Proper Tariff Classification – A Vital Part of Customs Clearance

Is the Snuggie a blanket or a piece of clothing? And why does it matter?

The Snuggie, a fleece blanket with sleeves, became a cultural phenomenon in 2009, even gaining Oprah Winfrey’s “seal of approval” and a segment on Saturday Night Live. But the garment became ensnarled in an international trade dispute over whether it should be classified as a “blanket” or an “article of apparel.”

The reason it matters has to do with tariff rates. Every product entering or leaving the United States must be assigned a tariff classification code which, for imports, determines the product’s tariff rate.

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