15 May 2015
Harmonised Customs Classifications Published for Knitted Textile Article, Table Legs and LED Screen Panel
On 30 April 2015, the Official Journal published two Commission implementing regulations concerning the classification of certain goods in the EU’s Combined Nomenclature. The regulations both state that, in order to ensure the uniform application of the Combined Nomenclature, which is annexed to the EU’s Common Customs Tariff, it is necessary to adopt measures concerning the classification of the goods covered by them.
Thereafter, on 5 May 2015, the Official Journal published another regulation for a similar purpose, but this time due to the fact that a previous regulation (Regulation 103/2012) made reference to a CN code that no longer exists. Therefore, the new regulation’s annex replaces its predecessor, setting out the correct harmonised classification.
Commission Implementing Regulation 2015/676 provides images of a large wrist stabiliser. It represents an article in the form of a sleeve, approximately 20 cm long, made of knitted textile material with thin foam padding on the palm surface. It includes one slightly curved palmar aluminium splint which can be manually bent, and two flexible dorsal stabilisers made of plastic. At both ends of the article there are two ‘velcro-type’ straps, used so as to adjust the article to the hand and to the wrist. In the middle of the article there is a wider textile strap with a ‘velcro-type’ fastening which is wrapped around the wrist to achieve the desired limitation of the movement of the wrist. The textile straps together with the bendable aluminium splint make the movement of the wrist more difficult. The flexibility of the wrist depends on the tightness of the straps.
The article cannot be adjusted to a patient’s specific handicap, but has a multi-functional use. In that respect, the article does not display characteristics which distinguish it by the method of operation or the adjustability to a patient's specific handicaps from ordinary supports for general use. Classification under heading 9021 as an orthopaedic appliance is therefore excluded. The knitted textile material of the sleeve and the strap confer the essential character of the article, because its presence is predominant in quantity and because of its important role in relation to the use of the article. In particular, the textile strap in the middle of the article is essential for the desired limitation of the movement of the wrist. The article is therefore to be classified under CN code 6307 90 10 as other made-up articles, attracting a conventional rate of duty of 12%.
Commission Implementing Regulation 2015/677 provides an image of an article consisting of four table legs. The legs are of base metal, fixed with screws to metal plates that hold them together. The bottom end of each leg is covered with rubber. The top ends of the legs have holes for screws, to allow the fixing of a table top. Classification as complete furniture is excluded because the article is missing an essential component, namely, the table top. The article is therefore to be classified under CN code 9403 90 10 as metal parts of furniture. The article attracts a conventional rate of duty of 2.7%.
Finally, Commission Implementing Regulation 2015/712, which was published on 5 May 2015, sets out an annex which replaces that of a previous EU law, Regulation 103/2012. The annex covers an unassembled modular screen panel (so-called “LED wall”), comprising several modules in the form of tiles, each tile measuring approximately 38 × 38 × 9 cm. Each tile contains red, green and blue light-emitting diodes. The panel is presented together with a processing system comprising a video processor accepting various signal inputs, and a signal processor allowing the pixel mapping of the input signal to the screen panel. The panel is presented as being suitable for sport or entertainment events, retail signage, etc., but is not suitable for close viewing.
As the panel is capable of displaying signals from an automatic data-processing (ADP) machine at a level sufficient for practical use with the ADP machine, it is considered to be capable of displaying signals from automatic data-processing machines with an acceptable level of functionality. It is therefore to be classified under CN code 8528 59 39 as other colour flat panel displays able to display signals from automatic data-processing machines with an acceptable level of functionality. Although the item at issue is stated to attract a conventional rate of duty of 14%, in practice it is imported duty-free pursuant to the provisions of Council Regulation 953/2013.
The three above-mentioned regulations (which were published in the Official Journal on 30 April and 5 May 2015) are scheduled to enter into force on the twentieth day following their publication.
However, Hong Kong traders should bear in mind that binding tariff information, which does not conform to Regulations 2015/676 and 2015/677, may continue to be invoked for a period of three months from the date of entry into force of each of those regulations.