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NY 863135

MAY 16 1991

CLA-2-48:S:N1:234 863135


TARIFF NO.: 4818.90.0000

Mr. Richard G. Seley
Rudolph Miles & Sons, Inc.
P.O. Box 144
El Paso, Texas 79942

RE: The tariff classification of operating table pads from Mexico.

Dear Mr. Seley:

In your letter dated May 7, 1991, on behalf of the Wilshire Medical Products Division of Wilshire Foam Products, Inc. (Dallas, Texas), you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Although you refer to the items in question as disposable medical "towels," they are actually absorbent pads used on operating tables during surgical procedures, and are not used for wiping or drying. You explain that the purpose of the articles is "to provide an adequate barrier between the patient and the operating table."

Two samples were submitted and will be retained for reference. Both pads are roughly rectangular in shape, but have rounded corners, and are sewn around their perimeters.

Sample number one is a 57 x 90 cm pad having top and bottom (outer) layers made of "Cerex," a spun bonded polyester, and a center section made of a "20-ply layer of separate, high crepe embossed tissue papers." The tissue paper section constitutes the chief weight, value and thickness of the article, and it also performs the main function of the pad, i.e., the absorption of body fluids. The "Cerex" allows the fluids to pass through to the paper, prevents the tissue from sticking to the patient, and holds the pad together until it is properly disposed of.

Sample number two, a 58 x 80 cm pad, is similar to number one, except that its bottom layer is made of 1.5 mil polyethylene plastic, and its center section contains only 10 plies of tissue paper. Again, the tissue paper provides the main absorbent function, and constitutes chief weight, value and thickness.

The applicable subheading for both styles of the disposable operating table pads will be 4818.90.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other (non-enumerated) sanitary or hospital articles of paper. The rate of duty will be 3%.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire

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