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HQ 952306

August 6, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952306 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 8543.80.90

Mr. Randy M. Krivo, President
TPR Limited
6507 Cecilia Circle
Bloomington, MN 55439

RE: Electric Hand Warming Mitts and Foot Warming Booties; Chapter 84, Note 1(a); GRI 3(b); Essential Character; Composite Good

Dear Mr. Krivo:

This is in response to your letter of June 4, 1992, concerning the classification of electric hand warming mitts and foot warming booties under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The merchandise consists of electric hand warming mitts and foot warming booties. The exterior and interior of both articles is composed of vinyl sheeting. Enclosed within the mitts and the booties are electro-thermo wire, non-woven cloth, fuse wire, VDE wire, and thermostats. An electric cord extends from each mitt and booty to a control switch in a plastic case. Within each plastic case is a 3 position switch, a neon sign, a resistor, a diode, and a printed circuit board.

The mitt measures approximately 12 inches in length with a 6 inch wide opening at one end. The closed end is rounded. The booty measures approximately 15 inches in length with a triangular opening approximately 8 inches wide. The booty is secured over the feet by a velcro closure and the closed end is rounded. The booty does not have an applied outersole.

It is our understanding that the merchandise is principally used within a health spa setting. Lotions and creams are applied to a person's hands or feet, which are then placed into the mitts or booties, respectively. Heat is applied through the electrical apparatus to allow the lotions and creams to penetrate into the hands or feet.


What is the proper classification of the subject merchandise under the HTSUS?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS 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.

Chapter 85, Note 1(a), HTSUS, provides that:

1. This chapter does not cover:

(a) Electrically warmed blankets, bed pads, foot-muffs or the like; electrically warmed clothing, footwear or ear pads or other electrically warmed articles worn on or about the person.

It is our position that, for classification purposes, identifying the merchandise as hand warming mitts and foot warming booties is a misnomer. The purpose of the merchandise is not to warm hands or feet. It is principally used to heat the lotions and creams on the skin, thereby liquefying them so that they can penetrate the skin. Because of the principal use of the merchandise, we find that it is not in the class or kind of articles excluded from chapter 85, HTSUS.

Because the electric hand warming mitt and foot warming booty are composite goods made up of different components, GRI 3(b) must be consulted. GRI 3(b) provides that:

[m]ixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

It is our position that the electrical component within the merchandise imparts its essential character. The electrical component within both articles makes up the majority of their weight and value, and it provides the necessary heat to liquefy the applied lotions and creams.

Consequently, the merchandise is classifiable under subheading 8543.80.90, HTSUS, which provides for: "[e]lectrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter: [o]ther machines or apparatus: [o]ther."


The electric hand warming mitt and foot warming booty are classifiable under subheading 8543.80.90, HTSUS. The general, column one rate of duty is 3.9 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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