Diaz
Becker & Poliakoff
121 Alhambra Plaza, 10th Floor
Coral Gables, FL 33134
RE: The tariff classification of E-Cigarette battery units from China
Dear Ms. Diaz:
In your letter dated December 19, 2013, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client Green Smoke, Inc.
The item concerned is the battery unit of a Green Smoke electronic cigarette. This ruling covers both a long and short size version of the battery unit. A complete/finished electronic cigarette is comprised of two separate modules, the battery unit and the flavor/atomizer unit. The battery unit, which is the subject of this request, is comprised of a tubular steel housing that forms the front portion of the cigarette. Within that housing there is an LED light at the tip, a smart chip, a vacuum sensor and a rechargeable battery. The flavor/atomizer, which is not the subject of this request, consists of a heating element, a sponge filled with flavored liquid and a mouth piece.
In use, when an individual inhales through the mouth piece of a complete/finished E-Cigarette, the vacuum sensor activates the smart chip which sends power from the battery to the heating element within the atomizer. The heating element vaporizes the flavored liquid which is then drawn out through the mouth piece. At the same time the controller inside the battery unit also powers the LED light at the tip of the cigarette to indicate that the device is working, and to give the cigarette a realistic “smoking” appearance.
As you state in your request, it has been CBP’s position that complete electronic cigarettes are classifiable within subheading 8543.70.9650, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provide for “Electrical machine and apparatus…: Other machines and apparatus: Other: Other: Other: Other.” The item concerned is not a complete electronic cigarette; it is a part of the complete unit.
You have proposed classification of the battery unit under subheading 8543.90.1100, (HTSUS), which provides for “Parts: Of physical vapor deposition apparatus of subheading 8543.70.” Physical vapor deposition apparatus is classified within subheading 8543.70.2000, (HTSUS), which provides for “Physical vapor deposition apparatus.” Since electronic cigarettes are not classified within subheading 8543.70.2000, (HTSUS), the parts provision of 8543.90.1100, (HTSUS), would not apply.
The applicable subheading for both sizes of the battery unit of the Green Smoke electronic cigarette (short or long) will be 8543.90.8880, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Electrical machines and apparatus…: Parts: Other: Other: Other.” The rate of duty will be 2.6%.
Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).
A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Steven Pollichino at (646) 733-3008.
Gwenn Klein Kirschner
National Commodity Specialist Division