May 2009 Classification News

01 June 2010

May 2009 saw Classification Regulations in three areas:

Sheets of Dough

Coated Vitamin-C Tablets

Duty Suspensions on LCD Monitors

The ECJ also issued rulings in:

Case C-376/07 Kamino International Logistics (“Classification of LCD “Dual Use” Monitors”)

Case C-150/08 Siebrand BV (“Classification of products that have lost their taste, smell or appearance”)

Sheets of Dough

Commission Regulation (EC) No. 332/2009 clears up the uncertainty surrounding the classification of sheets of dough under Tariff Heading 1905 of the Combined Nomenclature (CN):

“… Bread, pastry, cakes, biscuits and other bakers’ wares, whether or not containing cocoa; communion wafers, empty cachets of a kind suitable for pharmaceutical use, sealing wafers, rice paper and similar products…”

Problems arose as there were no clear criteria distinguishing between subheadings:

· 1905.90.20: “Communion wafers, empty cachets of a kind suitable for pharmaceutical use, sealing wafers, rice paper and similar products” and:

· 1905.90.90: “Other”


The Regulation has clarified the situation by stating that CN Code 1905.90.20 will only cover “dry and brittle products”.


Coated Vitamin-C Tablets

Commission Regulation 349/2009 specifically focussed on powdered L-Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (Coated Vitamin C tablets). The product in question is in powdered form consisting of (% of weight)L-Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) 97 and Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose 3. Please note that the addition of Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose is not necessary for the preservation or transport of Vitamin C. The product is for a specific use (manufacture of vitamin tablets) rather than for general use.

What does this mean?

The product in question was previously categorised under CN 2936 and attracted 0% import duty. However, under the new classification the product attracts 12.8% duty. The classification of goods between medicaments, vitamins and food supplements is highly contentious because of:

• The complexity of this area of the tariff and wafer thin differences between these three groups; and;
• The significant differences in customs duty rates (typically 0% to 14%)

It is important that businesses review their classifications of these types of products and if there is any uncertainty then we recommend applying for a Binding Tariff Information Ruling (BTI).


Duty Suspensions on LCD Monitors

Autonomous Common Customs Tariff duties for monitors using liquid crystal display (LCD) technology, with a diagonal measurement of the screen of 48.5cm or less and a screen aspect ratio of 4:3 or 5:4 and classifiable under CN Code 8528.59.90 has been suspended for a period of two years by Council Regulation No. 179/2009.

Duty suspension has also been extended to colour monitors, using LCD technology, with a diagonal measurement of the screen not exceeding 55.9cm (22 inches) with an aspect ratio of 1:1, 4:3, 5:4 or 16:10.

Duty suspension also applies to black and white or other monochrome monitors, using liquid crystal display technology equipped with either Digital Visual Interface (DVI) or a Video Graphics
Array (VGA) connector or both:

  • With a diagonal measurement of the screen not exceeding 77.5cm (30.5 inches);
  • With an aspect ratio of 1:1, 4:3, 5:4 or 16:10;
  • With a pixel resolution exceeding 1.92 mega pixels and;
  • With a dot pitch not exceeding 0.3mm.


Next Steps

If you are affected by any of the above or have any questions then please contact our team of classification specialists on (01905) 619229 or by email:

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