1420 Fifth Ave, Suite 2800
Seattle, WA 98101
RE: The tariff classification of electric scooters from China
Dear Mr. Wiens:
In your letter dated October 4, 2019, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Neutron Holdings Inc., of San Mateo, California.
The items under consideration have been identified as four (4) styles of electric powered scooters.
The first item, Lime Scooter, Model number SN-2.5, is equipped with a 300-watt front wheel drive motor, a max speed of 17 mph, a maximum range of 20 miles, an external battery pack, a front wheel electronic brake and a rear wheel step brake. The Scooter weighs 27 pounds and its dimensions are 1030 mm length x 480 mm width x 1130 mm height.
The second item, Lime scooter, Model number SH-2.5, is equipped with a 250-watt front wheel drive motor, a max speed of 16.5 mph, a maximum range of 23 miles, a built-in battery pack, a front wheel electronic brake and a rear wheel drum brake. The Scooter weighs 37 pounds and its dimensions are 1110 mm length x 480 mm width x 1270 mm height.
The third item, Lime scooter, Model number SJ/SZ/SF-2.5, is equipped with a 300-watt front wheel drive motor, a max speed of 16.5 mph, a maximum range of 14 miles, a built-in battery pack, a front wheel electronic brake and a rear wheel drum brake. The Scooter weighs 38 pounds and its dimensions are 1020 mm length x 495 mm width x 1310 mm height.
The fourth item, Lime scooter, Model number SZ/SF/SJ-3.0, is equipped with a 250-watt rear wheel drive motor, a max speed of 17 mph, a maximum range of 25 miles, a built-in battery pack, dual suspension, and a front/rear wheel multi-modal brakes. The Scooter weighs 49 pounds and its dimensions are 1164 mm length x 486 mm width x 1205 mm height.
In your request, you state that the two-letter abbreviations (“SZ/SF/SJ”) indicate different Chinese factories that produce the same model number and therefore the same specifications.
In your submission, you request clarification as to whether these Lime scooters would be subject to the 301 Investigation against China.
Products of China that are classified in 8711.60.00 are subject to the additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty imposed by heading 9903.88.02, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).
On Sept. 27, 2019 the Office of US Trade Representative (USTR), announced the Section 301 Tariffs exemption list. A new HTSUS note 20(v) to subchapter III of chapter 99, 9903.88.17 was implemented. As set out in the Annex to the Federal Register (FR) notice, product exclusions were reflected in the specially prepared product descriptions, which included:
(86) Motorcycles with electric power for propulsion, each of a power not exceeding 1,000 W (described in statistical reporting numbers 8711.60.0050 or 8711.60.0090)
The product description specifically described “motorcycles” with electric power less than or equal to 1,000 Watts. You state the subject Lime scooters meet the power rating limitation and should be covered within the scope of the term “motorcycles.” This office concurs.
Although the term “motorcycles” is not defined in the HTSUS, the terms of heading 8711 suggest a broad range of vehicles that include “motor-scooters”, “mopeds”, and other similar vehicles that are not “conventional” motorcycles (i.e. vehicles where the driver is seated). When tariff terms are not defined by the HTSUS or the Explanatory Notes (ENs), they are construed with their common and commercial meaning. According to common definitions available at Automotivedictionary.org and Motorera.com, a “motorcycle” is “a two wheeled motorized vehicle where the two wheels are not side-by-side but in line.” Similarly, all of the subject Lime scooters are two-wheeled vehicles with electric motors and the wheels are in line with each other.
Additionally, the ENs to heading 8711 suggest there is no need to further differentiate between conventional and non-conventional types of “motorcycles.” They state:
This heading also covers two-wheeled, electrically powered transportation devices, designed for carrying a single person, for use within low speed areas such as pavements (sidewalks), paths, and bicycle lanes. Their technology allows the rider to stand upright while a system composed of gyroscope sensors and multiple onboard microprocessors maintains both the device’s and rider’s balance on two independent, non-tandem wheels.
Motorcycles of this heading, which are propelled by one or more electric motors, are known as “Electric Motorcycles”. These motorcycles incorporate an electric accumulator pack supplying power to the electric motors. The electric accumulators of these “plug-in” type motorcycles can be recharged by plugging them into an electrical power grid outlet or charging station.”
This office concurs, given that the ENs do not specify vehicles by type in relation to the HTSUS subheading levels, it is our opinion that the product description provided in exclusion number 86 would cover all forms of “motorcycles” and are therefore exclude the subject merchandise from the increased duties imposed by subheading 9903.88.02.
The applicable subheading for the Lime scooter models SH-2.5 and SZ/SF/SJ-3.0 will be 8711.60.0050, HTSUS), which provides for “Motorcycles (including mopeds) and cycles fitted with an auxiliary motor, with or without side-cars; side-cars: With electric motor for propulsion: Of an output not exceeding 250 W”. The general, column one rate of duty will be Free.
The applicable subheading for the Lime scooter models SN-2.5 and SJ/SZ/SF-2.5 will be 8711.60.0090, HTSUS), which provides for “Motorcycles (including mopeds) and cycles fitted with an auxiliary motor, with or without side-cars; side-cars: With electric motor for propulsion: Other”. The general, column one rate of duty will be Free.
As the subject merchandise qualifies for exclusion from the additional duties imposed by subheading 9903.88.02 per Note 20(v) to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, it must also be entered under subheading 9903.88.17.
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 the World Wide Web at https://hts.usitc.gov/current.
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 Matthew Sullivan at [email protected]
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division