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March 12, 1999

CLA-2-38:RR:NC:2:238 D88669


TARIFF NO.: 3808.10.5000

Mr. Mark J. Milne
Kaz Incorporated
One Vapor Trail
Hudson, NY 12534

RE: The tariff classification of an insect-repellent plastic bracelet from China

Dear Mr. Milne:

In your letter dated February 23, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling. A sample of the subject merchandise was not submitted with your request.

The subject product, described in the submitted product literature as a biting insect repelling wrist band, resembles a coiled telephone cord in appearance. It is intended to be worn bracelet-like around the wrist. The item is constructed from plastic which has been impregnated with citronella oil (the active ingredient). The ingredients are listed on the retail packaging material as follows: “Active Ingredients: Citronella and Fragrance Oil 15%, Inert Ingredients 85%.”

You cite Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, wherein you indicate that “insecticide” is defined as “an agent that destroys insects.” Based upon this definition, you reason that, since the citronella oil contained in the bracelet functions by repelling insects - and not by actually destroying them - it is not an insecticide. Therefore, you conclude that the bracelet should be properly regarded as an “insect repellent bracelet,” and not as an insecticide (i.e., an insect-killing bracelet).

We agree that citronella oil is an essential oil which is indicated, inter alia, for use as an insect repellent (as opposed to use as a killing agent). Hawley’s Condensed Chemical Dictionary (12th edition). However, we note that the Harmonized System Explanatory Notes to heading 3808, HTS, specifically E.N. 38.08(I), clearly state that “[I]nsecticides include not only products for killing insects, but also those having a repellent (underscoring added) or attractant effect.” We also note that “Citronella” and “Citronella Oil” are considered to be pesticides by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Federal Register/ Vol. 61/ No. 45/ Wednesday, March 6, 1996/ Rules and Regulations. Finally, you opine that “[t]he correct classification for the subject product is 7117.90.7500” (i.e., plastic imitation jewelry valued over 20 cents per dozen). We disagree. In our opinion, the subject item is not an object of personal adornment, nor is it an article of personal use of a kind normally carried in the pocket, in the handbag or on the person. Therefore, it is not properly classifiable under subheading 7117.90, HTS.

The applicable subheading for the subject product will be 3808.10.5000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for: “[I]nsecticides ... , put up ... as preparations or articles (for example, sulfur-treated bands, wicks and candles, and flypapers): Insecticides: Other: Other: Other.” The rate of duty will be five percent ad valorem.

This merchandise may be subject to the requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticide Programs. You may contact them at 401 M Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20460, telephone number (703) 305-7092.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Harvey Kuperstein at 212-637-7068.


Robert B. Swierupski

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