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 > 2001 HQ Rulings > HQ 963686 - HQ 963822 > HQ 963730

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 963730

October 10, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963730 BJB


TARIFF NO.: 8205.59.55

Ms. Shelia Andrews
Customs Compliance Manager
Dillard Department Stores, Inc.
11701 Otter Creek Road South
Mabelvale, AR 72103

RE: NY D81370 Modified; Steel shoe horn.

Dear Ms. Andrews:

This is in reference to NY D81370, issued to you on August 31, 1998, by the Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York. In that ruling, three sample manicure sets were submitted for classification. One of the sets, Style #9770BW, included a steel shoe horn. The steel shoe horn was determined to be separately classifiable under subheading 8205.59.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule Of The United States (HTSUS).

We have reviewed the decision in NY D81370 and have determined that the classification of the steel shoe horn is in error. This ruling modifies NY D81370 with respect to this article and sets forth its correct classification.

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI, (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057 (1993), notice was published on August 30, 2000, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 34, Number 35, proposing to modify NY D81370, dated August 31, 1998, and to revoke the tariff treatment pertaining to the tariff classification of a “steel shoe horn.” No comments were received in response to that notice.


The merchandise consists of a steel metal shoe horn. The shoe horn is a hand-held, curved piece of metal, used as an aid in putting on shoes. An individual inserts the broad curved end of the shoe horn at the back of the aperture located on a shoe, as one inserts a foot, toes first into the shoe aperture, the individual is aided in placing the foot into the shoe as the heel glides down the curved surface of the shoe horn into the shoe cavity. In your
letter, dated August 13, 1998, requesting a tariff classification ruling, you claimed that the steel shoe horn, was part of a manicure set identified as Style # 9770BW. In NY D81370, dated August 31, 1998, Customs determined that the inclusion of items such as pen knives with knives, combs, bottle opener and mirrors removed the merchandise submitted with the three proposed manicure sets, from consideration as sets. The steel shoe horn was separately classified under subheading 8205.59.80, HTSUS, which provides for “[h]ousehold tools and parts thereof: [o]f iron or steel: other.”


Whether the subject steel shoe horn, is classifiable under subheading 8205.59.80, HTSUS, as a handtool made of steel, or pursuant to subheading 8205.59.55, HTSUS, as “[h]andtools . . . : Other handtools (including glass cutters) and parts thereof:. . . :Other: . . . Other: . . Other[.]”


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). Under General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1, HTSUS, goods are to be classified 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.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be utilized. The Explanatory Notes (ENs), although not dispositive or legally binding, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 98-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

The HTSUS subheadings under consideration are as follows:

8205 Handtools (including glass cutters) not elsewhere specified or included; blow torches and similar self-contained torches; vises, clamps and the like, other than accessories for and parts of machine tools; anvils; portable forges; hand- or pedal-operated grinding wheels with frameworks; base metal parts thereof:

8205.59 Other:
Of iron or steel:

8205.59.55 Other

Other . . .

Heading 8205, HTSUS, covers, in pertinent part, handtools, not elsewhere specified or included. EN 82.05, states that this “heading covers all hand tools not included in other headings of this Chapter or elsewhere in the Nomenclature (see the General Explanatory Notes to this Chapter), together with certain other tools or appliances specifically mentioned in the title. It includes a large number of hand tools (including some with simple hand-operated mechanisms such as cranks, ratchets or gearing).” EN 82.05 (E)(1), notes, in relevant part that, “[o]ther hand tools” includes: (1) A number of household articles, including . . . bottle openers, simple can openers, . . . [and] shoe horns[.]” (Emphasis in the original).” Given that the steel shoe horn is a hand-tool not more specifically described in any other heading, it is provided for in heading 8205, HTSUS.

In NY D81370, Customs determined that “all the items [included in the 3 proposed sample sets submitted] w[ould] be separately classified with the exception of the [carrying] cases.” (NY D81370, August 31, 1998). The shoe horn was determined classifiable under subheading 8205.59.80, HTSUS, based upon the mistaken understanding that it was of an “other metal.” In fact, the shoe horn is of steel, as stated in your August 13, 1998 letter. Thus the shoe horn, entirely made of steel, is not described by subheading 8205.59.80, HTSUS, which relates to handtools not made of iron or steel, copper or aluminum.

The steel shoe horn at issue is classifiable at subheading 8205.59.55, HTSUS, within “[h]andtools . . .: Other handtools (including glass cutters) and parts thereof: Other: Other: Of iron or steel: . . .Other[.]”


Under the authority of GRI 1, HTSUS, applied to the subheading level by GRI 6, HTSUS, the subject steel shoe horn, a one-piece unit with no interchangeable pieces, is provided for in heading 8205, HTSUS, and is classifiable separately from the other articles reviewed in NY D81370, under subheading 8205.59.55, HTSUS, as “[h]andtools . . . : Other handtools (including glass cutters) and parts thereof: Other: Other: Of iron or steel: . .. Other[.]”


NY D81370, dated August 31, 1998, is MODIFIED with respect to the steel shoe horn as set forth herein. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: