CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 950166 ALS

Consul (Trade)
South African Consulate General
Trade and Industries Office
333 E. 38th St., 9th Floor
New York, New York 10016

RE: Brush Booster, a Hinged Fin Attachment for a Swimming Pool Cleaning Brush

Dear Consul:

This is in reference to your inquiry of July 3, 1991, regarding the tariff classification of a hinged plastic fin which attaches to a pool cleaning brush. You also requested information as to the applicability of the Comprehensive Anti- Apartheid Act of 1986.


The article under consideration is described as a hinged fin which is attached to the shaft of a swimming cleaning brush to increase the effectiveness of the brush in cleaning pools and removing algae build-up. The article is made of tough injection molded nylon and polypropylene plastic and is manufactured in South Africa. Neither the manufacture or handling of the product is handled by a parastatal organization. The brush booster is designed to increase the effectiveness of pool cleaning brush. It is noted that, as the brush is moved back and forth, the fin exerts a forward pressure, forcing the bristles against the pool side.

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1. What is the tariff classification of a plastic brush booster?

2. Is the article subject to the Comprehensive Anti- Apartheid Act of 1986?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in order. GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods, and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's are applied, taken in order.

The product under consideration is described as a brush booster and is intended to make a pool cleaning brush more effective. It resembles a fin, is made of plastic, and is designed to be attached to the shaft of a swimming pool cleaning brush, presumably by the user of such brush.

In considering the headings of the HTSUSA under which the article may be classified, we noted heading 3926 which provides for "other articles of plastic" and heading 9506, which provides for "Articles and equipment for gymnastics,...swimming pools and wading pools; parts and accessories thereof." We noted that none of the subheadings under heading 3926 specifically provide for the article under consideration and that, if the article were to be classified thereunder, it would be classified under subheading 3926.9090, HTSUSA, which generically provides for other articles of plastic. We further noted that Note 2(u) to Chapter 39, HTSUSA, in which that subheading is found, specifically excludes article of chapter 95 (toys, games, sports equipment), HTSUSA, from classification thereunder.

Thus, it was necessary to examine chapter 95, HTSUSA, to ascertain whether the article may be classified thereunder. We noted that such chapter generally covers sports equipment and that Legal Note 3 to that chapter provides that parts and accessories which are suitable for use solely or principally with articles of the chapter are to be classified with those articles.

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In view of the above note, subheading 9506.9955, HTSUSA, which specifically covers swimming pools and wading pools and parts and accessories thereof, it was necessary to determine whether the article might be considered an accessory which is used solely or principally with a swimming pool. Unfortunately, the term accessory is not defined in either the HTSUSA or in the Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized System. We, however, have previously noted that an accessory is generally understood to mean an article which is not necessary to enable the goods with which they are used to fulfill their intended function. Accessories are of secondary importance, not essential of themselves. They must, however, contribute to the effectiveness of the principal article (e.g., facilitate the use or handling of the principal article, widen the range of its uses, or improve its operation).

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 085038 dated September 29, 1989, and HRL 085895 dated November 27, 1989, we noted that Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged (1986) defines an accessory as an object or device that is not essential in itself but that adds to the beauty, convenience, or effectiveness of something else.

The brush booster, while not essential to the function of a swimming pool or the cleaning thereof, does contribute to the effective and convenient care and maintenance of the pool. The descriptive literature provided with your inquiry indicates that the product is designed to be principally used in connection with the cleaning of swimming pools although it might be used in connection with cleaning of the bottoms of moored boats.

Accordingly, we believe that it is reasonable to conclude that the article is an accessory principally used with swimming pools.

The sanctions imposed pursuant to the Comprehensive Anti- Apartheid Act of 1986 (22 U.S.C. 5001-5117), have been terminated by Executive Order 12769 of July 10, 1991. That Order was implemented by an amendment to the regulations of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Department of the Treasury, published in the Federal Register of July 12, 1991, (56 FR 32056).

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The brush booster, which is a plastic fin that fits onto the shaft of a pool cleaning brush and is designed to increase the effectiveness of that brush, is a swimming pool accessory and is classifiable under subheading 9506.99.5500, HTSUSA. It is subject to a general rate of duty of 5.3 per cent ad valorem.

The sanctions imposed by the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 were lifted effective July 10, 1991, and are inapplicable with respect to transactions on or after that date.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

1cc: NIS J. Mazzola
1cc: NIS T. McKenna

950166 plastic brush booster fin - swimming pool cleaning
brush accessory