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EU Harmonises Classification of Memory Card Games, Threaded Shanks, Bank Note Validators with Cash Boxes and Video Inspection Scopes

On 4 October 2016, the Commission published four regulations concerning the classification of goods in the Combined Nomenclature (CN). These goods consist of a memory card game, a threaded shank with a metric thread made of zinc plated steel and a head made of plastic, an apparatus consisting of a bank note validator and cash boxes, as well as a video inspection scope. The customs classification of all these articles is likely to be of relevance to Hong Kong and mainland Chinese exporters to the EU.

Commission Implementing Regulation 2016/1758 concerns a so-called ‘memory card game’. The article comprises 20 square cards, made of cardboard and measuring approximately 60 × 60 mm. All cards have the same design/image on the reverse and various images on the face of the card. Every card contains an image that can be paired with another card. The card game is suitable for two to four players. CN code 9504 40 00 covers card games of all kinds, irrespective of the form of the cards and the way they are used (held in the hand and/or placed on the table). The product is therefore classified under CN code 9504 40 00 as “playing cards”, attracting a conventional duty rate of 2.7%. Due to the classification as playing cards under CN code 9504 40 00, the classification under CN code 9504 90 80 as “other” games is excluded.

Commission Implementing Regulation 2016/1759 concerns an article consisting of a threaded shank with a metric thread made of zinc-plated steel and a head made of plastic. The threaded shank has a length of 23 mm and a diameter of 6 mm, while the round head has a diameter of 14.5 mm and does not have a slot or recess for tools. The article is presented to be used as a ‘stand/foot’ for items of furniture, but it can also be used for other items that are to be placed on the floor. The article serves to adjust the height of the item by screwing the threaded section into the item. While the article is a composite good consisting of two materials, it is the threaded shank that gives the article its essential character. Classification under heading 8302 as “base metal mountings, fittings and similar articles suitable for furniture” is excluded, as the intended use of the article is not inherent to its objective characteristics and as it can also be used with goods other than furniture. Due to the fact that the article has the objective characteristics of a screw of heading 7318, it is to be classified under CN code 7318 15 90 as “other” screws, attracting a conventional duty rate of 3.7%.

Commission Implementing Regulation 2016/1760 concerns a so-called ‘note float unit’, an apparatus consisting of a bank note validator and cash boxes with total dimensions of approximately 10 × 24 × 44 cm. The bank note validator uses optical scanning technology to check the authenticity of bank notes, after which the validator passes approved bank notes to a cash box. When this cash box has reached its capacity, the bank notes are automatically sorted and distributed towards other cash boxes with larger capacities. The apparatus is used, for example, in gaming, vending and parking machines to pay for the service or for the product obtained. The apparatus is also capable of dispensing bank notes and is always connected to a so-called ‘host-controller’, which regulates the bank note specifications and the bank note flow to the different cash boxes. The apparatus is more than a checking instrument, as it – in addition to checking the authenticity of bank notes – also carries out other functions such as sorting, distributing and dispensing bank notes. Consequently, classification under heading 9031 as a “measuring or checking instrument” is excluded. As all these functions are covered by heading 8472, the apparatus is to be classified under CN code 8472 90 70 as an office machine, attracting a conventional duty rate of 2.2%.

Commission Implementing Regulation 2016/1761 concerns a so-called ‘video inspection scope’. The article is battery operated and consists of (i) a control unit incorporating a joystick, a recording device, a memory card slot and a LCD display with a diagonal measurement of the screen of approximately 9 cm (3.5 inches); (ii) a flexible electrical cable of a length of 3 m with a diameter of approximately 7 mm; (iii) a camera; and (iv) LED lights. The apparatus is designed to be mainly used for technical inspections of cavities. It is capable of capturing and recording video images, which can be viewed in real time. As the purpose of the apparatus is not to check or measure cavities, but to capture images and convert them into an electric signal recorded as a video image, classification under heading 9031 as a “measuring or checking instrument, appliances and machines” is excluded. Moreover, the apparatus consists of individual components that are interconnected and intended to jointly contribute to a clearly defined function, covered by one of the headings in Chapter 84 or 85. As the function of the apparatus is to capture and record video images, classification as a monitor under heading 8528 is excluded. Consequently, the apparatus is to be classified under CN code 8525 80 91 as video camera recorders “only able to record sound and images taken by the television camera”, attracting a conventional duty rate of 4.9%.

Hong Kong traders should take note that for each of the regulations covered in this report, the date of entry into force is the twentieth day following their publication. Furthermore, for each regulation, binding tariff information that does not conform to the harmonised classifications may continue to be invoked for a period of three months from the date of entry into force.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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