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Classification of hand spreaders

With the Implementing Regulation (EU) No 220/2018, the Commission establishes the classification of so-called hand spreaders in the Combined Nomenclature (CN). Accordingly, hand spreaders shall be classified in subheading 8424 8970 as other mechanical apparatus for the distribution, spraying or atomisation of liquids and powders.

Hand spreader of heading 8424

The classification regulation covers mechanical apparatus consisting of a steel construction with a plastic container made of a fabric tarpaulin with a capacity of approx. 60 litres and a rotary spreader mounted at the bottom of the apparatus and two pneumatic tyres. It is used for spreading or spraying fertilizers, sand, seeds and other such products. On the handle there is a device with which the quantity to be spread can be adjusted.

Reasons for the classification

According to the Commission, classification is carried out in accordance with General Provisions 1, 3c and 6 for the interpretation of CN, Note 2 to Chapter 84 and the wording of CN codes 8424, 8424 89 and 8424 89 70.

Hand spreaders would therefore correspond to the description in heading 8242 (spraying sand and salt) and heading 8432 (fertiliser spreaders and seed drills). However, it could not be classified under heading 8432 as it did not fulfil a principal function (Note 3 to Section XVI). Taking into account note 2 to Chapter 84, apparatus which can be classified under headings 8401 to 8284 and 8425 to 8480 shall be classified under headings 8401 to 8424. The apparatus referred to above may be used both as an agricultural or horticultural apparatus of subheading 8424 82 or as another apparatus of heading 8424 89. However, since this product has no main function as an agricultural or horticultural implement, the hand spreader can be classified as another mechanical implement.

Rescission of Classification Regulations

Entrepreneurs should be aware that classification regulations are binding and must be followed as long as they have not been declared invalid by the ECJ. According to settled case-law, a Classification Regulation must be compatible with the wording of the Combined Nomenclature and may not alter the content of a heading. Economic operators therefore have in principle the possibility of challenging classification ordinances in court proceedings.

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Rechtsanwalt Dr. Tristan Wegner

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