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NY R01913

June 1, 2005

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:N2:221 R01913


TARIFF NO.: 3919.90.5060; 3920.43.5000; 3924.90.5500

Mr. Ronald Parsons
Parsons A.D.L. Inc.
RR 2, 1986 Sideroad 15
Tottenham, Ontario, Canada L0G 1W0

RE: The tariff classification of plastic household products from Canada.

Dear Mr. Parsons:

In your letter dated May 5, 2005, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The products are all made using a high tack plasticized polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic sheeting with non-slip properties. The products are sold to home health care dealers and distributors. The sheeting is manufactured in two different formulations, Dycem and Ucem, with different levels of tackiness. Dycem is sold as rolls of sheeting material that the consumer can cut and customize to suit various applications. The rolls are available in four different measurements. Style 16T606A measures 8 inches in width and 6.5 feet in length. Style 16T607A measures 8 inches in width and 10 yards in length. Style 16T608A measures 16 inches in width and 6.5 feet in length. Style 16T609A measures 16 inches in width and 10 yards in length.

Styles 16K026A and 16K027A are dome shaped jar openers designed to provide a strong gripping surface to facilitate twisting off tops of jars and bottles. Style 16K026A is designed to open bottle caps from 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Your website describes it as “a very handy and vercitile (sic) bottle opener for anyone with poor gripping ability.” Style 16K027A is designed for lids measuring from 1 to 4 inches in diameter. The website notes, “Everyone has trouble opening jars in the kitchen, especially if you have a weak grasping ability.” In your ruling request you state that the jar openers are useful for anyone, especially for someone with arthritis or any other disability that limits a person’s gripping capabilities. You state that one-handed individuals may use them in combination with a Dycem or Ucem mat that grips the table, holding the jar in place while the lid is turned.

Styles 16T600A, 16T603A and 16T204 are identified as placemats. Style 16T600A is a small mat, or coaster, measuring 5 ½ inches in diameter, made of Dycem. Styles 16T603A and 16T204 are 10 inch by 14 inch placemats that are roughly rectangular with rounded corners. Style 16T603A is made of Dycem. Style 16T204 is made of Ucem. You state that the nonskid surface of the mats eliminates the problem of having a dinner plate slide around the table, which is “especially useful for one handed dining or for those with poor coordination.” Since both materials have a non-slip surface, objects such as glasses and plates placed on top of the mat won’t move, making them secure even if jostled or bumped against.

Style 16T610A consists of three strips of Dycem, each strip measuring 1 1/8 inches by 16 inches, with adhesive on one surface. You state that these pressure sensitive strips can be used on articles such as walker handles and cutlery to prevent hands from slipping.

The applicable subheading for the self-adhesive strips will be 3919.90.5060, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for self-adhesive plates, sheets, film, foil, tape, strip and other flat shapes, of plasticsother. The rate of duty will be 5.8 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the rolls of flexible Dycem polyvinyl chloride (PVC) sheeting will be 3920.43.5000, HTS, which provides for other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of plastics, noncellular and not reinforced, laminated, supported or similarly combined with other materials, of polymers of vinyl chloride, containing by weight not less than 6 percent of plasticizers, other. The rate of duty will be 4.2 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the coasters and placemats will be 3924.90.1050, HTS, which provides for tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, of plastics: other: curtains and drapes, including panels and valences; napkins, table covers, mats, scarves, runners, doilies, centerpieces, antimacassars and furniture slipcovers; and like furnishings, other. The rate of duty will be 3.3 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the bottle and jar openers will be 3924.90.5500, HTS, which provides for tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, of plastics: other: other. The rate of duty will be 3.4 percent ad valorem.

You request duty free treatment for these articles under the Nairobi Protocol. The Nairobi Protocol to the Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Materials Act of 1982 established the duty-free treatment for certain articles for the handicapped. Presidential Proclamation 5978 and Section 1121 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 provided for the implementation of the Nairobi Protocol into subheadings 9817.00.92, 9817.00.94 and 9817.00.96 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS).

In Treasury Decision 92-77 (Customs Bulletin, Vol. 26 (1992)), Customs stated that factors to consider in determining whether an article has been “specially designed or adapted” for the handicapped include whether there are characteristics that create a substantial probability of use by the chronically handicapped, whether the article is easily distinguishable from articles useful to the general public or whether use of the article by the general public is so improbable that such use would be fugitive. These factors are collectively referred to as the "probability of general public use" factor.

The probability of general public use is quite obvious for the strips and rolls.

Regarding the bottle and jar openers, many people without a handicap which substantially limits a major life activity, especially women and children, cannot twist off caps that are tightly secured. A large number of items are available on the market to assist in loosening caps, many of which use the same principles as your items.

Regarding the placemats and coasters, what appear to be identical items are advertised on the current dynamic-living website as "equally ideal for households with toddlers."

Therefore, we do not believe that you have established that any of the items are eligible for a secondary classification as free of duty under HTS 9817.00.96.

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 application of the provisions of the Nairobi Protocol, contact National Import Specialist James Sheridan at 646-733-3012. If you have any other questions regarding this ruling, contact National Import Specialist Joan Mazzola at 646-733-3023.


Robert B. Swierupski

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