There have been a number of regulatory developments in March 2010.
On top of these, there have also been two Tariff notices issued by HMRC:
Regulation No. 109/2010 classifies certain vacuum attachments that are intended to clean fire places etc under Commodity (CN) Code 8421.39.20 (“apparatus for filtering or purifying air”) with a duty rate of 1.7%. This particular attachment is considered to have the characteristics of an air filtering/purifying apparatus as a cylindrical grid stops the airborne particles (of dust/ash etc) and only “clean air” can go through it. The 1.7% duty rate is lower than the 3.2% rate had the attachment been classified under CN heading 7323.
Commission Regulation 153/2010 focuses on the classification of certain types of child pop-up books. In this particular case, the specific book in question has printed pages of paperboard, two of them with a limited text related to the playing activity. It has six other pages which, when opened, produce a three-dimensional representation of several sections of a space station. It also incorporates a page with press-out, stand-up figures made from paperboard which can be inserted into different parts of the space station. The correct CN code is 9503.00.99 (“Other Toys”) which has a duty rate of 0%.
Regulation 152/2010 clarified the situation regarding the classification of certain types of decorative lighting. The product in question is a “light net” that can be used indoors or outdoors and is intended for decorating Christmas Trees or Windows etc. The correct CN Code is 9405.30.00 which attracts 3.7% duty.
Commission Regulation 246/2010 focuses specifically on the classification of padded waistcoats. Commission Regulation No.989/89 laid down the classification criteria applicable to anoraks (including ski-jackets) wind-cheaters and similar articles of CN Codes 6101, 6102, 6201 and 6202.
These types of garment are usually worn over clothing as protection against the weather. The CN Explanatory Notes states that the garments must have long-sleeves to be classifiable under the above CN codes. However, the Commission is of the opinion that padded waistcoats are also worn over clothing as protection against the weather are should also be classifiable under the same CN codes despite the fact that they have no sleeves at all.
Therefore Regulation 246/2010 has amended Article 1 of Regulation 989/89 so that it now reads:
“By derogation from the first paragraph those headings shall include padded waistcoats despite the fact that they have no sleeves”
Regulation 211/2010 clarifies the definition of chewing gum and tablets that assist smokers in giving up.
The Regulation notes that these types of products have been classified by different authorities of the Member States under CN headings:
2106 (‘Food preparations not elsewhere specified or included’)
3004 (‘Medicaments (excluding goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses (including those in the form of trans-dermal administration systems) or in the forms or packing for retail sale’) or;
3824 (‘Prepared binders for foundry moulds or cores; chemical products and preparations of the chemical or allied industries (including those consisting of mixtures of natural products) not elsewhere specified or included’).
The regulation also noted that Regulation 3565/88 classified chewing gum consisting of nicotine bound to an ion-exchange resin to simulate the taste of tobacco smoke to CN code 2106.90 whereas the ECJ ruled in case C206-03 SmithKline Beecham that nicotine patches should be classified under CN 3004.
However, the European Commission decided that it was necessary to clarify certain areas and so this regulation adds an additional note to Chapter 30 of the CN which reads:
“…2. This Chapter does not cover products such as tablets, chewing gum or other preparations intended to assist smokers to stop smoking which fall within heading 2106 or 3824 with the exclusion of nicotine patches…”
Basically, products that assist smokers such as tablets and chewing gum, do not allow a gradual and continuous release of nicotine as nicotine patches do and therefore they cannot be classified in the same chapter as the patches (Chapter 30).