Super Powersports Distributors, LLC.
6155 Jimmy Carter Blvd
Norcross, Georgia 30071
RE: The tariff classification of an electric bicycle from China
Dear Mr. Jiva:
In your letter dated April 8, 2021, you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The item under consideration has been identified as the “Tiger Jet Bike” 350W electric bicycle with a 36V acid battery. In your email of April 9, 2021, you state that the bicycle has a top speed of 10 miles per hour, a range of 22 miles, is fully self-propelled and can operate on a full charge for 2 hours.
To classify the following vehicle, it is helpful to clarify the types of drive systems equipped on the subject vehicle.
“Self-propelled” is defined as, “impelled or driven onwards without external agency or intervention; spec. (of a vehicle, machine, etc.) that moves under its own power, motorized.” In this case, the electric bicycle is capable of movement via the electric motor without the use of the pedals.
Pedal assist, also known as “pedelec,” is defined as “a bicycle with an electric motor that helps the rider turn the pedals.” In this case, when the rider stops pedaling the motor disengages and the bicycle coasts.
The applicable subheading for the Tiger Jet Bike 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.
This office will provide guidance as to whether this electric bicycle will 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 8711.60.0090 HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 7.5 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 8711.60.0090, HTSUS, listed above.
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. According to the information you provided, the subject electric bicycles meet the power rating limitation.
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:
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.”
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 self-propelled “motorcycles” and therefore exclude the subject merchandise from the increased duties imposed by subheading 9903.88.02.
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, including information on exclusions and their effective dates, 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