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NY F82329

February 22, 2000

CLA-2-63:RR:NC:TA:349 F82329


TARIFF NO.: 6304.93.0000; 9817.00.9600

Mr. Joseph P. Cox
Stein Shostak Shostak & O’Hara
Suite 1200
515 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, California 90071-3329

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

Dear Mr. Cox:

In your letter dated December 20, 1999 received by this office on January 26, 2000, you requested a classification ruling on behalf of Geri-Care Products.

You submitted a sample of an underpad. The pad is comprised of three layers. One layer of the pad is made from vinyl fabric. The vinyl is backed with a polyester knit fabric. The second layer is made from 100 percent cotton woven fabric and the middle layer is made from 70 percent polyester and 30 percent rayon batting. Quilt stitching extends through the second and middle layers. The pad measures approximately 34 by 36 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.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 087669 dated November 16, 1990 multiple layered incontinent bed pads were considered classifiable under heading 6304, HTS, as other furnishing articles. The instant pad is made up from three different textile layers. Each fabric layer (coated or laminated knit fabric, woven cotton fabric and man-made fiber batting) is necessary to the design and function of this pad. As no one layer imparts the essential character of the pad, it will be classified under the heading that appears last in numerical order among those which merit consideration.

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 9.8 percent ad valorem.

The pad falls within textile category designation 666. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of the China 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.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 underpad is for incontinent persons in nursing homes 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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