30 N Gould Street
Sheridan, Wyoming 82801
RE: The tariff classification of an electric vehicle from China
Dear Ms. Wang:
In your letter dated May 19, 2020, you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The item under consideration has been identified as a one-wheeled electric vehicle, the InMotion V5F (V5F).
The V5F is a center mounted, single wheeled unicycle powered by a 550W brushless motor. The V5F has a maximum speed of 15.6 mph, a maximum carry weight of 265 lbs., and a range of 22-25 miles. The V5F weighs 16 lbs.
The applicable subheading for the InMotionV5F 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 rate of duty will be Free.
In your submission, you request clarification as to whether this electric vehicle would be exempt from additional duties under Section 301. Products of China that are classified in 8711.60.00 are subject to an additional ad valorem rate of duty.
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:
(87) Skateboards with electric power for propulsion, of a power not exceeding 250W (described in statistical reporting number 8711.60.0050)
The product description specifically described “skateboards” with electric power less than or equal to 1,000 Watts.
Although the term “skateboard” is not defined in the HTSUS, the terms of heading 8711 includes a broad range of vehicles that include “motor-scooters”, “mopeds”, and other similar vehicles that are not “conventional” cycles (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 in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), a “skateboard” is defined as, “a narrow platform mounted on roller-skate wheels, on which the rider coasts along, usually in a standing position”; while the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a skateboard as, “a short board mounted on small wheels that is used for coasting and for performing athletic stunts”.
These vehicles do not meet the definition of the term “skateboard” and would therefore not be excluded from the increased duties imposed by subheading 9903.88.02.
Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheading 8711.60.0050, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty. At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 subheading, i.e., 9903.88.02, in addition to subheading 8711.60.0050, HTSUS, listed above.
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