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HQ 082080

October 17, 1988

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 082080 PAM 828551


TARIFF NO.: 8708.99.5090

Mr. Robert Barger
R.R. 2 Box 81
Elizabethtown, IL 62931

RE: Tariff classification of a heated ice scraper for automobile windshields

Dear Mr. Barger:

This is in response to your undated correspondence requesting a classification ruling on a heated ice scraper from Taiwan. Your request has been forwarded to Headquarters for disposition. Our ruling on this merchandise follows.


Are electric ice scrapers classified as motor vehicle accessories under subheading 8708.99.5090, Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA)?


In Headquarters Ruling Letter 081753 of April 15, 1988 (copy enclosed), we classified merchandise that was similar, if not identical, to this ice scraper as electrical articles, not spe- cially provided for (NSPF), in item 688.4280, Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (TSUSA). The ice scraper analyzed in our ruling of April 15, 1988, consisted of a plastic hand grip which houses a scraper and plow blade, a tubular heating element, and a tension bar. It was designed to draw power from 12 volt car batteries through a 14 foot electrical cord and an adapter that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket of automobiles.


The application of GRI 1 is paramount in the classification of accessories. Generally speaking, accessories are articles
that are not needed to enable the goods with which they are used to fulfill their intended function. In this instance, the heated ice scraper enhances the range of uses ordinarily encompassed by an automobile. This article enables people to clear ice from the windshields of motor vehicles more quickly and efficiently than use of built in defrosting mechanisms, provided the vehicle is so equipped, would ordinarily permit.

The Explanatory Notes to Section XVII, HTSUSA, state that heading 87.08 covers accessories of motor vehicles provided those accessories fulfill two requirements. One, they must be identifiable as being suitable for use solely or principally with the vehicles of headings 87.01 to 87.05. Two, they must not be excluded by the provisions of the Notes to Section XVII.

We consider this ice scraper to be principally used with the vehicles enumerated in heading 87.01 to 87.05. These articles are specially designed for use with motor vehicles and are not designed, manufactured, or intended to be used in any other con- text.

Section Note 2 of Section XVII, HTSUSA, contains a list of articles which are not considered to be accessories for the pur- poses of that Section. None of the enumerated articles are in any way similar to the ice scraper. Therefore, the ice scraper is not excluded by the provisions of the Notes to Section XVII.

The ice scraper meets both requirements set forth in the Ex- planatory Notes and is classified as an accessory for motor ve- hicles under the principal of GRI 1. Since this article is clas- sified according to GRI 1, we do not need to consider the applicability of any other rules.


For the reasons stated above, windshield ice scrapers de- signed with a heating element that is powered from a 12 volt power source and adapted for use with automobile cigarette light- ers are classified under the provision for motor vehicle accesso- ries under subheading 8708.99.5090. The rate of duty is 3.1 percent ad valorem. This classification represents the present position of the Customs Service regarding the dutiable status of the merchandise under the proposed HTSUSA. If there are changes before enactment this advice may not continue to be applicable.

The applicable item number from the TSUSA is item 688.4280, which provides for electrical articles, NSPF, dutiable at the rate of 3.1 percent ad valorem.


John Durant

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