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Classification challenge: How do you classify a running vest with two soft flasks?

Customs classification can be challenging. Try your luck with our guided classification challenge and compare your results with the official solution The EU provides customs classification decisions on a regular basis. The same as on this product. We based our findings on the EU's study. So, when we give you the answer, you can be certain that we are completely in sync with EU decision-makers and EU Customs officials.


This is why they are useful to the trade community in developing a best practice classification reasoning and determining if you have arrived at the same commodity code.


This is why we conduct categorization tests and guide our members through complex scenarios.


We can break customs classification if we work together.

OK, so you are ready to try your skills as a customs classifier of this running vest with two soft flasks? Great, before we start, let's remind ourselves of some top tips. Customs classification is a journey of discovery. Start with answering these fundamental questions:

  1. What is the product that I am looking at?

  2. What are the necessary characteristics that I need to know about?

  3. What is the product used for?

  4. What is the commercial description vs. what it actually is?

  5. What about some technical features, length, thickness etc?

We, as customs consultants EU and UK, have found in our years of classification experience that starting with the right description of the product has really helped with the classification of the product. Step 1: Nail the Description So we know that the EU has classified a running vest with two soft flasks. What are the characteristics?


Three items were put up together for retail sale, comprising:


(a) a sleeveless knitted garment (a so-called running vest) (93 % synthetic fibres and 7 % elastane) covering the upper part of the body, reaching down to the waist. The front has a V-neckline, and opens completely at the front with a zip fastening, without any overlapping closure. In the front of the garment, there are two rectangular open chest pockets measuring approximately 19 cm × 8 cm and two rectangular open waist pockets measuring approximately 12 cm × 14 cm.


In the back, there is one pocket with rubber straps that are designed to attach, for example, folding walking sticks.


(b) two soft flasks, with a flat bottom, with a volume of 500 ml each, that fit into the front chest pockets, made of polyurethane and with a plastic lid with a pull spout.

Step 2: Build your argument, grounded in law Time to make our case

  1. Start with a section. Which one does this product fall into?

  2. Look at the GIR/GRIs and think about which ones could apply in this case? 1 & 6 is a given, but what about 3?

  3. Get your support tools ready. Have you got the Section & Chapter notes handy? Have you got access to the national explanatory notes of your country? What about the WCO classification explanatory notes? What about BTI? Case Law?

  4. Next, consider GIR 1 and find possible competing headings and try to unravel them with careful consideration of the section and heading notes. Use all the tools, including exclusions and exceptions, to support your case.

  5. Consider any other GIR rule you think is appropriate here

  6. Look at specific rules of your national tariff, like additional notes and subheading rules for numberings past 6 digits.

  7. Draft and fine-tune your justification and conclude by determining the article.

How should a justification look, sound and feel There is no fixed rule, but it should clearly answer the question: Why is this code correct and give reasons backed up by the rules of classification. The geekier the better. Here is an example: Classification is determined by general rules X and X for the interpretation of the Harmonised System of Classification as published by the WCO, version of year 20XX, and (insert name of national tariff). We considered the following Notes and wordings of HS/commodity codes:

  • note XX and xx to Section XX

  • Wording of HS codes XXXX, XXXX

  • National Tariff commodity codes: XXXX XXXX

The articles are produced in/by .... (see note XX to Section XX). Taking into account their xxx character the articles are to be considered as xxx. In addition, note xxx to Section xxx classifies Product A like Product B in that section. Classification under heading XXXX is excluded, because (see also the Harmonized System Explanatory Note to heading XXXX (X) and the Explanatory note to the National Tariff XXXX ). Consequently, the articles are to be classified under National Code XXXX XX XXas a xxx Now it is up to you :-) Can you try to find the 6-digit code for the WCO and the eight-digit code for the EU (or your country?) YOUR ANSWER IS __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Solution Our answer is published in a subsequent post, with detailed explanations. Access it here Help is here If you get stuck, please reach out to us in the chat. We are always happy to assist you. Good luck! While you are here, check out these resources:


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