In HQ H301075, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reviewed the classification of a “smart” coffee table called “Sobro.” The product comes in the form of a coffee table with the following dimensions: 43.1 x 22.8 x 17.5 inches. Its construction material (i.e., wood, metal, plastics, or other) was not specified in the request, although the importer stated it is equipped with a tempered glass tabletop with an integrated touch-panel control. The Sobro comes equipped with:

  1. A refrigerated drawer (adjustable from 37 – 54 degrees Fahrenheit);
  2. Two storage drawers;
  3. A wireless Bluetooth speaker;
  4. Two USB ports;
  5. Two 120V outlets;
  6. An AUX IN connector; and
  7. LED lighting.

GRI 3(b) provides guidance for mixtures, composite goods, and goods put up in sets for retail sale. For purposes of this rule, Explanatory Note IX to GRI 3(b) provides that, “composite goods made up of different components shall be taken to mean not only those in which the component are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts”.

CBP determined that the Sobro was a composite good, because it consists of furniture of Chapter 94, incorporates a “refrigerator” of Chapter 85, and electrical components, such as a Bluetooth speaker, power outlets, and USB connectors.

GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods must be classified according to the material or component that imparts the article with its “essential character.” CBP determined that the essential character of the Sobro is that of furniture. Although there are additional functions, namely lighting, charging and refrigerating, CBP believes the product functions, essentially, as a piece of household furniture with additional features that supplement or enhance its usefulness in that regard.

The Sobro “smart” coffee table is classified in heading 9403, HTSUS, which provides for “other furniture and parts thereof”. The specific subheading shall be determined by the Sobro’s constructed material, i.e., metal, wood, plastics, or other and in what environment the product is intended to be used. The general rate of duty will is Free.

Certain products of China are classified under subheadings 9403, HTSUS, and unless specifically excluded, are subject to the additional 10% ad valorem rate of duty (raised to 25% for goods entered as of May 10, 2019). At the time of importation, importers must report the Chapter 99 subheading in addition to its subheading.