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HQ 950645

December 27, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 950645 ALS

TARIFF NO.: 3924.90.5000

Ms. Helen Sugar
C. J. Tower, Inc.
128 Dearborn Street
Buffalo, New York 14207

RE: Wheeled Refuse/Trash/Garbage Carts Used for Residential Purposes; Modification of Headquarters Rulings Letter (HRL) 084064

Dear Ms. Sugar:

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 084064, dated June 13, 1989, we advised your company that certain "Caddie" 90 (U.S.) gallon refuse carts manufactured by your client Bonar Plastics Ltd. were classifiable under subheading 3923.10.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We have recently had occasion to review that ruling in connection with a request for a ruling on a similar product and have concluded that our prior classification was incorrect. Our decision follows:


The article under consideration is a 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 cart has a hinged top which fully covers the opening, and it has two wheels to facilitate the movements of the container. It is approximately 42 inches high and 30 inches wide. It weighs approximately 36 pounds and has a load capacity of approximately 200 pounds. The cart is designed for residential use.

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


Classification of merchandise under the 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 plastic...boxes, cases, crates and similar articles. 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. In HRL 084064 we held that the subject article was classifiable under subheading 3923.10.00, HTSUSA. In HRL 083441 we held that the subject article was classifiable under subheading 3926.90.90, HTSUSA. We have, in connection with the issuance of HRL 089757, dated October 1, 1991, had occasion to review this matter and concluded these wheeled trash carts designed for residential use should be classified as household articles.

The subject articles, because of their size, capacity and oversized integrated wheels, were previously felt to be designed for a use other than as a garbage cans, or, because of their large size and wheels, for the movement of garbage from it storage point to a pick up point. In 1989, when the prior rulings were issued, we understood that residential trash collection systems were usually limited to loaded containers weighing no more than 50-60 pounds which were manually carried to a curbside point where the containers were manually lifted and their contents dumped into a trash collection vehicle. Since that time and in connection with the issuance of HRL 089757, we have received information which shows that with the use of mechanized equipment to lift the carts and wheels by which the homeowner may move the cart to its curbside collection point, the use of larger residential trash system containers is practicable despite their considerably larger dimensions, their weight and their load capacity. That literature shows that wheeled carts make trash collection easier and more efficient, save storage space, and 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 and semi-automated trash collection.

In considering the applicability of the aforementioned subheadings, we noted that the conveyance of trash to a curbside collection 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, garbage can, and cart, as herein applicable. Accordingly, in view of the specific exclusion of dustbins from Heading 3923, HTSUSA, 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 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 3926.90.90, HTSUSA, we believe that it is now clear that the carts are intended for residential use and are, therefore, covered by the provisions of Heading 3924, HTSUSA, regarding articles of plastic for household use.


Wheeled trash/wheeled/garbage carts of plastic with a large load capacity are classifiable under subheading 3924.90.50, - 4 -

HTSUSA. The general rate of duty for such articles 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 is accordingly modified.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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