The Tax Classification of Snuggies, Tomatoes, and Beans (Oh My!)
7 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2017
Date Written: June 12, 2017
This article discusses Allstar Marketing Group, LLC v. United States, in which the Court of International Trade ruled, in 2017, on a question of cosmic significance: whether, for purposes of computing the tariff due on importation, a Snuggie is a blanket or a garment. The stakes were significant, with a six percentage point difference in the rates applicable to the two categories. Along the way the court considered whether sleeves convert what would otherwise be a blanket into a garment and derived guidance about the nature of garments from an earlier decision involving the characterization of Halloween costumes. Allstar Marketing, also provided the opportunity to revisit some classic Supreme Court decisions — yes, Supreme Court decisions — dealing with whether, for tariff purposes, a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable, a bean is a seed or a vegetable, and knit woolen undershirts, drawers, and hosiery are “wool wearing apparel” or “knit fabrics made on frames.” The excitement builds.
Keywords: Allstar Marketing Group, LLC v. United States, Tariffs, Snuggies, Blankets, Garments, Halloween Costumes, Tomatoes, Fruits, Vegetables, Beans, Seeds, Wool Underwear
JEL Classification: K34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation