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HQ 087522

October 2, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087522 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9590

Mr. Cary Weinberg
Leyden Customs Expediters, Inc.
99 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013-2896

RE: "Shell" bedpad for incontinent does not have essential character of finished article. Classifiable as other made up article.

Dear Mr. Weinberg:

This is in reply to your letter dated June 11, 1990, to our New York office, on behalf of your client Zecron Textiles, Inc., in which you requested a ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) on the classification of an unfinished bedpad for the incontinent. A sample was provided with your request.


The sample article consists of two layers of 100 percent cotton woven fabric, measuring 24 inches by 36 inches, sewn in the length but left unfinished in the width. Similar articles will also be imported in 30 inch by 36 inch, and 34 inch by 36 inch sizes.

When imported, the "shell" fabric will be made into bedpads for the incontinent by sewing plastic-covered woven polyester liners to the fabric. A sample of a finished bedpad was also provided.


Whether the article in question is classifiable as bed linen, as an article specifically designed for the handicapped or as an other made up article.


Articles are classified under the HTSUSA in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that the classification of articles is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided the headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to the remaining GRIs taken in order.

Heading 6302, HTSUSA, provides, inter alia, for bed linen. According to the Harmonized Commodity Coding and Description System, Explanatory Notes, which although not legally binding, constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level, bed linen includes such articles as sheets, pillow cases, bolster cases, eiderdown cases and mattress covers. While sheets, pillowcases, etc. are standard articles of bed linen, bedpads are relatively uncommon, are marketed to nursing homes, institutions and hospitals, and are therefore distinguishable from the type of article classifiable in heading 6302. Consequently, it is Customs' view that bedpads are a class of merchandise separate and distinct from articles of bed linen.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 085092 dated May 10, 1990, an adult diaper, a containment pad and an underpad for the incontinent were classified in subheading 9817.00.96, HTSUSA, under the provision for articles specifically designed or adapted for the use of...physically... handicapped persons. There we stated:

The articles at issue are...durable products. They are designed for long-term use of two years or more. In your submission, you point out the expense of purchasing and properly caring for these articles...[A]n individual with acute or transitory incontinence would not be likely to purchase reusable products, such as those at issue, based on cost alone. Such an individual could easily meet their need...with disposable products.

The sample finished bedpad is durable, reusable and is designed for persons suffering from a permanent physical impairment which substantially limits one of life's major activities. It is likely that if imported as a finished bedpad, the sewn cotton fabric would be classifiable in subheading 9817.00.96, HTSUSA; but as it consists merely of two pieces of fabric it cannot be classified either as bed linen or as an article for the handicapped.

GRI 2(a) provides that any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to the incomplete or unfinished article so long as the article has the essential character of the end product. However, the article in question
consists of two pieces of cotton fabric partially sewn together and does not have the essential character of a bedpad.

Heading 6307, HTSUSA, covers other made up articles, and is a residual category for articles of textile material which are not more specifically provided for in other headings of Section XI or elsewhere in the Nomenclature. Explanatory Notes, EN 63.07, 867. The bedpad shell is cut to size and sewn on two edges and is therefore a made up article within the definition of Note 7, Section XI, HTSUSA.


The article in question is classifiable in subheading 6307.90.9590, HTSUSA, under the provision for other made up articles, other, other, other, other, and is dutiable at the rate of 7 percent ad valorem.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


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