Dependable Packaging Solutions, Inc. v. United States, No. 13-1300 (Fed. Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Dependable imports packing, janitorial, floral, office supplies, and some glass items. In 2010, Dependable imported, from China, items invoiced as “Generic Bud Vases” valued at $0.30 or less and larger “Generic Trumpet Vases,” valued at no more than $3.00. Dependable sells the vases to flower-packing houses that fill them with flowers for shipment to supermarkets or similar retailers, where the vase and flower combinations are sold as a single unit. Dependable classified the vases under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule 7018.90.50. At liquidation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection applied Heading 7013, which provides for “Glassware of a kind used for . . . indoor decoration.” Dependable protested but after a deemed denial and paying assessed duties, argued to the Court of International Trade that both vases should be classified under Heading 7010, which includes “containers, of glass, of a kind used for the conveyance or packing of goods ... Carboys, bottles, flasks, jars, pots, vials, ampules and other containers, of glass ... for the conveyance or packing of goods; preserving jars of glass; stoppers, lids and other closures, of glass." The court stated that “a reasonable jury could only conclude that the vases here are commercially fungible with other inexpensive clear glass vases whose principal use is decorative, rather than with glass packing containers” and granted summary judgment in favor of the government. The Federal Circuit affirmed.