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HQ W967950

May 23, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 9615.19.4000

Barbara Moore
The Janel Group of New York, Inc.
150-14 132nd Avenue
Jamaica, NY 11434

RE: Classification of a Deshedding Tool

Dear Ms. Moore:

This is in reply to a letter dated September 19, 2005, submitted by your firm, on behalf of FURminator, Inc., requesting a binding ruling concerning a deshedding tool to be used for the removal of undercoat and loose hair on dogs and cats.

Your letter and the sample you submitted was forwarded to this office for our response.


The FURminator deshedding tool is used to remove the undercoat and loosen dead hair from pets. The tool edge has stainless steel teeth. The product is approximately six inches in length, 1.75 inches wide at the teeth and the handle is 1.5" wide. The stainless steel teeth are protected by a cover. The product will "quickly and easily remove (it doesn't cut) the loose, dead, undercoat hair that is the underlying source of shedding."


Is the product classified in heading 9615, HTSUSA, which provides for "combs, hair-slides and the like: hairpins, curling pins, curling grips, hair-curlers and the like, other than those of heading 8516, and parts thereof" or in heading 8201, HTSUSA, which provides for other handtools of a kind used in agriculture, horticulture or forestry and parts thereof?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied.

When interpreting and implementing the HTSUS, the Explanatory Notes (ENs) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System may be utilized. The ENs, while neither legally binding nor dispositive, provide a guiding commentary on the scope of each heading, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).


Heading 8201, HTSUSA, provides for: "Handtools of the following kinds and base metal parts thereof: spades, shovels, mattocks, picks hoes, forks and rakes; axes, bill hooks and similar hewing tools; secateurs and pruners of any kind; scythes, sickles, hay knives, hedge shears, timber wedges and other tools of a kind used in agriculture, horticulture or forestry."

Heading 8201, HTSUSA, falls within Section XV of the HTSUSA. Note 1(m) to Section XV, states the section does not cover: "Hand sieves, buttons, pens, pencil-holders, pen nibs or other articles of chapter 96 (miscellaneous manufactured articles)." Accordingly Note 1(m) to Section XV precludes classification of articles which meet the terms of heading 9615, HTSUSA.


Heading 9615, HTSUSA, provides for: "combs, hair-slides and the like; hairpins, curling pins, curling grips, hair curlers and the like, other than those of heading 8516, and parts thereof."

The ENs to heading 9615, HTSUSA state that the heading covers "toilet combs of all kinds including combs for animals." Websters II New College Dictionary, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999 defines a comb as a thin, toothed strip for smoothing, arranging or fastening the hair. Merriam-Webster Online defines a comb as "a toothed instrument used especially for adjusting, cleaning or confining hair." www.m-w.com. The FURminator is a toothed instrument used for adjusting and cleaning loose or dead hair from an animal. Accordingly, it is an animal comb as contemplated by the EN's to heading 9615, HTSUSA. This conclusion is consistent with New York Ruling (NY) I86797, dated October 1, 2002, in which we held that a medium stainless steel shedding blade with coarse teeth on one side and fine teeth on the other side measuring approximately 13 inches in length by 3/4 inch wide is properly classified in heading 9615, HTSUSA, because it removes loose hair on dogs. As the subject merchandise is a comb, which is specifically provided for in heading 9615, HTSUSA, it is precluded from classification within Section XV.


By application of GRI 1 and Note 1(m) to Section XV, the FURminator deshedding tool is properly classified under heading 9615, HTSUS as combs. It is provided for under subheading 9615.19.4000, HTSUSA, which provides for: "Combs, hair-slides and the like: hairpins, curling pins, curling grips, hair-curlers and the like, other than those of heading 8516, and parts thereof: Combs, hair-slides and the like: Other: Combs: Valued over $4.50 per gross." The column one, general rate of duty is 28.8 cents per gross plus 4.6% ad valorem.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on the World Wide Web at www.usitc.gov.


Gail A. Hamill, Chief
Tariff Classification and Marking Branch

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