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May 13, 1999

CLA-2-63:RR:NC:TA:349 E80411


TARIFF NO.: 6304.93.0000; 9817.00.9600

Mr. Simon Huang
Universal Weavers Corporation
1052 EDSA Magallanes Village
3rd Floor
Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

RE: The tariff classification of an incontinent underpad from Philippines.

Dear Mr. Huang:

In your letter dated April 20, 1999 you requested a classification ruling.

You submitted a sample of an underpad. The pad is comprised of three layers. One layer of the pad which is stated to be made from polyvinyl chloride appears to be a layer of polyvinyl chloride laminated to a knit man-made fiber fabric. For the purpose of this ruling, the man-made fiber is assumed to be synthetic. The second layer is stated to be made from 100 percent cotton woven fabric and the middle layer is made from 70 percent polyester and 30 percent viscose nonwoven fabric. Quilt stitching extends through the second and middle layers. The pad measures approximately 28 inches square and the edges are finished with an overlock stitch. In your letter, you indicate that these pads are designed to be used by incontinent persons in a hospital or home care facility.

The applicable subheading for the underpad will be 6304.93.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404: other: not knitted or crocheted, of synthetic fibers. The duty rate will be 10 percent ad valorem.

The pad falls within textile category designation 666. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of the Philippines are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

The designated textile and apparel categories and their quota and visa status are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the U.S. Customs Service Textile Status Report, an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available at the Customs Web Site at WWW.CUSTOMS.USTREAS.GOV. In addition, the designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected and should also be verified at the time of shipment.

You state that the purpose of the reusable underpad is for incontinent persons in home care or hospital usage. We assume from that statement that the only significant purpose of the pad is to absorb urine to keep it from damaging the mattress or irritating the skin of the patient and that you will so advertise it. U.S. Customs has previously decided that reusable incontinence pads are presumed to be used primarily by those with chronic, not temporary, incontinence.

On that basis a secondary classification will apply for this item in HTS 9817.00.96, as specially designed or adapted for the use or benefit of the physically or mentally handicapped, free of duty, if all applicable entry requirements are met including the filing with the Customs port of entry of the U.S. Department of Commerce form ITA-362P.

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 John Hansen at 212-637-7078.


Robert B. Swierupski

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