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 > 2005 NY Rulings > NY R02312 - NY R02396 > NY R02361

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY R02361

September 1, 2005

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:SP:221 R02361


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.9880; 7610.10.0030; 9817.00.96

Mr. Peter Munoz
DLP Limited
Unit L, Snugborough Trading Estate
Braddan, Isle of Man, Im4 4Lh, British Isles

RE: The tariff classification of shower doors, floors and traps from the United Kingdom or China.

Dear Mr. Munoz:

In your letter dated August 2, 2005, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Photographs were provided with your letter. The shower bases/formers are composed of fiberglass-reinforced plastic. They provide the base of a level access or nearly level access shower floor. The bases are marketed as being tested to withstand 419 pounds of wheelchair use with a caregiver in attendance. Each base incorporates a hole cut in it for the drain.

The shower doors are half-height doors that have 180 degree hinged openings to provide for wheelchair access and maneuvering. The shorter height doors are designed to provide water deflection while allowing access for a caregiver or nurse. The doors are supplied with blue high-contrast handles to aid the blind or visually impaired. The doors are constructed of aluminum frames with plastic panels. The essential character is imparted by the aluminum frames.

The drain traps are composed of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic with a white or chrome cover plate. The drain opens for easy cleaning with a built-in filter. You state that the drains are specifically designed for use with the level access shower bases and can discharge horizontally, vertically, or at any angle in between.

The shower doors are manufactured in the United Kingdom. The shower bases and drain traps are manufactured in China.

The applicable subheading for the shower bases and the drain traps will be 3926.90.9880, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other articles of plastics, other. The general rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the shower doors will be 7610.10.0030, HTS, which provides for which provides for doors, windows and their frames and thresholds for doors, of aluminum. The general rate of duty will be 5.7 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 half-height doors are not the type of shower doors used by the general population. Rather, they are intended for use by a wheelchair user with a nurse in attendance. Since the enclosure system is normally installed as an extensive retrofit in a home, it is quite unlikely that such systems would be used in significant numbers by those with a temporary handicap that substantially limited their ability to use ordinary showers, as opposed to those with a permanent or chronic handicap. See Headquarters Ruling Letter 557458, dated October 28, 1993, on shower hardware for the handicapped in general.

Although level access showers may be installed in general home constructions, we understand that the level access shower bases and drains that are the subject of your request were made to your specifications for use in your half door shower systems and that the platforms are designed to withstand the wheels and weight of a wheelchair with its occupant.

On that basis a secondary classification will apply for these items in HTS 9817.00.96, which provides for articles specially designed or adapted for the use or benefit of the permanently or chronically physically or mentally handicapped and parts specially designed or adapted for use in articles specially designed or adapted for the use or benefit of the permanently or chronically physically or mentally handicapped. Therefore, they will be 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.

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 classification in 9817.00.96 of these items, contact National Import Specialist James Sheridan at 646-733-3012. If you have any other questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Joan Mazzola at 646-733-3023.


Robert B. Swierupski

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: