Tier Mobility SE
RE: The tariff classification of an electric scooter from China
Dear Rèka Aleva:
In your letter dated May 5, 2022, you requested a tariff classification ruling on an electric scooter.
The item under consideration has been identified as a non-foldable metal electric scooter (e-scooter), fitted with an electric motor with 350-watt capacity, powered by a rechargeable Lithium battery (48-volt, 13.8 amp). In your request you state that the e-scooter is used to transport one (1) person, up to 100 kilograms (220 lbs.). Because the e-scooter is not equipped with a seat, the rider is transported in a standup position. You state that the e-scooter has a maximum range of 70 km (43.5 miles) and a maximum speed of 20 km/h (12.4 miles-per-hour).
The e-scooter’s dimensions are 1196 mm x 556 mm x 1218 mm and weighs approximately 32 kg (70 lbs.). The product is equipped with drum brakes, tires less than 15 inches in diameter, phone charger, IoT and may be imported with an optional box for helmet storage.
The applicable subheading for the e-scooter 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 sidecars; sidecars: With electric motor for propulsion: Other”. The rate of duty will be Free.
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 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 8711.60.0090, 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)
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 devices 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.”
It is the opinion of this office that this specific e-scooter qualifies for the exclusion from the additional duties imposed by subheading 9903.88.02 per Note 20(v) to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, and therefore can also be entered under that subheading.
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