Custom's Classification of Imported Vehicles--A Controversial Issue

GGD-79-19: Published: Dec 13, 1978. Publicly Released: Dec 21, 1978.

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The United States Customs Service classifies imported vehicles with chassis containing cabs and other features found on road ready trucks which exclude cargo beds as chassis for trucks rather than trucks. As classified, the vehicles are subject to a 4 percent duty rate instead of the 25 percent rate applicable to trucks. Because there are pursuasive arguments both for and against the chassis classification, it is difficult to conclude, as a matter of law, that the classification is clearly wrong. From a practical viewpoint Customs' rulings permits importers to avoid a 25 percent duty by removing the cargo box from trucks and by importing items separately. Treasury officials are reconsidering vehicle classifications but will not issue any decisions until multilateral trade negotiations are concluded.

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