The current provisions for Mowers, NOI, with or without engines or motors, as named in item 125835, were established as a result of action taken on Commodity Classification Standards Board (CCSB) Docket 2015-3, Subject 2 (September 2015). The provisions, shown below, were first published in Supplement 5 to NMF 100-AO, and became effective on December 19, 2015.
Through numerous inquiries, it is clear that mowers are being tendered for shipment on metal lift truck skids, pallets or platforms with standing sides/ends or stacking posts, as shown in the photos below and on the following page. These handling units are frequently being identified as “crates,” with sub 2 or 3 of item 125835 being named as the applicable provision, depending on the density.
NMFC Item (Rule) 245, Definition of or Specifications for Crates, states, in part:
“Crates are containers constructed of members made of sawn wood or structural panels or metal with apertures between, or members made of sawn wood or structural panels or metal combined with fiberboard, securely nailed, bolted, screwed, riveted, welded, glued, dovetailed, or wired and stapled together, having sufficient strength to hold the article packed therein so as to protect it from damage when handled or transported with ordinary care. Crates must be constructed so as to protect contents on the sides, ends, tops and bottoms, and in such manner that the crate containing its contents may be taken into or out of the vehicle. Contents must be securely held within crates and no part shall protrude, unless otherwise provided in individual items. Surfaces liable to be damaged must be fully covered and protected…”
The metal lift truck skids, pallets or platforms used for shipping these mowers, as shown in the photos herein, do not meet this definition. They do, however, meet the definition of “in packages,” as defined in NMFC Item (Rule) 680, Sec. 5.
“When the term 'in packages' is provided in connection with the separate descriptions of articles, such articles will be accepted for transportation in any container or in any other form tendered to carrier which will permit handling into or out of vehicles as units, providing such containers or tendered forms will render the transportation of freight reasonably safe and practicable so that it will withstand the normal rigors of the less-than-truckload environment. The term 'in packages' includes articles securely fastened to lift truck skids, pallets or platforms, or unitized quantities, but does not include articles 'in bulk,' 'loose,' 'on skids' or articles racked or braced in vehicles.”
Accordingly, it is the CCSB’s opinion that mowers tendered for shipment in this manner are properly classified in sub 5 or 6 of item 125835, depending on the density.