CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952239 LTO
Mr. Leo Bertrand
153-04 Rockaway Boulevard, 2nd Floor
Jamaica, New York 11434
RE: Electric Floor Mats; EN 84.79; EN 85.43; Note 1(a) to
Dear Mr. Bertrand:
This is in response to your letter of May 5, 1992,
requesting the classification of electric floor mats under the
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your
letter was referred to this office for a response.
The articles in question are plastic, electric floor mats.
The mats are plastic grids with resistance wire intertwined
within. They are used in commercial areas where the environment
must be cold, such as, butcher shops, packing plants, warehouses,
ice factories and ski lodges. The mats work on alternating
current, although the importer also intends to import a battery
operated model for use at football games or on a vessel.
Whether the electric floor mats are specifically provided
for in the HTSUS.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUS
govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1
states in pertinent part that "for legal purposes, classification
shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and
any relative section or chapter notes . . . ." Heading 8543,
HTSUS, provides for "[e]lectrical machines and apparatus, having
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individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System
Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the Customs Co-operation
Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System.
While not legally binding, the ENs provide a commentary on the
scope of each heading of the Harmonized System, and are generally
indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. EN
85.43, pg. 1402, states that Heading 8543, HTSUS, "covers all
electrical appliances and apparatus, not falling in any other
heading of this Chapter, nor covered more specifically by a
heading of any other Chapter of the Nomenclature, nor excluded by
the operation of a Legal Note to Section XVI or to this Chapter
[emphasis in original]."
The electrical appliances of Heading 8543, HTSUS, must have
individual functions. The ENs to Heading 8479, HTSUS
("[m]achines and mechanical appliances having individual
functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter"),
pg. 1314, which apply mutatis mutandis to the appliances of
Heading 8543, HTSUS, state that the following are machines having
Mechanical devices, with or without motors or
other driving force, whose function can be
performed distinctly from and independently
of any other machine or appliance.
The articles in question are electrical devices whose function,
to keep a person's feet warm and free of frost, can be performed
independently of any other machine or appliance.
The electric floor mats are not covered by any other Heading
of Chapter 85, nor more specifically in any other Chapter of the
Nomenclature. In reaching this conclusion, we recognize that
Note 1(a) to Chapter 85 states that electrically warmed blankets,
bed pads, foot-muffs and the like are not covered by this
chapter. However, it is our opinion that the mats under
consideration are not akin to any of these exemplars, and
therefore, the mats are not excluded from classification in
Chapter 85. The mats are classifiable under Heading 8543, HTSUS,
specifically under subheading 8543.80.90, HTSUS.
The electric floor mats are classifiable under subheading
8543.80.90, HTSUS, which provides for "[e]lectrical machines and
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apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included
elsewhere in this chapter . . . [o]ther machines and apparatus
. . . [o]ther." The corresponding rate of duty for articles of
this subheading is 3.9% ad valorem.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division