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NY N019575

December 4, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 9404.90.2000; 9817.00.96

Carol Ann Hoepner
Essential Medical Supply, Inc.
6420 Hazeltine National Drive
Orlando, FL 32822-5121

RE: The tariff classification of various cushions from China

Dear Ms. Hoepner:

In your letter dated October 28, 2007 you requested a classification ruling.

You submitted samples of various wheelchair cushions. Style N1104 “Rehab 1” and F3050-6 “Solid Foam Cushion” are comprised of a solid piece of polyurethane foam with a textile cover. The cover is made from nylon fabric. The cover features a zipper closure. Style N1104 measures 18 x 16 inches and 4 inches in thickness. Style F3050-6 measures 18 x 16 inches and 3 inches in thickness.

Style N1001P “Plaid Coccyx Cushion” and N1002P measure 16 x 16 x 3 inches and 18 x 16 x 3 inches respectively. They are made from a solid piece of polyurethane foam, a removable masonite insert and a textile cover. The cover is made from nylon fabric and it has a zipper closure. The cushions feature a rear cut-out used to relieve pressure on the coccyx area.

Style N1003 “Sloping Coccyx Cushion” and Style N2002 “Wedge Cushion” both are an 18 x16 inch wedge shaped cushion. Style N1003 slopes from 3 inches in the back to 1.5 inches in the front. Style N2002 slopes from 4 inches in the back to 1.5 inches in the front. Both are comprised of a polyurethane foam cushion with a textile cover. The cover is made from woven man-made fiber fabric and it has a zipper closure. Both cushions have a rear cut-out used for pressure relief.

Style N3007 “Coccyx Cushion” measures 18 x 16 inches and 3 inches in thickness. It is comprised of a solid piece of polyurethane visco-elastic foam with a textile cover. The cover is made from man-made fiber woven fabric and it has zipper closure. The cushion features a cut-out at the back used for pressure relief.

Style N1004 “Back Support Cushion” is comprised of a solid piece of polyurethane foam, a plastic insert for stability and a cover. The cover is made from a plastic coated knit fabric with a hook and loop closure. It has a strip used to attach the cushion to the wheelchair.

Styles D4001 and D4002 “Essential Gel Cushions” will measure 18 x 16 inches and 2-3 inches in thickness. They contain a gel bladder enclosed with polyurethane foam. The cover is made from nylon fabric and it has a zipper closure.

Styles N1001 and N1002 are made in the same manner as style N1001P with the exception of the masonite insert.

Style N2004 “Molded Foam Wedge Cushion” is an 18 x16 wedge shaped cushion with a slope from 3 to 1.5 inches. It has a zippered cover that is made from man-made fiber fabric.

The applicable subheading for all of the cushions will be 9404.90.2000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for mattress supports; articles of bedding and similar furnishing (for example, mattresses, quilts, eiderdowns, cushions, pouffes and pillows) fitted with any material or of cellular rubber or plastics, whether or not covered: other: pillows, cushions and similar furnishings: other. The duty rate will be 6 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/.

Subheading 9404.90.2000, HTSUS is not assigned a textile category designation. With the exception of certain products of China, quota/visa requirements are no longer applicable for merchandise which is the product of World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries. Quota and visa requirements are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information on quota and visa requirements applicable to this merchandise, we suggest you check, close to the time of shipment, the “Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas” which is available on our web site at www.cbp.gov. For current information regarding possible textile safeguard actions on goods from China and related issues, we refer you to the web site of the Office of Textiles and Apparel of the Department of Commerce at otexa.ita.doc.gov.

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

Regarding your proposed classification for all these cushions under HTSUS 9817.00.96, we note that the N3007 is not in the Wheelchair Cushions sections either in the catalog you sent or on the Essential Medical Supply website, but in a more general cushion section.  Although it is made of 6 pound density foam, we find many cushions on the www to have that density for general comfort purposes, including the Essential Medical Supply N3008.  Therefore, we find it to be substantially more likely to be used by those not in wheelchairs than the other cushions described above. 

            The other cushions described above either do or apparently will appear in the Wheelchair Cushions section of the Essential Medical Supply.  Regarding the N1003 and N2001/2, they are designed to keep “the patient back in the chair.”  Per the information from P. Quinter on your behalf, they slope down to the back, i.e., the thickness gradually increases towards the front end of the cushion.

            Consistent with New York Ruling Letter 808052-119, 3-24-95, we find that, in terms of US Note 4 to Subchapter 17 of Chapter 98 of the HTSUS, wheelchair cushions are almost always used by those who are in a wheelchair because of the substantial limitation of their major life activity of walking due to a permanent or chronic physical or mental impairment, not an acute or transient disability.             On that basis a secondary classification will apply for the cushions described above, other than the N3007, 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.                  

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 John Hansen at 646-733-3043. If you have any questions regarding the classification in 9817.00.96 of this item, contact National Import Specialist J. Sheridan at 646-733-3012. 


Robert B. Swierupski

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