Ms. Elizabeth McGuffin
100 Mission Ridge
Goodlettsville, TN 37072
RE: The tariff classification of baskets from China
Dear Ms. McGuffin:
In your letter, dated July 20, 2021, you requested a tariff classification ruling on baskets. Samples and detailed product descriptions, including component breakdowns by weight and value, were submitted for our review.
Item number 28593901, the "Bamboo Basket," is an oblong basket measuring approximately 8 inches wide, 12 inches long and 6.25 inches high. An open, iron framework forms the top and bottom rims, one middle horizontal support, and six vertical supports. The bottom of the basket is Paulownia wood. The sides consist of 48 vertically placed bamboo rods (dowels), each measuring approximately 3.5 millimeters in diameter, that are spaced roughly .75 inches apart. Wire is used to secure the bamboo to the frame. Paper strips resembling raffia are wrapped around the top and bottom of the basket to conceal the wire and add a decorative effect.
The "Bamboo Basket" is a composite article made of bamboo, metal, wood, and paper. Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 3(b) provides that composite articles consisting of different materials or made up of different components shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, which may be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight, or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the article.
For the basket under consideration, the bamboo predominates by value and visual impact. The vertical bamboo rods also serve to contain whatever is placed in the basket, helping the basket function for its intended use. We also note that the basket is identified in your request as a "Bamboo Basket" and will be marketed as such, supporting the idea that the bamboo is the primary identifying material of the basket. Therefore, the essential character of the basket is provided by the bamboo, and the basket shall be classified accordingly.
The bamboo rods meet the definition of plaiting materials, as set forth in Note 1 to Chapter 46, HTSUS, which states:
In this chapter the expression "plaiting materials" means materials in a state or form suitable for plaiting, interlacing or similar processes; it includes straw, osier or willow, bamboos, rattans, rushes, reeds, strips of wood, strips of other vegetable material (for example, strips of bark, narrow leaves and raffia or other strips obtained from broad leaves), unspun natural textile fibers, monofilament and strip and the like of plastics and strips of paper, but not strips of leather or composition leather or of felt or nonwovens, human hair, horsehair, textile rovings or yarns, or monofilament and strip and the like of chapter 54.
Specifically, the rods are considered to be "wickerwork" for tariff purposes. CBP has consistently held that wickerwork is composed of materials such as rods or twigs, with rounded cross-sections, as opposed to strips, filaments, etc. See Headquarters ruling H263917, August 1, 2016.
The applicable subheading for the bamboo baskets will be 4602.11.0700, HTSUS, which provides for "Basketwork, wickerwork and other articles, made directly to shape from plaiting materials or made up from articles of heading 4601; articles of loofah: Of bamboo: Other baskets and bags, whether or not lined: Wickerwork. The rate of duty will be Free.
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.
You additionally ask for a classification on a rattan basket with all the identical features of the bamboo basket described above, simply with rattan rods replacing the bamboo. No sample or photos were provided. Assuming that the rattan rods are of the same dimensions and have a circular cross section, the applicable subheading for the rattan basket will be 4602.12.1400, HTSUS, which provides for "Basketwork, wickerwork and other articles, made directly to shape from plaiting materials or made up from articles of heading 4601; articles of loofah: Of rattan: Other baskets and bags, whether or not lined: Wickerwork. The rate of duty will be Free.
Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheadings 4602.11.0700 and 4602.12.1400, 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, 9903.88.03, in addition to subheading 4602.11.0700 or 4602.12.1400, 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.
The tariff is subject to periodic amendment so you should exercise reasonable care in monitoring the status of goods covered by the Notice cited above and the applicable Chapter 99 subheading.
The importation of this product may be subject to import regulations administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.). Information regarding applicable regulations administered by the U.S.D.A. may be addressed to that agency at the following location:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
4700 River Road, Unit 136
Riverdale, MD 20737
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. For questions regarding this ruling, please contact National Import Specialist Charlene Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division