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CBP Grants Protest for Tariff Classification of 'Puffer Cabinet'

CBP granted an importer's protest that an automatic aerosol dispenser is classified as an appliance part, rather than as an appliance itself, in a recently released ruling.

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Suterra filed the protest in April 2023 CBP had initially liquidated its "Puffer Cabinet" under subheading 8424.82.00 as an agricultural or horticultural appliance, dutiable at 2.4%. Instead, it argued the article was a part of an appliance classifiable in the duty-free subheading 8424.90.90.

The Puffer Cabinet is composed of "a plastic housing" that holds an aerosol can of "insect pheromones," CBP said. The item also houses a "battery-operated motor and hammer mechanism" that pushes down the sprayer of the aerosol can to release the pheromones at timed intervals. The Puffer Cabinet is part of a final product known as the "Puffer," which is suspended from trees and releases insect pheromones to get rid of pests and protect crops, CBP said.

CBP said that if the Puffer Cabinet were just an "'appliance'" under 8424, then it would be properly classified under subheading 8424.82.00. However, the Puffer Cabinet itself does not spray the liquid. The motor and hammer mechanism "actuate" the aerosol spray can, but it doesn't own its own disperse or spray liquids. It's considered an "integral part" of an appliance of heading 8424 but not the appliance itself. As a result, it's properly classified under subheading 8424.90.90, CBP said.

CBP cited three other customs rulings in which it ruled that similar automatic aerosol dispensers were classified under the same subheading because when the dispensers were imported without the can, and were an integral part of the dispenser and designed to be "solely or principally used with mechanical dispersing or spraying appliances," the agency said.

The Puffer Cabinet was from China and so there is a 25% additional rate of duty under 9903.88.03, but the product is excluded from Section 301 duties under 9903.88.67, CBP said.

Suterra didn't respond to our request for comment.