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Trade Customs Rulings & Decisions – The “Sobro” a Smart Coffee Table

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a state’s body. Vested with the power and authority to issue custom legal rulings. It also deals with other legal decisions that relate to the importation of merchandizes.  The rulings enable the international trade community to understand how the CPB will treat a prospective carrier transaction or import.

While various components are grouped in several categories in the trade/custom legal guidelines, the CPB classifies newly unveiled products to facilitate taxation. With a view of promoting efficiency and transparency, the Customs and Border Protection makes various classifications readily available for the general public.

Classification of “Sobro” a Smart Coffee Table

Nothing lifts your mood like a cup of coffee or a cold drink while staying in for movie night.  If you are among the majority of American Americans who enjoy doing just that and you may have that special table in your favorite room to sit back and relax.  Wait, what if you could get more from that coffee table other than resting your cup, magazines, or snacks? The “Sobro” is an innovative Smart Coffee Table that fuses a broad range of accessories into one package. Imagine a table with built in charging ports for all your devices, storage underneath, a mini refrigerator, Bluetooth speakers, and lighting to set the mood.  This might be what you’ve been looking for. But for customs purposes, is the Sobro smart coffee table considered furniture, an appliance, entertainment device, or some other product?

The Customs and Border Protection classified Sobro, a “smart” coffee table, in HQ H301075. The table measures 43.1 x 22.8 x 17.5 inches, but its construction material may include metal, wood, or plastic. The product boasts a tempered glass tabletop that is integrated with a state-of-the-art touch-panel control.  The Sobro also features two storage drawers; a Refrigerated drawer (can be adjusted from 37-54 degrees Fahrenheit), and Dual USB ports. It is also equipped with a wireless Bluetooth speaker, an AUX connector, two 120V outlets, and LED lighting.

This product was defined according to the GRI 3(b) which sets guidance for composite goods, mixtures, and goods that come in sets for retail sale. It provides that, composite products are not only those items that come with different components that are attached to form one unified whole. It also incorporates those that come with separate components that are complementary and interdependent, and can’t be offered for sale as different parts.

From the review, CBP determined that the Sobro coffee table is a composite good. This is because it is a household item that consists of a refrigerator, furniture, and other electrical parts. Such as the USB connectors, power outlets, and Bluetooth speaker.

And since the GRI 3(b) recommends that composite goods be classified based on the component or material that imparts the products with its core functionality or character. CBP classified the Sobro as furniture. The main reason behind this US Customs ruling is that even though it features other functionalities, such as refrigeration, lighting and charging capabilities, the product is primarily used as household furniture, and endowed with additional functions to enhance its usefulness.

The CBP classified the Sobro smart coffee table in heading 9403, HTSUS. Which offers a category for “other furniture and parts thereof”. However, the particular subheading for this product will depend on the construction material or where the product will be used. For products classified in subheadings in the 9403, HTSUS, the general rate of duty will be free.

However, it is essential to note that given products originating from China are classified under subheadings 9403. HTSUS unless exempted, are subject to 10% ad valorem rate of duty. rulings

With Global Training Center’s Tariff Classification courses, you will learn different methods to determine the product’s classification number through multiple and detailed hands on workshops and examples. The course is intended to help you answer real-world questions like the one above and reach an informed and well-thought determination on the classification number for your products.


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