Don't Make This Costly Import Mistake: Top Christmas Toy is Not a Toy

 In customs, customs clearance, import, shippers, shipping

We live in the future.

In Back to the Future, when Marty McFly and Doc Brown time travel to the future, they go to the year 2015. “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

Turns out we do still need roads in 2015. The flying car actually has been invented, but it still appears to be in the experimental phases and will certainly not be mainstream anytime soon. But what is becoming mainstream is the hoverboard.

Oh yeah, watching Michael J. Fox zip around on a hoverboard in Back to the Future II got everyone excited for 2015 when they could have this item. Now, the hoverboard is a hot Christmas gift for 2015.

Sadly, the hoverboard of the real 2015 is not quite as cool as the hoverboard of Universal Pictures’ 2015.

The hoverboards being imported and sold as Christmas gifts don’t really hover above the ground. They have a wheel on each side of the board that is motorized and controlled by pressure the rider applies with their feet to the right or left sides of the board, respectively. There’s also the version that looks a little more like a traditional skateboard with a big wheel in the middle of the board of which the rider puts his or her feet in front and back.


Even if not as cool as the actually hovering board in the movies, the hoverboard is still pretty cool. I wouldn’t mind getting one of these for Christmas. *Hint. Hint.*

How is the connection between the hoverboard and shipping strong enough for a whole blog here?

Well, as one of the hottest gift items of the 2015 Christmas and holidays season, the hoverboard is a top shipping item for shippers to import and make money by selling.

However, there has been a problem shippers have run into when importing these products:


In fact, so many shippers have had a problem of misclassification when importing hoverboards that the Los Angeles Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association (LACBFFA) sent out an email to its members containing the following information:

– It has come to the attention of the CPMM CEE and the A&A CEE that the “hot” holiday gift of 2015, the Self-balancing Electric Scooters/ aka “Hoverboards” are being misclassified.

– Due to the holiday rush and online purchases, many of the recent shipments of the self-balancing electric scooters are incorrectly classified under HTSUS Chapter 95 (Toys) and imported by U.S. customs brokers via express consignment facilities.

– Per CBP NY Ruling N267801 dated August 31, 2015, the proper classification of the self-balancing electric scooters/“Hoverboards” is  8711.90.0000.

There are a lot of acronyms and numbers in there, so in case you zoned out in the middle of reading the above, I’ll sum up.

The hot new toy of the holiday season is not a toy! Many importers have tried classifying the hoverboard as a toy when importing it, but that has led to trouble.

Proper classification of goods when importing and exporting is very important and something shippers are held responsible for. When shippers import goods that are misclassified, they are not only forced to pay customs the difference in the duties of the improper classification from the proper one, but can face fees, fines, and delays on their shipments.

That 8711.90.0000 classification, which hoverboards have been ruled to fall under, is the classification for motorcycles, mopeds, and cycles fitted with auxiliary motors.

~Whoah, Doc! You’re importing a motorcycle?

~No, Marty, I’m importing a hoverboard! But it has the same customs clearance classification.

~This is heavy.

~ There’s that word again. “Heavy.” Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the Earth’s gravitational pull?

For those of you shippers who are importing hoverboards, take this as a warning. Get that classification right so you make as much money as possible on this year’s hot Christmas item you’re importing.

For all shippers, let this be a reminder to double check your classification of goods in general to make sure you don’t have issues with customs.

For everyone else, welcome back to the future and enjoy your new toy (if you’re lucky enough to get a hoverboard) that is not really a toy!

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Source: UC Blog

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