Maria M Vitale
Radiant Customs Services
182-09 149th Road
Jamaica, New York 11413
RE: The tariff classification of electric bicycles from China
Dear Ms. Vitale:
In your letter dated April 5, 2020, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Expedite International Inc. DBA Lucky Duck, located in Baldwin, Wisconsin.
The items under consideration have been identified as three (3) styles of electric powered bicycles.
The first item has been identified as the Colt 750. The Colt 750 is a folding electric bike with front and rear racks, fenders and lights. The dimensions, when folded, are 36" L x 22" W x 30" H and it weighs 60lbs. In your request you state that the Colt 750 is equipped with a Bafang 750W rear-mounted hub motor and a 48V 14Ah Samsung lithium-ion battery. The Colt 750 has a maximum range of between 25-50 miles per charge, and has a top speed of 20 mph. It has a pedal assist system with a 5 level pedal assist fork, a 7-speed Shimano throttle with a right hand grip, and an LCD monitor that displays a speedometer, pedal assist level, and battery level.
The second item has been identified as the Mule 750. The Mule 750 is an electric mountain bike weighing 60lbs. It features front/rear racks and lights. In your request you state that the Mule 750 is equipped with a Bafang 750W rear-mounted hub motor and a 48V 14Ah Samsung lithium-ion battery. It has a maximum range of between 25-50 miles per charge, and has a top speed of 20 mph. It is equipped with a pedal assist system with a 5 level pedal assist fork, a 7-speed Shimano throttle with a right hand grip, and an LCD monitor that displays a speedometer, pedal assist level, and battery level.
The third item has been identified as the Colt ST 750. The Colt ST 750 comes with front and rear racks, fenders, and lights. In your request you state that the Colt ST 750 is equipped with a Bafang 750W rear-mounted hub motor and a 48V 14Ah Samsung lithium-ion battery. It has a maximum range of between 25-50 miles per charge, and has a top speed of 20 mph. It is equipped with a pedal assist system with a 5 level pedal assist fork, a 7-speed Shimano throttle with a right hand grip, and an LCD monitor that displays a speedometer, pedal assist level, and battery level.
The applicable subheading for the electric bike models Colt 750, Mule 750, and Colt ST 750 will be 8711.60.0090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (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.
In your submission, you requested clarification as to whether these electric bicycles would be subject to additional duties under Section 301. Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheading 8711.60.00, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty.
On September 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 electric bicycles 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.”
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 therefore exclude the subject merchandise from the increased duties imposed by subheading 9903.88.02.
As the subject merchandise qualifies for the 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.
The HTSUS is subject to periodic amendment so you should exercise reasonable care in monitoring the status of goods covered by the Note cited above and the applicable Chapter 99 subheading. For background information regarding the trade remedy initiated pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, you may refer to the relevant parts of the USTR and CBP websites, which are available at https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/enforcement/section-301-investigations/tariff-actions and https://www.cbp.gov/trade/remedies/301-certain-products-china, respectively.
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