12 Sept 2018
EU Customs-related Regulations Published Classifying a Type of Footwear, Among Others
On 30 August 2018, the Official Journal published Regulations 2018/1207, 2018/1208 and 2018/1209, which each classifies the articles described below. Hong Kong traders or their agents importing these goods will need to pay the respective customs duties applicable for each article as described.
Regulation 2018/1209 classifies certain footwear (a so-called ‘dancing shoe’) covering the foot but not the calf, open at the vamp. The footwear is made of one piece of textile material sewn together at the sole and the heel counter and has a textile lining. The sole has two leather pieces sewn on, one at the ball of the foot and the other at the heel part. The front textile part of the sole is raffled to create the round shape for the toes. The textile part of the sole between the two leather pieces is raffled and elasticated by means of an elastic band sewn on the inside of the footwear. It serves to tighten the sole from toes to heel when dancing. The footwear has two pieces of cellular foam covered with textile material sewn on the inside above the leather pieces, which are slightly larger than the leather, yet smaller than the sole making contact with the ground when the footwear is in use. The opening of the footwear can be tightened by an elastic string. Two elastic bands are fixed in the quarter area in order to secure the footwear to the foot. When the footwear is in use (worn while standing on the ground) the part of the footwear that does not cover the sides and top of the foot and that makes contact with the ground consists of approximately 33% leather and approximately 67% textile materials. Images of the footwear are provided in the Regulation itself.
The constituent material of the outer sole is the textile material, because it has the greatest surface area in contact with the ground when the shoe is in use (worn while standing on the ground). The article is therefore to be classified under CN code 6405 20 99 as other footwear with uppers and outer soles of textile materials. It attracts a convention rate of duty of 4% according to the Combined Nomenclature.
Regulation 2018/1207 classifies an article made of hot rolled non-alloy steel with a coating made of nickel silver alloy. It is presented in the shape of a round cap with a slightly lowered centre, turned down into a hole, with small air gaps inside the turned down part. The cap is connected to a hollow threaded shank. The article is designed to be used as a tuning element in a specific bandpass filter (which is used in cellular network base stations to transmit signals of certain frequencies) filtering out the upper and lower frequencies, by screwing it into the bandpass filter chassis.
It is said to be an essential part in the process of tuning. In this process, the round cap acts as a resonator. In case of any damage to the surface of this round cap there will be a distortion of the radio frequency waves. An image of the article is provided in the Regulation.
As the function of the article is not to assemble or fasten goods it cannot be classified as a screw or as a bolt. The article is a part of cellular network base stations, and is essential for their operation, due to the article's specific design and dimensions, and cannot be used for other purposes. Consequently, the article is to be classified under CN code 8517 70 00 as a part of an apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images or other data in a wireless network. The article is listed as ‘free’ in the conventional rate of duty column in the Combined Nomenclature.
Regulation 2018/1208 classifies a sensor based electrical analogue apparatus (a so-called ‘oxygen analyser’). The apparatus uses coulometric technology in order to detect and measure trace oxygen and paramagnetic technology in order to accurately measure the percentage of oxygen in pure gas streams and multi-gas backgrounds. It includes an LCD monitor to display the results of the measurement. It also includes an audio and visual alarm and analogue and digital outputs and two-way serial communication. The apparatus is used in the industrial gas process and quality control.
The apparatus is a composite product and it is to be classified according to the component that gives the product its essential character. Detecting and measuring the oxygen within a gas is considered to be the function that gives the essential character to the apparatus. The apparatus is therefore to be classified under CN code 9027 10 10, as electronic gas or smoke analysis apparatus. This classification attracts a conventional rate of duty of 1.3%, although a footnote for this figure in the Combined Nomenclature (which was last published in the Official Journal on 31 October 2017) states as follows: “— from 1 July to 31 December: 0.6”.
As noted above, binding tariff information which does not conform to the three Regulations may continue to be invoked for a period of three months from the date of entry into force of each Regulation. The Regulations will enter into force on 19 September 2018.