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NY F81542

January 13, 2000

CLA-2-98:RR:NC:SP:233 F81542


TARIFF NO.: 9603.29.8090; 4602.10.8000

Ms. Kathryn M. Wilson
Great Lakes Customs Brokerage, Inc.
85 River Rock Drive, Suite 202
Buffalo, NY 14207

RE: The tariff classification of a “Scrub Brush” and a “Loffa Back Brush” from Canada.

Dear Ms. Wilson:

In your letter dated December 23, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted literature depicts the following items:

1. “Beauty Back Washer”, part no. 16G055A, is a device which you state is designed for use by handicapped people to groom themselves. The item is composed of a washcloth which is attached to a flexible plastic handle. It features an ergonomically designed grip and an angled shaft to allow ease of use with minimum stress on joints and muscles.

2. “Scrub Brush”, part no. 16B121, is a natural bristled back scrub brush with a wooden handle. The brush may be removed from the handle and used as a massage brush or a hand held scrub brush. The 16.5” handle is designed not to only allow the user to wash their back, but also for those who cannot reach their lower body due to a hip replacement operation, arthritis, or obesity. The brush assists in the washing of feet and legs and is also recommended as a sensory stimulation device.

3. “Loffa Back Brush”, part no. 16B120, is a natural loffa scrub brush with a wooden handle. Like the Scrub Brush, the brush may be removed from the handle and used as a massage brush or a hand held scrub brush. The 16.5” handle allows the user to reach their lower body, with reduced bending. The brush is recommended for persons with various dermatology problems.

The applicable subheading for the “Scrub Brush”, part no. 16B121, will be 9603.29.8090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for toothbrushes, shaving brushes, hair brushes, nail brushes, eyelash brushes and other toilet brushes for use on the person other: valued over 40 cents each, other. The general rate of duty will be 0.3 cents each plus 3.6% ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the “Loffa Back Brush”, part no. 16B120, will be 4602.10.8000, HTS, which provides for articles of loofah. The general rate of duty will be 2.3% ad valorem.

Your inquiry does not provide enough information for us to classify the Beauty Back Washer. Please submit a sample, indicating the fiber content of the washcloth.

Regarding your claim that these are “articles for physically or mentally handicapped person(s)”, we do not believe that a secondary classification in HTS 9817.00.96 applies as specially designed or adapted for the use or benefit of the handicapped. We note, in particular, Headquarters Ruling Letter 556449, dated May 5, 1992, which held, contrary to the claim by the importers, who were “recognized as distributors of articles for the handicapped”, that 9817.00.96 did not apply to “Brushes with extenders made of nylon with PVC handles used for bathing. The extenders allow persons to cleanse themselves without bending or stretching.” Likewise, while these items are not the usual and would clearly be useful to those with certain immobilizing handicaps, each would also be of interest to those who have physical difficulties which are short of being “handicaps” or would simply prefer the greater ease of use that your product supplies. We note that the Loffa Back Brush is stated to be recommended for those with dermatological problems, which are clearly not “handicaps”, and that you have submitted no evidence that these “Beauty Grooming Accessories”, sometimes grouped in the pictured “Beauty Display”, will be sold almost exclusively in outlets that specialize in articles for the handicapped or in medical supply stores.

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 classification in 9817.00.96 of this item, contact National Import Specialist Jim Sheridan at 212-637-7037. If you have any other questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Lawrence Mushinske at 212-637-7061.


Robert B. Swierupski

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