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NY I85163

September 6, 2002

CLA-2-90:RR:NC:N1:105 I85163


TARIFF NO.: 9817.00.96

Mr. Thomas W. Phalen
P.O. Box 635
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

RE: The tariff classification of switches and microphones from China

Dear Mr. Phalen:

In your letter dated August 1, 2002, you requested a tariff classification ruling. No samples were submitted.

You describe the Air Switch as a device that control the main functions of a telephone by blowing into its plastic tube, the Pillow Switch to do the same by putting gentle pressure on the switch by shifting the head or other large body part.

You describe the lapel microphone as “designed for convenience and privacy for people with any degree of mobility and/or dexterity loss.” It “clips to shirt collar or other article of clothing, around the head, neck or upper torso” and “is highly sensitive.”

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price for the Air Switch is $99, for the Pillow Switch is $39, and for the Lapel Microphone is $49. The switches are thus far more expensive than those usually used to control telephones.

You state, “Since 1977, Ameriphone has specialized in products for individuals with special needs.” It is a division of Plantronics, which per your letterhead, is “World Leader in Communication Headsets.”

We agree that the design and cost of the switches make it unlikely that they would be used by others than those who have a permanent or chronic impairment which substantially limits their ability to perform manual tasks per U.S. Note 4 to Subchapter 17 to Chapter 98 of the HTS.

On that basis a secondary classification will apply for these items 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.

Regarding the lapel microphone, we are returning your request for a classification ruling, and any related samples, exhibits, etc., because we need additional information in order to issue a ruling. Please submit the additional information indicated below:

A sample.

Descriptive literature or a detailed explanation on how the item operates/functions.

Explain the physical characteristics, if any, that distinguish this item from those used, for example, by television interviewees and by those who desire privacy and less background noise in telephoning while in a shared room while recuperating from, say, a neck or shoulder trauma or other transient disabling conditions.

Explain why you believe 8531.80.0050 applies as the 1-97 HTS classification for this item. Also include a statement as to whether classification advice has been sought from a Customs officer; and if so, from whom, and what advice was rendered, if any.

When this information is available, you may wish to consider resubmission of your request. If you decide to resubmit your request, please include all of the material that we have returned to you and mail your request to U.S. Customs, Customs Information Exchange, 10th Floor, One Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10119, attn: Binding Rulings Section.

If you have any questions regarding the classification in 8531.80.0050 of this item, contact National Import Specialist D. Curran 646-733-3017. If you have any other questions regarding the letter, contact National Import Specialist J.Sheridan at 646-733-3012

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.


Robert B. Swierupski

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