July 31, 2013
TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.9980; 8302.41.6080; 9817.00.96
Mr. Peter Munoz EASA Group (Easability Ltd.) Moira Industrial Estate 34 Old Kilmore Road Moira, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland, BT67 0LZ
RE: The tariff classification of plastic shower bases and steel grab bars from Northern Ireland
Dear Mr. Munoz:
In your letter dated July 8, 2013, you requested a tariff classification ruling. Descriptive literature and photographs covering shower bases, grab bars and support bars were included with your request.
The shower bases are all made of 3D honeycomb glass fiber reinforced plastics. You market this material as being resilient enough to withstand the loads necessary to accommodate wheelchair users accompanied by their caregivers during showering. The COMBI shower base is pitched to the drain and level throughout the base to facilitate the maneuverability of a wheelchair. It can be installed surface mounted with a 1.25 inch edge for a low level access threshold. An optional ramp is available to facilitate access for this type of installation. The COMBI shower base can also be installed recess mounted to offer a barrier free flat access to the showering area. The floor has a textured surface to prevent slips and an 838 pound load capacity so that it can accommodate the weight of both a wheelchair user and a caregiver.
The ACCESS shower base is designed with a size, shape and drain placement suitable for use as a bathtub replacement. It is marketed as being a universal design suitable for users with reduced mobility and disabilities as well as for the rest of the family. It can be installed surface mounted with a 1.57 inch edge for a low level access threshold. An optional ramp is available to facilitate access for this type of installation. The ACCESS shower base can also be installed recess mounted to offer a barrier free flat access to the showering area. It has a textured surface to prevent slips and a 604 pound load capacity to accommodate the weight of a wheelchair user and a caregiver.
The DEK pre-fabricated shower floor is described as a wet floor former. This is a shower floor base that is designed to be tiled over. It has a built-in pitch to the drain and is pre-formed with countersunk holes around the perimeter. Both the descriptive literature that you submitted and the information on the website describe the product as having a barrier free 0 mm ramped edge. It has an 838 pound load capacity so that it can accommodate the weight of both a wheelchair user and a caregiver.
You suggest classification in subheading 3922.10.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for baths, shower-baths, sinks and wash-basins. The shower pans and shower wet floor former are parts of showers and heading 3922 does not provide for parts.
The applicable subheading for the COMBI and ACCESS shower bases and the DEK shower floor/wet floor former will be 3926.90.9980, HTSUS, which provides for other articles of plastics, other. The general rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.
The grab bars and support bars are steel wall-mounted bathroom accessories and include the mounting hardware. The Evolution® grab bars are composed of textured stainless steel and are available in three different sizes. They are designed to be mounted to a wall and will be used by the handicapped and elderly for safety and support in the bathroom lavatory or shower stall. The bars include four fixing points per bracket and flange screw covers. The grab bars support a maximum weight of 353 lbs.
The fold up support bar consists of an oblong stainless steel grab bar. The bar incorporates an attached hook that can be used to hold a roll of toilet paper. It is designed to be mounted to the wall in the bathroom lavatory and will be used by the handicapped and elderly for safety and support. The support bar folds up against the wall when not in use. The fold up support bar has a maximum weight capacity of 331 lbs.
You suggest classification for the Evolution grab bars and the fold up support bar in subheading 8302.41.9080, HTSUS, as base metal mountings and fittings for buildings. This office agrees that the bars are described in subheading 8302.41. However, the bars are more specifically described in 8302.41.6080, rather than 8302.41.9080, since they are made of stainless steel.
The applicable subheading for the Evolution grab bars and the fold up support bar will be 8302.41.6080, HTSUS, which provides for base metal mountings, fittings and similar articles…other mountings, fittings and similar articles, and parts thereof, suitable for buildings, other, of iron or steel, of aluminum or of zinc, other. The general rate of duty will be 3.9 percent ad valorem.
You suggest that a secondary classification in 9817.00.96, HTSUS, should apply to the shower bases and grab bars. The steel Evolution grab bars and the fold up support bars are used in the bathroom and are similar in function to the items in Headquarters Ruling Letter 557458, dated October 28, 1993. These products are all distinctive, large, heavy bars, which are designed for permanent installation and which have load capacities exceeding 300 pounds. Consistent with HQ 557458, it appears quite unlikely that they would be installed other than for the frequent use of people with a permanent or chronic impairment which substantially limits their mobility.
The shower bases are also designed for permanent installation, and have load bearing capacities ranging from over 600 pounds to over 800 pounds so that they can accommodate the weight of both a wheelchair user and a caregiver. Per the logo on its website, EASA’s business is primarily providing “Accessible Showering Solutions,” typically in a family situation.
On that basis a secondary classification will apply for these items in 9817.00.96, HTSUS, as specially designed or adapted for the use or benefit of the permanently or chronically physically or mentally handicapped (except articles for the blind), free of duty and user fees (if any). Note that the requirement that the importer prepare and file a U.S. Department of Commerce form ITA-362P has been eliminated via a notice from the International Trade Administration, published in the Federal Register of June 1, 2010. Also note that this classification has no effect on any quota, visa, or restricted merchandise requirements or countervailing or dumping duties.
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/.
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 of these items in subheading 9817.00.96, HTSUS, 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.
Thomas J. Russo Director National Commodity Specialist Division