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HQ 089757

October 1, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 089757 ALS


TARIFF NO.: 3924.90.5000

Mr. Gary E. Crawford
A. N. Deringer, Inc.
HC 76 P.O. Box 625
Jackman, Maine 04945-0559

RE: Wheeled Refused/Trash/Garbage Carts used for Residential Purposes

Dear Mr. Crawford:

This is in reference to your letter of May 23, 1991, to our New York Area Office, requesting a binding ruling on the subject article.


The article under consideration is an injection molded wheeled plastic cart used for the storage of refuse, trash and garbage and its collection by automated or semi-automated mechanical collection systems. The carts have a one piece lid with built in handle, extra thick walls, and reinforced wear strips which protect its bottom. It has integrated handles and a toe hold for easier handling. It has a capacity of 95 U.S. gallons. The measurements of the cart are 33.9 inches deep, 26.3 inches wide, and 46.1 inches high. It weighs 48.5 pounds and has 12 inch wheels. The carts are designed for residential use.


What is the classification of plastic refuse carts designed for residential use?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in order. GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require the remaining GRI's are applied, taken in order.

In considering the classification of the article, we noted 3 possible subheadings of Chapter 39, HTSUSA, which might be applicable. We noted subheading 3923.10, HTSUSA, which provides for articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics...boxes, cases, crates and similar. We also noted subheading 3924.90, HTSUSA, which provides for other household articles of plastics, and subheading 3926.90, HTSUSA, which provides for other articles of plastics. We noted 2 prior contradictory rulings which held that comparable article was classifiable under subheading 3923.10, HTSUSA, and subheading 3926.90, HTSUSA. These rulings were respectively premised on the article being used for the conveyance or packing of goods because of the integrated wheels (Headquarter Ruling Letter (HRL) 084064 dated June 13, 1989) and as other articles of plastic (HRL 083441 of October 23, 1991).

The article under consideration, because of its size, capacity and oversized integrated wheels, creates some question as to its use in residential trash collection systems. These systems are usually limited to loaded containers weighing no more than 50-60 pounds which are manually carried to a curbside point where the containers are manually lifted and their contents dumped into a trash collection vehicle. However, information provided by the importer shows that with the use of mechanized equipment to lift the carts and wheels by which a homeowner may wheel the cart to its curbside collection point, the use of larger residential trash system containers is practicable despite their considerably larger dimensions, their weight (48.5 pounds) and load capacity (95 U.S. Gallons). That literature shows that the wheeled carts make trash collection easier and more efficient, save storage space, guard against the scattering of the trash by animals. Such literature provides both narrative and photographic documentation that the article is intended for residential purposes.

In considering the applicability of the aforementioned subheadings, we noted that the conveyance of trash to a curbside collection point by utilization of the cart is a minor function of such cart. In this regard the cart must be distinguished from plastic trash bags which are utilized to both store trash and to convey it to the dump. We considered the Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN's) which constitutes the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. We noted that the last paragraph to EN 39.23, which specifically excludes household articles such as dustbins, and EN 39.24(C), which specifically includes dustbins.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition, the term dustbin is chiefly a British term for a can for trash or garbage. Recognizing that the English used in the EN's is British English, we believe that the term dustbin therein is synonymous with the American terms trash can, refuse can and garbage can, cart as herein applicable. Accordingly, in view of the specific exclusion of dustbins from heading 3923, we believe that classification of the subject article under subheading 3923.10, HTSUSA, is inappropriate.

We next considered the applicability of headings 3924 and 3926, HTSUSA, which respectively cover household articles of plastic and other articles of plastic. While EN 39.24(C) specifically states that dustbins are covered by heading 3924, HTSUSA, that presumes that the article is a household article. Although the large size, weight, load capacity and the presence of wheels raises some question whether the carts are intended for residential use, the previously noted literature provided by the importer and other available information clearly shows that these carts are intended for such use. We note that relatively new mechanical technology permits the use of such carts for the same purposes as the traditional smaller trash cans which require manual manipulation. Thus, while the carts have previously been considered as other articles of plastic and classifiable under subheading 3926.90.9050, HTSUSA, (HRL 083441, dated October 23, 1991), we believe that it now clear that the carts are intended for residential use and are, therefore, covered by the provisions of heading 3924, HTSUSA.


Wheeled trash/refuse/garbage carts of plastic with a large load capacity which are intended for residential use are
classifiable under subheading 3924.90.5000, HTSUSA. The general rate of duty for such article is 3.4 per cent ad valorem.

Such carts, the product of Canada, are, in accordance with General Note 3(c)(vii)(B), HTSUSA, eligible for a reduced rate of duty, upon compliance with the provisions of the United States - Canada Free Trade Agreement and section 10.301 et seq., Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.301 et seq.).

HRL 084064, as to plastic garbage carts, and HRL 083441, regarding plastic refuse carts, are modified to conform with this ruling.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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