Multimedia Monitors Are Now Entitled To Duty-Free Entry Into the U.S.

Lawrence  -  12:50 PM

As of 1 July, monitors capable of displaying signals or data from a computer and other devices are entitled to duty-free entry into the United States.  This includes so-called multimedia monitors that can connect to computers but also permit the connection of devices capable of producing video signals (such as DVD players, game consoles and set-top boxes). Historically, CBP classified multimedia monitors in a dutiable provision, finding that they were not "solely or principally" used in or with a computer.

On 29 June, President Obama modified the Harmonised Tariff Schedule of the United States to include specific duty-free provisions (subheadings 8528.59.21 and 8528.59.31) for monitors able to display signals or data from a computer even if they are not solely or principally used with a computer and are able to display signals or data from other devices.  This presidential proclamation remedies CBP's past decisions prohibiting the classification of multimedia monitors in the duty-free  computer monitor provision (currently subheading 8528.51.00) established pursuant to the Information Technology Agreement, a 1996 international treaty designed to eliminate tariffs on specified information technology products. Under the ITA, computer monitors with cathode ray tubes and flat panel displays for computers were required to receive a duty-free rate regardless of where they were classified.  However, shortly after ITA implementation CBP significantly limited the scope of the provision to exclude multimedia monitors and classified them in other, dutiable provisions.

The proclamation corrects this limitation, expressly stating that new subheadings 8528.59.21 and 8528.59.31 are designed to provide the intended tariff treatment to certain products covered by the ITA. While importers of multimedia monitors are thus entitled to duty-free treatment for all current and future entries, the proclamation does not address the improper treatment received by importers on past entries (entries from January 1997 forward). Legislative action for past entries is likely needed.

Content provided by Hong Kong Trade Development Council
Wednesday August 29th, 2012  -  , ,  -  No Comments

As of 1 July, monitors capable of displaying signals or data from a computer and other devices are entitled to duty-free entry into the United States.  This includes so-called multimedia monitors that can connect to computers but also permit the connection of devices capable of producing video signals (such as DVD players, game consoles and set-top boxes). Historically, CBP classified multimedia monitors in a dutiable provision, finding that they were not “solely or principally” used in or with a computer.

On 29 June, President Obama modified the Harmonised Tariff Schedule of the United States to include specific duty-free provisions (subheadings 8528.59.21 and 8528.59.31) for monitors able to display signals or data from a computer even if they are not solely or principally used with a computer and are able to display signals or data from other devices.  This presidential proclamation remedies CBP’s past decisions prohibiting the classification of multimedia monitors in the duty-free  computer monitor provision (currently subheading 8528.51.00) established pursuant to the Information Technology Agreement, a 1996 international treaty designed to eliminate tariffs on specified information technology products. Under the ITA, computer monitors with cathode ray tubes and flat panel displays for computers were required to receive a duty-free rate regardless of where they were classified.  However, shortly after ITA implementation CBP significantly limited the scope of the provision to exclude multimedia monitors and classified them in other, dutiable provisions.

The proclamation corrects this limitation, expressly stating that new subheadings 8528.59.21 and 8528.59.31 are designed to provide the intended tariff treatment to certain products covered by the ITA. While importers of multimedia monitors are thus entitled to duty-free treatment for all current and future entries, the proclamation does not address the improper treatment received by importers on past entries (entries from January 1997 forward). Legislative action for past entries is likely needed.

Content provided by Hong Kong Trade Development Council

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