CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087625 JMH
Mr. Brian Hewitt
Global Assistive Devices, Inc.
3511 West Commercial Boulevard, Suite 219
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
RE: Reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter 853939;
combination alarm clock and light designed for use by the
deaf or hearing impaired; articles specially designed or
adapted for use by the physically disabled or handicapped.
Dear Mr. Hewitt:
This is in response to your July 27, 1990, request for a
reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter 853939 ("NY 853939"),
dated June 29, 1990, which concerned a certain combination alarm
The article in question is the model 5502D alarm clock/lamp.
The alarm clock/lamp is manufactured by Cosmo Electronics and
imported from Hong Kong. The unit combines a solid-state
electronic alarm clock that has an opto-electronic display with a
halogen table/reading lamp. The alarm clock features a user-
selected wake-up mode that provides a choice or an audible alarm
or an audible alarm together with a flashing light. An auxiliary
jack is provided to connect the alarm clock/light to an optional
"bedshaker". The "bedshaker" is not imported with the alarm
NY 853939 classified the alarm clock/lamp in subheading
9105.11.40, Harmonized Tariff Schedule United States Annotated
("HTSUSA"), as "Other clocks...Alarm clocks...Battery or AC
powered...With opto-electronic display only..." You do not
contest this classification. However, you believe that the
alarm clock/lamp should be further classified in heading
9817.00.96, HTSUSA, as "Articles specially designed or adapted
for the use or benefit of the blind or other physically or
mentally handicapped person...Other..." This additional
classification would grant the alarm clock/lamp duty-free entry.
Whether the model 5502D alarm clock/lamp is an article
specially designed for use by physically disabled persons so to
be classified in heading 9817.00.96.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Heading 9817.00.96 is found within Subchapter XVII, HTSUSA.
Subchapter XVII, U.S. Note 4(a) states that "physically
handicapped" includes permanent or chronic impairment of one's
hearing. Therefore, articles specifically designed or adapted
for the use by persons who have chronic or permanent impairment
of their hearing would be included in heading 9817.00.96.
It is the opinion of this office that the alarm clock/lamp
in question is specially designed for use by the hearing
impaired. The clock is designed to wake up a person by use of
an audible alarm. Should the sleeper not be able to hear the
audible noise, the blinking light may be used. In cases where
the blinking light is insufficient to wake the sleeper, the
"bedshaker" may be added to the alarm clock to vibrate the bed or
pillow. These additional features are not normally found on a
typical alarm clock.
The model 5502D alarm clock/lamp is of the class or kind of
alarm clock sold in stores who serve the hearing impaired. The
sale price for similar combination alarm clocks range from $40 to
$125, a much higher price than an alarm clock for those with
normal hearing ability. That the clock may be used by one with
complete faculties does not mean that it was designed with that
person in mind. For example, "talking books" may be used by
anyone, but they were designed for those who are visually
The model 5502D alarm clock/lamp is an article specially
designed for the use or benefit by those with chronic or
permanent hearing impairment. The alarm clock/lamp is properly
classified in heading 9817.00.96 and is eligible for duty-free
NY 853939 is hereby modified in accordance with Customs
Regulation 177.9(d), 19 C.F.R. 177.9(d).
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division