NEMA Advances Customs Classification of LED Lighting

NEMA Advances Customs Classification of LED Lighting

This piece was originally published in the February 2017 issue of electroindustry.

Craig Updyke, Director, Trade and Commercial Affairs, NEMA

As a member of the Global Lighting Association (GLA), NEMA discusses issues with trade associations representing lighting manufacturers. A current topic is how national customs authorities classify light-emitting diode (LED) lighting products that challenge the status quo.

The World Customs Organization (WCO) revises the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (generally referred to as HS) every five years. It made several GLA-supported changes for LED lamps that took effect in January. Anticipating further changes in the 2022 code to accommodate LED luminaire componentry, the GLA developed common positions on which NEMA has met with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials who represent the country at the WCO.

“While U.S. Customs’ attorneys are experts in product classification, we have found that they appreciate help from NEMA in understanding the components of LED lighting technology that are traded internationally and the recommendations of the global lighting industry,” said Joe Howley, manager of industry relations for GE Lighting, chair of the NEMA Light Source Section, and past chair of the Lighting Systems Division. “We are usually able to come to a common understanding with U.S. Customs in part due to our proactive approach.”

Although complete consensus on the GLA recommendations has not yet been achieved at the WCO, NEMA continues to confer with U.S. Customs and prepare for the 2022 HS.

NEMA successfully petitioned the U.S. Census and the U.S. International Trade Commission in late 2016 to create special statistical breakout subcategories for LED lamps. They are general purpose, decorative, directional, mini-directional, straight linear tube, and others. Government and industry now have an accurate understanding of what types and quantities of LED lamps are being imported by the U.S.

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