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Better Home Plastics Corporation v. United States

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
119 F.3d 969 (1997)


Facts

Better Home Plastics Corporation (Better Home) (plaintiff) imported shower curtains for resale in the United States. The curtains were sold in sets consisting of three parts: a decorative-textile outer curtain, a water-resistant plastic liner, and hooks. The duty to be paid on the sets under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) was 12.8 percent if the set was classified based on the textile curtain but only 3.36 percent if classified based on the plastic liner. The United States Customs and Border Protection (Customs) (defendant) imposed a duty based on the textile curtain. Better Home successfully challenged the decision of Customs in the Court of International Trade, which classified the set based on the plastic liner under the essential-character test. Customs appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, arguing that the Court of International Trade erred in the application of the essential-character test.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Rich, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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