Many importers struggle with determining how to classify their electronics waste and scrap importations into the USA. Importers and brokers alike should reference CBP Rulings such as HQ H218910 alongside the HTSUS and its Explanatory Notes in order to better understand the way in which CBP handles these waste and scrap importations.
The HQ H218910 ruling suggests that the classification of waste and scrap of any kind is based on the predominant material that is obtained from the waste and/or scrap. In the case of PC boards, as the aforementioned ruling indicates, the main item that was obtained from the boards after processing was copper scrap. Therefore, the item was classifiable as copper waste and scrap and should be imported as such.
This ruling also helps in that it notes the definitions for various types of waste and scrap as determined by various court rulings.
In the case of other electronics waste and scrap materials, such as keyboards and mouses for example, classification would depend upon whether the main component obtained after processing is the plastic scrap or metal scrap. The key here is to be able to demonstrate what the main post-processing materials are that come from the original electronic product.
For help with classification of your waste and scrap, or of any other products, please fill out our advisory classification form.