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NY N014366

August 16, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 5911.90.0080; 3926.90.9980

Roxane Peiffer
Norman G Jensen Inc.
3050 Metro Drive, Ste. 300
Minneapolis, MN 55425

RE: The tariff classification of five slings and a wrap around padding cover used on mechanical lifts from China

Dear Ms. Peiffer:

In your letter received July 17, 2007, which was a follow-up to an earlier inquiry where we requested additional information, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Medcare Products Inc.

You submitted descriptive literature as well as three samples of the slings, one sample of a belt, and one sample of the padding cover. You indicate the slings are used on mechanical lifts, and are designed to meet a variety of lift, transfer and repositioning needs of patients and residents whose ability to stand or move about is substantially limited either by old age or chronic illness. The slings will be imported in various sizes and cuts, to accommodate different sizes of people, as well as assist in different functions. These products are for the use of caregivers to aid individuals whose ability to stand or move about is substantially limited. The Medcare Lift is intended for individuals who are non-weight bearing and require total lifting. Slings are required to use this type of equipment. The Medcare Stand is designed for assisting individuals to a standing position. A belt is required to use this type of equipment.

The first sample, #400012 large mesh sling, is stated to be a nylon mesh. The second sample, #400020 medium sling, is stated to be polyester. The third sample, #600030 full back (disposable) sling, is stated to be polyester. The fourth sample, #500080 disposable stand belt, is stated to be polyester. Although no samples were provided, you have asked for classification on slings that are identified as #400077, #400079, #400081 and #400083. They are all stated to be of polyester. These slings are described in the enclosed literature as the “Medcare Transport Attachment”. They are slings that are used in conjunction with the stand belt and provide additional seat and back support when needed.

The fifth sample, #400096 padding, is a cushioned pad designed to wrap around the tubular metal components of the various lifts.  The exterior component of the cushioned pad is made from cellular plastic sheeting backed with a plain knit fabric for mere reinforcement.  The inner component that fits against the tubular lift components is a plain woven fabric.  A cushion of ½ inch thick foam plastic is inserted between the exterior and interior components.  The plastic components impart the essential character.  The pad measures approximately 10 inches by 6½ inches in its unfolded condition.  It is designed to wrap around any of the tubular metal components of the various lifts and secures to itself by means of a strip of hook and loop fastener tape sewn along each edge.  A U-shaped cutout in the pad accommodates cross pieces attached to the metal tubes.  You indicate that this padding will be attached to various parts of the lift so the residents will have a softer, cushioned surface in case they bump or make contact with the lift.

The applicable subheading for the slings and belts identified as items #400012, #400020, #600030, #500080, #400077, #400079, #400081, and #400083 will be 5911.90.0080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for textile products and articles, for technical uses, specified in note 7 to chapter 59, other. The rate of duty will be 3.8 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for item #400096 padding cover will be 3926.90.9980, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for other articles of plastics, other. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent 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 World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.

You specifically ask about a possible secondary classification of these items in 9817.00.96 as articles for the handicapped.

Although the 4-10-07 letter you supplied from S. Lemmer of MedCare Products did state, without supporting evidence, that the devices these items are used with are for those “limited by old age or chronic illness,” we do find on the www that apparently similar items are also sold to hospitals for the care of post-operative and other patients.  An example is at www.allegromedical.com/patient-care-c530/easy-pivot-lift-deluxe-ep-325-for-institutional-use-p160616.html, which describes that EP-325 Patient Lift as “also useful for the frail, weak elderly or post-operative patient” and states that it is “designed to meet the needs of the rehabilitation center, acute care facility, long-term care facility or individual home.”

Therefore, you have not to date sufficiently established that your items are  parts or accessories 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, as opposed to an acute, but often transient, disability.  See HTSUS, Chapter 98, Subchapter 17, U.S. Note 4-b-i.

             Therefore, regarding their HTSUS 9817.00.96 status, we are returning your request for a ruling, and any related samples, exhibits, etc.  We need additional information in order to issue a ruling.  Please submit the information described below:

Describe in detail the major physical differences, if any, between the patient lifts here and those that are also designed for use in acute care facilities.  The EP-325 cited above appears to be one example.  

Provide evidence of the percent of your sales for the last two years for each of your patient lifts here to individuals for home use, to long term care facilities such as nursing homes, and to acute care facilities such as hospitals.  

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.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

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 and Border Protection, Customs Information Exchange, 10th Floor, One Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10119, attn: Binding Rulings Section.

           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 9817.00.96 status of the items, contact National Import Specialist J. Sheridan at 646-733-3012.  For any other questions regarding this ruling, contact National Import Specialist Deborah Walsh at (646) 733-3044.


Robert B. Swierupski

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