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EU Harmonises Classification of Wireless Charging Plates, Shower Curtain Rods and LED Dental Lights

During the month of August, the Official Journal published 3 new regulations classifying goods in the Combined Nomenclature, thus affecting their customs duties and descriptions. These goods consist of a wireless charging plate, a shower curtain rod and an LED dental light.

Commission Implementing Regulation 2017/1465, published on 12 August 2017, concerns a “wireless charging plate”, designed to charge apparatus wirelessly. The device consists of an adapter with a cable and a circular shaped charging plate. The cable has a connector to connect to the charging plate. The adapter converts alternating current (AC - 240V) into direct current (DC - 12V) and transfers this to the plate. In the plate this DC is converted into AC and then that AC is converted into an electromagnetic field. Both the plate and the apparatus being charged are equipped with “Qi” technology. As the functions of the device (current rectifying, inverting, and converting into an electromagnetic field) are covered by subheading 8504 40, classification under subheading 8504 50 is excluded. Classification under CN code 8504 40 30 as static converters “of a kind used with telecommunication apparatus, automatic data-processing machines and units thereof” is also excluded, as the AC/DC adapter is designed to provide current to a variety of electrical apparatus.

Due to the fact that neither current rectifying, inversion nor conversion into an electromagnetic field gives the device its essential character, it has to be classified applying GIR 3(c). It follows that the device is to be classified under CN code 8504 40 90 as “other” static converters, attracting a conventional duty rate of 2.5%.

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1472, published on 15 August 2017, concerns a so-called “shower curtain rod”, being a rod of aluminium which is used for hanging a curtain. The article consists of two hollow aluminium tubes, the smaller tube fitting into the broader tube. The rod is extendable and contains a spring mechanism inside the broader tube that is designed to press the two tubes towards a wall. Classification under subheading 7615 20 as “sanitary ware” is excluded because the article does not have the objective characteristics of an article designed for a bathroom. It is suitable for use anywhere in the building (e.g. to hang a curtain in front of a window or door). Due to its objective characteristics, the article is designed as a curtain rod of heading 8302, and not as a plain aluminium rod of heading 7604. Classification under CN code 8302 41 10 as “base-metal fittings for doors” or under CN code 8302 41 50 as “base-metal fittings for windows and French windows” is excluded because the article does not have objective characteristics that indicate that it is designed for use with one or the other. Consequently, the article is to be classified under CN code 8302 41 90 as “other” base-metal mountings, fittings and similar articles suitable for buildings, attracting a conventional duty rate of 2.7%.

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1476, published on 17 August 2017, concerns an “LED dental light”, designed to illuminate the oral cavity during dentistry treatment. The article is made of different materials (e.g. glass, plastic and various metals and including several light-emitting diodes (LED)) and produces light specifically for use by dentists. The dental light is attached to a pivoting arm, which can either be mounted on a dental chair or on the wall or ceiling of a dental surgery. As heading 9018 excludes certain items of complete dental equipment when they are presented separately, classification under heading 9018 as a medical instrument or appliance is excluded; those items are to be classified in their own respective headings. The product has the characteristics and design of an electric lamp/lighting fitting of heading 9405, which covers electric specialised lamps and lighting fittings that can be constituted of any materials and use any source of light. As the dental light consists of different materials, none of them giving it its essential character, it is to be classified under CN code 9405 40 99 as “other” electric lamps and lighting fittings of other materials than plastics, attracting a conventional duty rate of 2.7%.

Hong Kong traders should take note that for each regulation covered above, the date of entry into force is the twentieth day following its publication. Furthermore, for each regulation, binding tariff information which 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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