CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952306 DWS
Mr. Randy M. Krivo, President
6507 Cecilia Circle
Bloomington, MN 55439
RE: Electric Hand Warming Mitts and Foot Warming Booties;
Chapter 84, Note 1(a); GRI 3(b); Essential Character;
Dear Mr. Krivo:
This is in response to your letter of June 4, 1992, concerning
the classification of electric hand warming mitts and foot warming
booties under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States
The merchandise consists of electric hand warming mitts and
foot warming booties. The exterior and interior of both articles
is composed of vinyl sheeting. Enclosed within the mitts and the
booties are electro-thermo wire, non-woven cloth, fuse wire, VDE
wire, and thermostats. An electric cord extends from each mitt and
booty to a control switch in a plastic case. Within each plastic
case is a 3 position switch, a neon sign, a resistor, a diode, and
a printed circuit board.
The mitt measures approximately 12 inches in length with a 6
inch wide opening at one end. The closed end is rounded. The
booty measures approximately 15 inches in length with a triangular
opening approximately 8 inches wide. The booty is secured over the
feet by a velcro closure and the closed end is rounded. The booty
does not have an applied outersole.
It is our understanding that the merchandise is principally
used within a health spa setting. Lotions and creams are applied
to a person's hands or feet, which are then placed into the mitts
or booties, respectively. Heat is applied through the electrical
apparatus to allow the lotions and creams to penetrate into the
hands or feet.
What is the proper classification of the subject merchandise
under the HTSUS?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance
with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order.
GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the
terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.
Chapter 85, Note 1(a), HTSUS, provides that:
1. This chapter does not cover:
(a) Electrically warmed blankets, bed pads, foot-muffs or
the like; electrically warmed clothing, footwear or ear
pads or other electrically warmed articles worn on or
about the person.
It is our position that, for classification purposes,
identifying the merchandise as hand warming mitts and foot warming
booties is a misnomer. The purpose of the merchandise is not to
warm hands or feet. It is principally used to heat the lotions and
creams on the skin, thereby liquefying them so that they can
penetrate the skin. Because of the principal use of the
merchandise, we find that it is not in the class or kind of
articles excluded from chapter 85, HTSUS.
Because the electric hand warming mitt and foot warming booty
are composite goods made up of different components, GRI 3(b) must
be consulted. GRI 3(b) provides that:
[m]ixtures, composite goods consisting of different
materials or made up of different components, and goods put
up for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference
to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the
material or component which gives them their essential
character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.
It is our position that the electrical component within the
merchandise imparts its essential character. The electrical
component within both articles makes up the majority of their
weight and value, and it provides the necessary heat to liquefy
the applied lotions and creams.
Consequently, the merchandise is classifiable under subheading
8543.80.90, HTSUS, which provides for: "[e]lectrical machines and
apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included
elsewhere in this chapter: [o]ther machines or apparatus: [o]ther."
The electric hand warming mitt and foot warming booty are
classifiable under subheading 8543.80.90, HTSUS. The general,
column one rate of duty is 3.9 percent ad valorem.
John Durant, Director