U.S. trade court, tariff classification of plastic bags | KPMG | US
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U.S. trade court, tariff classification of plastic bags

U.S. trade court, tariff classification of plastic bags

The U.S. Court of International Trade today denied cross-motions for summary judgment concerning the tariff classification of Ziploc plastic bags under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The trade court concluded that there were “genuine issues of material fact” regarding the tariff classification of the plastic bags and that because of these unresolved issues, the case was to proceed to trial.


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The case is: S.C. Johnson & Sons, Inc. v. United States, Slip Op. 18-119 (CIT September 14, 2018). Read the trade court’s opinion [PDF 512 KB]


At issue was whether the plastic bags were “other household articles” or “articles for the conveyance or packing of goods” under the HTSUS.

  • The importer asserted that the plastic bags were properly classified as household articles under HTSUS Subheading 3924.90.56 (subject to a customs duty rate of 3.4% ad valorem), but that the plastic bags would be eligible for duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences).
  • The government countered that the plastic bags were classifiable as items for the conveyance or packing of goods under HTSUS Subheading 3923.21.00 (subject to a customs duty rate of 3.0% ad valorem).

The trade court found that the parties had failed to “proffer sufficient undisputed material facts….” In noting that the case would proceed to trial, the trade court deferred analysis of whether the plastic bags were prima facie classifiable under HTSUS Heading 3924 until trial.


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Christopher Young
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George Zaharatos
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John L. McLoughlin
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Principal, WNT
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E: labad@kpmg.com

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Managing Director
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E: aahanchian@kpmg.com

Gisele Belotto
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Jessica Libby
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E: jlibby@kpmg.com

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