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HQ 088707

July 16, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 088707 STB


TARIFF NO.: 3924.90.5000

Area Director of Customs
Room 425
6 World Trade Center
New York, New York 10048-0945

RE: Internal Advice No. 79/90

Dear Area Director:

This is a decision in response to your memorandum of December 24, 1990, (file: CLA-2-S:C:TOB:212/20), in which you forwarded a request for internal advice. Our decision concerning Internal Advice No. 79/90 is as follows:


The item at issue, which is imported from Korea, is described by the importer, Hartz Mountain Corporation, as "Cat Litter Scoop", Code 81574." It is marketed as the "Cat Litter Super Spoon." The item is constructed completely of plastic and is approximately 11-1/2 inches in length; it is clearly designed for use as a cat litter scoop.

The counsel for the importer is requesting that the scoop be classified under subheading 3924.90.5000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), the provision for tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles of plastics, other, other, dutiable at a rate of 3.4% ad valorem. In your memorandum of December 24, 1990, you stated that you disagree with that position; you believe that the scoop should be classified under subheading 3926.90.9000, HTSUSA, the provision for other articles of plastic, other, dutiable at a rate of 5.3% ad valorem.


Whether the subject cat litter scoop should be classified as a household article, of plastic, or as an other article of plastic?


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) set forth the legal framework in which merchandise is to be classified under the HTSUSA. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI's taken in order.

In this instance, the competing provisions are as follows:

3924 Tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, of plastics,

3926 Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914.

The primary determination to be made in this case concerns the question of whether the cat litter scoop qualifies as a household article. If the scoop does qualify as a household article under heading 3924, HTSUSA, then it will be classified under this heading since it is the more specific of the competing provisions.

First, we refer to Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 086069, dated March 6, 1990. In that letter we determined that various pet toys were not classifiable as household articles and thus classified them as other articles of plastics. We noted that the principal use of pet toys is not similar to the uses of the exemplars listed in the relevant Explanatory Notes (ENs). We also noted that the nomenclature provisions for rubber articles include a provision for rubber pet toys that is separate from the provision for rubber household articles; this separation demonstrates that pet toys were not intended to be included in the HTSUSA provisions for household articles. HRL 086069 states the current Customs position concerning pet toys.

The instant item, however, is not a pet toy. It is an altogether different type of article that is used to clean cat litter boxes. We note that the Explanatory Notes to heading 3924, HTSUSA, provide for the application to that chapter mutatis mutandis of the ENs to headings 6911 and 6912, HTSUSA. It is our determination that the principal use of the instant item is similar to that of the exemplars provided in the ENs to heading 3924 HTSUSA and 6911 and 6912, HTSUSA. These Explanatory Notes include, among other things, such items as dustbins, buckets, sanitary pails, bed pans, urinals, spittoons, and douche cans. Like the instant cat litter scoop, these are all items which are commonly employed around the house to dispose
of various types of waste products and to generally promote clean and sanitary conditions.

The proper classification of other types of pet supplies will be based on the principal use of the goods at the time of importation and the material of construction of the items.


The subject cat litter scoop is properly classifiable under subheading 3924.90.5000, HTSUSA, the provision for tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, of plastics, other, other. The applicable duty rate is 3.4% ad valorem. You should notify the internal advice applicant of this decision and furnish him with a copy.


John Durant, Director

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