United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1997 HQ Rulings > HQ 959805 - HQ 959939 > HQ 959906

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 959906

May 13, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 959906 HMC


TARIFF NO.: 9603.29.80

Port Director of Customs
P.O. Box 1490
St. Albans, VT 05478

RE: PRD 0201-96-100297; Braun Style Shaper HS3; headings 8479, 8516 and 9603; subheadings 8516.31.00, 8516.32.00 and 9630.29.80; Section XVI, Note 1(o); Chapter 85; Explanatory Notes 85.16 and 96.03; Brushes Constituting Parts of Machines, Appliances or Vehicles; Electrothermic Hairdressing or Hand Drying Apparatus; Appliance; HQ 959712.

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 0201-96-100297, filed against your classification of the Braun Style Shaper HS3. The entries under protest were liquidated on May 24, 1996, and this protest timely filed on August 22, 1996.


The merchandise under protest is the Braun Style Shaper HS3 (hair shaper). The hair shaper is a 7« inch hairbrush with a butane gas energy cell in its handle. The butane gas cell heats the hairbrush to mold hair by powering a flameless heating system. The heating system heats the brush in just 90 seconds and an indicator advises the user when the brush is ready to use. The butane gas cell allows the hair shaper to be self-powered and cordless without using any outside power source.

The merchandise was entered under subheading 8479.89.95 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as other machines and mechanical appliances. However, the entries were liquidated under subheading 8516.31.00, HTSUS, based on the assumption that the hair shaper was powered by electricity. Based on evidence that the hair shaper is powered by butane gas, classification as a hairbrush under subheading 9603.29.80, HTSUS, is also under consideration.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8479 Machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; parts thereof:
Other machines and mechanical appliances:
8479.89 Other:
8979.89.95 Other...3%

8516 Electric instantaneous or storage water heaters and immersion heaters; electric space heating apparatus and soil heating apparatus; electrothermic hairdressing apparatus (for example, hair dryers, hair curlers, curling tong heaters) and hand dryers; electric flatirons; other electrothermic appliances of a kind used for domestic purposes; electric heating resistors, other than those of heading 8545; parts thereof:
Electrothermic hairdressing or hand-drying apparatus: 8516.31.00 Hair dryers...3.9%
8516.32.00 Other hairdressing apparatus.....3.9%

9603 Brooms, brushes (including brushes constituting parts of machines, appliances or vehicles), hand-operated mechanical floor sweepers, not motorized, mops and feather dusters; prepared knots and tufts for broom or brush making; paint pads and rollers; squeegees (other than roller squeegees):
Toothbrushes, shaving brushes, hair brushes, nail brushes, eyelash brushes and other toilet brushes for use on the person, including such brushes constituting parts of appliances:
9603.29 Other:
9603.29.80 Valued over 40› each...0.3› each + 3.6%


Whether the Braun Style Shaper HS3 is classifiable as a hairbrush constituting a part of an appliance under subheading 9603.29.80, HTSUS, or as an other electrothermic hairdressing or hand-drying apparatus under subheading 8516.31.00, HTSUS.


Merchandise is classifiable under the HTSUS in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized system. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the notes should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

Protestant contends that the merchandise is appropriately classified under subheading 8516.31.00, HTSUS, as an electrothermic hairdressing or hand-drying apparatus. We do not agree. Chapter 85, HTSUS, provides in pertinent part, for electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof. EN 85.16 at page 1470 states that this group includes all electrothermic machines and appliances provided they are normally used in the household. Since the hair shaper is not powered by electricity, it does not fall within the definition of electrothermic, "[o]f or relating to the production of heat by electricity." See HQ 959712. The hair shaper is therefore not provided in heading 8516, HTSUS. Furthermore, we note Section XVI, Note 1(o) which states that brushes of a kind used as parts of machines fall in heading 9603.

Heading 9603 provides for brushes, including brushes constituting parts of machines, appliances or vehicles. An eo nomine designation, without limitation or a shown contrary legislative intent, judicial decision, or administrative practice, and without proof of commercial designation, will include all forms of the article. Sturm, Ruth, Customs Law and Administration, Vol. 2., ? 53.2, p. 3. Also, EN 96.03 at page 1727 states that this group comprises a variety of articles, differing considerably both in materials and shape, used for toilet purposes, etc. Further, this group includes:

(3) Brushes for toilet use (e.g.,brushes for the hair, beard, moustache or eyelashes; nail brushes; brushes for hair dyeing, etc.) hairdressers' neck brushes.

(4) Brushes of rubber or plastics, molded in one piece, for toilet use (washing hands, etc.), for cleaning lavatory pans, etc.

In this instance, the Protestant has not provided any proof, contrary legislative intent, judicial decision or administrative practice why the hair shaper is not an article of heading 9603. The evidence presented indicates that the hair shaper is a hairbrush molded in one piece and intended for toilet use. It contains a butane gas energy cell in its handle which provides power to a flameless heating system. We believe that the Braun Style Shaper HS3 is a form of brush described in heading 9603. We find that it is classifiable under subheading 9603.29.80, HTSUS, as other hairbrushes constituting parts of appliances, valued over 40› each.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the Braun Style Shapers HS3 are provided for in heading 9603, HTSUS. They are classifiable in subheading 9603.29.80, HTSUS, as other hairbrushes, valued over 40› each. The rate of duty is 0.3› each plus 3.6%.

This protest should be DENIED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you should mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the Protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing the decision.

Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and to the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, the Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: