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NY J82093

March 19, 2003

CLA-2-90:RR:NC:N1:105 J82093


TARIFF NO.: 9817.00.9600

Ms. Robin Lenart
Personal Care Wear
15413 Bradley Drive
Spring Hill, Fl 34604

RE: The tariff classification of Personal Care Garments from China

Dear Ms. Lenart:

In your letter received March 5, 2003, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The classification in HTS 1-97 for these items was ruled upon in New York Ruling Letter i88517-353, 12-12-02. This letter only concerns their possible secondary classification in HTS 9817.00.96.

Two samples were submitted in sealed plastic bag packaging, the Women’s Four Piece Wardrobe and the Men’s Two Piece Set. The packaging for both states: “Protect dignity when receiving assistance with bathing and other personal care. No more embarrassing episodes in the shower or bathroom. Stay covered with Honor Guard’s unique flap design, while allowing your caregiver easy and modest access to intimate areas.”

The packing for both also states, “Launder when needed by machine or hand.” Therefore, they are clearly designed to be reusable.

The items are clearly designed for the benefit of those suffering from an impairment which substantially limits the major life activity of caring for one's self. The information you now provide does indicate that it was designed for those with a permanent or chronic disability, as opposed to an “acute or transient disability” (U.S. Note 4-b-I to HTS Chapter 98, Subchapter 17).

You state that it is possible for the item to be used by those with temporary disabilities, and that is confirmed by the VHS videotape copy of the QVC presentation of your products.

However, as you point out, assisted showering or use of toilet facilities is rare in hospitals, and we doubt that reusable garments would be used if it were done. Also, as you point out, many people just do without showering or make do with what is available when recovering from illnesses and injuries at home. The time and effort needed to procure special garments would be more common in longer term situations, which are more commonly chronic or permanent than not.

Headquarters Ruling Letter 557529 MLR, 3-8-94, ruled that relatively thinner incontinence diapers for adults were designed for those with chronic or permanent handicaps even though they could be used in postpartum or postoperative situations.

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 permanently or chronically physically or mentally handicapped, free of duty and user fees (if any), 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. Note that this classification has no effect on any quota, visa, or restricted merchandise requirements.

The samples and the videotape are being returned to you in a separate mailing.

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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