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HQ 957201

December 21, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 957201 DFC


TARIFF NO.: 9401.79.00

Mr. Ken Hashimoto
Expediters International of Washington, Inc. 578 Eccles Avenue
South San Francisco, CA 94080

RE: Seat, Shower; Essential character, NYRL 890551 revoked

Dear Mr. Hashimoto:

This is in reference to New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 890551 issued to you on September 28, 1993, by the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, concerning the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) of shower seat. We have reviewed that ruling, issued in response to your letter of August 26, 1993, on behalf of Innovative Lifestyles, Inc., and determined that it is in error. Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625), as amended by section 623 of Title VI(Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993) (hereinafter section 625), notice of the proposed revocation of NYRL 890551 was published November 16, 1994, in the Customs Bulletin, volume 28, Number 45/46.


The merchandise involved consists of a Timbo King Shower Seat for the bathtub, Model no. TSS-031. According to the literature provided, the shower seat is used in the bathtub to make a shower safe, relaxing and comfortable. It is constructed of a solid aluminum alloy with cushion rings and double-sided AbS plastic pads and has a loading capacity of up to 300 pounds. All edges are contoured for extra safety. It is suitable for adults and children and the hygienic white color matches and bathroom decor. The dimensions with hanging arms non-extended are approximately 25.6 inches L x 11.8 inches W x 7.9 inches H. With arms fully extended, the dimensions are 39.4 inches L x 11.8 inches W x 7.9 inches H.

In New York Rulings Letter (NYRL) 890551, the Area Director of Customs found that the essential character of the shower seat was imparted by its aluminum components and classified it under subheading 9403.20.00, HTSUS, which provides for other metal household furniture. The applicable rate of duty for this provision is 4% ad valorem.


Is the shower seat classifiable under subheading 9403.20.00, HTSUS?


Classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided such heading or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRI's]." In other words, classification ig governed first by the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) to the HTSUS, although not dispositive, should be looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. See T.D. 89-80, 54 FR 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1988). The EN to heading 94.03, at page 1578, reads in pertinent part that "[t]his heading covers furniture and parts thereof, not covered by the previous headings. . . ." Thus, classification of the product under subheading 9403.20.00, HTSUS, is precluded because the shower seat is provided for under another previous heading. Subheading 9401.79.00, HTSUS, provides for seats (other than those of heading 9402) whether or not convertible into beds, and parts thereof, other seats, with metal frames, other, household.

Inasmuch as the Timbo King Shower Seat is covered by subheading 9401.79.00, HTSUS, classification under subheading 9403.20.00, HTSUS, is precluded.


The shower seat is dutiable at the rate of 4% ad valorem under subheading 99401.79.00, HTSUS.

NYRL 890551 dated September 23, 1993, is hereby revoked. In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice of position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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