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HQ 089558

July 2, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 089558 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 7323.99.90

Mr. Charles K. Schmauder
Paul E. Dixon CHB
147-38 182 Street
Jamaica, NY 11413

RE: Classification of Pet (Dog) Weatherbed

Dear Mr. Schmauder:

This is in response to your letter of April 26, 1991, concerning the classification of dog "weatherbeds" under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA).


The weatherbed consists of a steel frame with four steel legs that rise several inches above the ground, and is covered with a polypropylene fabric tarp. The article is intended as a bed for dogs and is meant to be used to keep them off the cold or wet ground. It is also suitable for indoor use. The weatherbed is made in Australia.


What is the classification of dog weatherbeds under the HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

The first question to be addressed in this case is whether the weatherbed is classifiable as furniture under Heading 9403, HTSUSA. "Webster's Third New International Dictionary", Merriam- Webster Inc., Springfield, Mass., 1986, defines furniture as "articles of convenience or decoration used to furnish living quarters, offices, public and private buildings, usually of
movable articles as distinguished from permanent installations."

It could be surmised from the given definition that the weatherbed is furniture for classification purposes. However, it is our opinion that furniture is specifically limited to such items used by humans. In fact, within the many definitions of furniture given in the dictionary, not one mentions articles for the use of animals. Some of the definitions do use the word "personal", such as "personal belongings". The term "personal", used in that context, implies the use of furniture by a person, not an animal.

In HQ 086503 (March 29, 1990), Customs addressed the question of whether a wood-constructed, carpet-covered, scratching and sleeping structure for cats was classifiable as furniture under the HTSUSA. In that ruling we held that "furniture is for use by humans rather than by pets or animals, and consists of articles, such as tables, chairs, bedsteads, desks, and cabinets, required for use or ornament in a house, office or the like." In addition, Explanatory Note 4(A) (p.1574) to Chapter 94, HTSUSA, provides the definition of furniture as "Any 'movable' articles ... which have the essential characteristic that they are constructed for placing on the floor or ground, and which are used, mainly with a utilitarian purpose, to equip private dwellings, hotels, theatres, cinemas, offices, churches, schools, cafes, restaurants, ..."

It is our position that the weatherbed is classifiable under Heading 7323, HTSUSA, which provides for household articles of steel. The weatherbed can be deemed a "household article" because it will be used by domesticated pets around a household. Inasmuch as the essential character of the weatherbed is the steel frame, classification will be under subheading 7323.99.90, HTSUSA.


The dog weatherbed is classifiable under subheading 7323.99.90, HTSUSA, which provides for Table, kitchen or other household articles and parts thereof, of iron or steel: Other: Other: Not coated or plated with precious metal: Other: Other. The column one, general rate of duty is 3.4 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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