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Export Classification Codes Part 1: Mixtures

Wed Nov 18 2015
Crystal Carmon, Micro Analysis Branch
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Have you ever had a question about the proper way to classify exports? With mixtures, kits, and parts, correctly classifying products can be especially tricky. This is the first of three blogs that will try to demystify the process, starting with mixtures.

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The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI) [PDF] are a standard set of rules that helps exporters determine the correct classification for products. It provides international guidance on how to classify mixtures and kits and the <Additional U.S. Rule> provides guidance on classifying parts in the U.S.

According to GRI 2B [PDF], mixtures and combinations are classified based on the essential character unless the mixture is specifically referenced. A product’s essential character can be thought of as what it is, what it does and what it’s made of.

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There are some mixtures that are pretty simple to classify. For example, a package of mixed frozen vegetables would be classified under Schedule B 0710.90.0000 – Mixtures of vegetables.

Heading 0710 is for vegetables (uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water), frozen.

However, sometimes mixtures aren’t as straight forward as a bag of frozen vegetables. A glow light stick that is made up of a fluorescent dye and activating solution is kept separate until the inner vial is broken by bending the stick. Neither individual solution provides the essential character, but it’s the combination that makes the light stick glow

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Therefore, we would classify this under Schedule B 3824.90.9270 – Other chemical products and preparations of the chemical or allied industries (including those consisting of mixtures of natural products), not elsewhere specified.

Our interactive Schedule B Search Engine takes into account these and the other General Rules of Interpretation to provide export classification codes.

If you have questions about this topic, please comment below. You can also reach the Micro Analysis Branch at 800-549-0595, option 2 or email: eid.scheduleb@census.gov.

For more information about the search tool, check out this earlier blog post.

Keep your eyes open for blog posts on classifying kits and parts in the coming weeks.

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