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NY I80654

May 3, 2002

CLA-2-90:RR:NC:N1:105 I80654


TARIFF NO.: 9019.10.20

Mr. Jim Lein, President
Dalton Instrument Corporation
1103 Venture Court
Carrollton, Texas 75006

RE: The tariff classification of powered pressure-reducing air pumps and mattresses from Taiwan

Dear Mr. Lein:

In your letter dated April 2, 2002, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You state, “Enclosed are specification sheets for each model number, XCELL 1000, XCELL 2000, XCELL 5000, XCELL 8000, Dynacare 5000, Dynacare 8000, and F.D.A. 510K.

We sell the powered pressure-reducing pump and air mattress to the medical supply dealers through our sister company (Dalton Medical Corporation). Powered pressure-reducing mattresses are used to prevent decubitus (bedsore) on people requiring long term and constant care. They are usually sold with doctor’s prescription as medical necessity.”

From the literature, all the plastic air mattresses have multiple cells and cycle times from 5 to 10 minutes. We take it that, via the pump and electrically controlled valves, the pressure is varied over time in each cell so as to cause different areas of the bedridden persons to be supported more or less.

Explanatory Note (II) MASSAGE APPARATUS to Harmonized System Heading 9019 states: “The following are also regarded as massage apparatus within the meaning of this heading: mattresses designed to prevent or treat bedsores by constantly varying the places at which the weight of the patient’s body rests and also providing a superficial massage effect on tissues liable to necrosis.” NY Ruling letter A89818-119, 12-23-96, applied HTS 9019.10.20 to an item similar to yours.

The applicable subheading for your mattress will be 9019.10.20, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for, inter alia, massage apparatus. The rate of duty will be free.

You specifically ask about a possible secondary classification of these items in 9817.00.96 as articles for the handicapped. While this would have no effect on the duty, which is already free, it could affect the applicability of Merchandise Processing and Harbor Maintenance Fees.

Your import clearly benefits those who are incapable of performing the ordinary life activity of shifting themselves in bed. However, you have not established that your items were designed for those with a permanent or chronic incapacity, as opposed to an acute, but often transient, disability such as unconsciousness following a severe head trauma. See HTS, Chapter 98, Subchapter 17, U.S. Note 4-b-i. NYRL 808052-119, 3-24-95, rejected a claim for 9817.00.96 on a foam plastic, pressure relief mattress.

Therefore, we do not believe 9817.00.96 applies.

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 J. Sheridan at 646-733-3012.


Robert B. Swierupski

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