Snuggie prevails in tariff battle
February 16, 2017,
Hawthorne, NY – The government said it’s a robe and should be subject to 14.9% duties. The court disagreed.
A federal trade court has ruled that the Snuggie is, in fact, a blanket and therefore subject to the lower duty of 8.5%.
Customs and Border Protection, a division of the Justice Department, had classified Snuggies as garments. Customs argued Snuggies are comparable to priestly vestments or scholastic robes, according to a report from Bloomberg. Allstar Marketing Group, owner of the Snuggie, took its case to the Court of International Trade.
The court cited a number of factors in its ruling for Allstar:
- The Snuggie was inspired by the "Slanket" and the "Freedom Blanket," both of which were already on the market and being advertised as blankets.
- In discussions with its foreign vendor, and in purchase orders and specifications given to the manufacturer, Allstar referred to the Snuggie as a blanket.
- Commercial invoices described the Snuggie as a "Snuggie Fleece Blanket" or "Snuggie Fleece Blnkt."
- Purchase orders from and invoices to retail customers describe the Snuggie as a blanket.
- Allstar obtained trademark protection from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to use the mark "Snuggie" on "fleece blankets and throws."
- Retail packaging and television advertising describe the Snuggie as a “blanket with sleeves.”
- The Snuggie is sold in the bedding, housewares, general merchandise, impulse buy, or as-seen-on-TV departments of retail stores, never in the apparel department.
Snuggies became a huge fad a decade ago and by 2009 had sold four million pieces — or just under $80 million worth. The recent ruling did not disclose the current sales rate for the product.
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