CLA-2 OT:RR:CTF:TCM H005073 EG
Mr. Philip J. Sutter
JPMorgan Chase Vastera
20700 Civic Center Drive, Suite 500
Southfield, MI 48076
RE: Reconsideration of NY M87515, dated November 9, 2006; Classification of Mop Pads from China
Dear Mr. Sutter:
This is in reply to your letter dated December 27, 2006, in which you requested reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) M87515, dated November 9, 2006, as it pertains to the classification of a disposable pad under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).
The merchandise at issue is identified as Black and Decker (B&D) “No Touch” Absorbent Pads. These disposable pads are B&D Catalog Number PM-DP. The pad attaches to the B&D Power Mop. The B&D Power Mop has a long handle so that the consumer can mop the floor while standing up similar to a conventional mop. The B&D Power Mop is battery powered and works in two modes: scrubbing and absorption.
When the B&D Power Mop is in scrubbing mode, the consumer deploys an orbital power brush. The brush’s bristles rotate under power to scrub dirt off of floors. The rotating power brush works in conjunction with cleaning fluid discharged by the mop’s tank to loosen dirt in the cleaning area. When the B&D Power Mop is in absorption mode, the consumer deploys the disposable pad. The pad absorbs the loose dirt and cleaning fluid amassed from the scrubbing mode. Consumers should discard the disposable pad after each use.
If the power brush is deployed, the consumer must secure the pad attachment underneath the mop tank. If the pad is deployed, the consumer must secure the power brush inside the Power Mop’s long handle. In this way, the two attachments do not impede each other because one is always secured while the other attachment is in use.
The pad has four major components. First, the pad includes a plastic plated backing. The plastic is polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This plastic backing allows the pad to attach to the mop. The pad’s package label states that the pad clicks on and off the mop, so that the consumer does not need to touch the pad when disposing of it.
In addition to the plastic backing, the pad consists of three layers. The inner layer is 70% wood slurry, or paper pulp, and 30% terylene. Terylene is a synthetic fabric composed of polyester fibers. The inner layer is the layer that absorbs the fluids. The outer shell is 60% terylene and 40% wood slurry. The outer shell surrounds the inner layer and allows fluid to move into the inner layer. Finally, polyethylene film adheres the PVC hard backing to the pad.
The sample is a box of 10 pads sold separately from the B&D Power Mop. The label states that the disposable pad “Fits [the B&D] PM1000 Power Mop.” The label also includes a picture of the B&D Power Mop, as well as images illustrating how the disposable pads “click on and off” the Power Mop so that consumers do not need to touch the pads to dispose of them after use. According to the B&D website’s description of the Power Mop, the Power Mop package includes three of the “No Touch” disposable pads at issue. See www.blackanddecker.com.
NY M87515, dated November 9, 2006, was issued to Mr. Philip Sutter of JP Morgan Chase Vastera (representing B&D). This ruling classified the disposable pad in heading 8509 HTSUS.
Whether the B&D disposable pads are classified in heading 8509, HTSUS, as parts of electromechanical domestic appliances, or in heading 4818, HTSUS, as cellulose wadding of a kind used for household or sanitary purposes?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation. GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs 2 through 6 may then be applied in order.
The applicable HTSUS provisions at issue are as follows:
8509 Electromechanical domestic appliances, with self-contained electric motor, other than vacuum cleaners of heading 8508; parts thereof…
* * *
4818 Toilet paper and similar paper, cellulose wadding or webs of cellulose fibers, of a kind used for household or sanitary purposes, in rolls of a width not exceeding 36 cm, or cut to size or shape; handkerchiefs, cleansing tissues, towels, tablecloths, table napkins, diapers, tampons, bed sheets and similar household, sanitary or hospital articles, articles of apparel and clothing accessories, of paper pulp, paper, cellulose wadding or webs of cellulose fibers…
* * *
Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(c) states that, in the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires:
A provision for parts of an article covers products solely or principally used as part of such articles but a provision for “parts” or “parts and accessories” shall not prevail over a specific provision for such part or accessory…
* * *
In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) may be utilized. The ENs, though not dispositive or legally binding, provide commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS, and are the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. CBP believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). The EN to heading 8509 HTSUS states that the heading includes “[f]loor scrubbing, scraping or scouring appliances, and appliances for sucking up dirty water or soap suds after scrubbing.” The EN further states that “[m]any of the appliances listed above may be presented with interchangeable parts or auxiliary devices to make them suitable for various purposes. For example . . . scrubbers with a soap feeder and suction device for removing dirty water or soap suds. Such an appliance is classified here together with the parts and accessories presented with it, provided they are of a kind and number commonly used with the appliance.”
You contend that the pads are accessories and not parts of the Power Mop. You state that the main function of the power mop is scrubbing, and that the pads are not necessary for the scrubbing function. Finally, you state that consumers can use the pads independently of the Power Mop.
In Bauerhin Technologies Limited Partnership, & John V. Carr & Son, Inc. v. United States, 110 F.3d 774 (Fed. Cir. 1997), the court considered the nature of "parts" under the HTSUS and two distinct though not inconsistent tests resulted. See Bauerhin, 110 F.3d at 779 (citing United States v. Willoughby Camera Stores, Inc., 21 C.C.P.A. 322 (1933) and United States v. Pompeo, 43 C.C.P.A. 9 (1955)). The court in Bauerhin explained:
As set forth in Willoughby Camera, “an integral, constituent, or component part, without which the article to which it is to be joined could not function as such article” is surely a part for classification purposes. 21 C.C.P.A. at 324. However that test is not exclusive. Willoughby Camera does not address the situation where an imported item is dedicated solely for use with the article. Pompeo addresses that scenario and states that such an item can also be classified as a part.
Reconciling Willoughby Camera with Pompeo, we conclude that where, as here, an imported item is dedicated solely for use with another article and is not a separate and distinct commercial entity, Pompeo is a closer precedent and Willoughby Camera does not apply […] Under Pompeo, an imported item dedicated solely for use with another article is a “part” of that article within the meaning of the HTSUS. Bauerhin, 110 F.3d at 779.
The pads’ relationship to the B&D Power Mop satisfies both the Willoughby Camera and Pompeo tests of a part. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a mop as “an implement consisting of a stick or pole to which is attached a thick bundle of loose strings, pieces of coarse yarn, etc., or (in later use often) a piece of cloth, sponge, or similar absorbent material, used to soak up liquid in cleaning floors and other surfaces, and (formerly) on ships for laying on pitch.” See www.oed.com. You assert that the main function of the Power Mop is scrubbing. However, the main function of a mop is absorption. Since the power brush cannot absorb the cleaning fluid or loosened dirt, the disposable pad is integral to the Power Mop’s main function as a mop. See Willoughby Camera, 21 C.C.P.A. at 324. In addition, the package labeling and design of the pads indicate that the pads are dedicated solely for use with the B&D Power Mop. Under Pompeo, the disposable pads are parts of the B&D Power Mop because of the “sole use” criteria set forth therein. 43 C.C.P.A. at 14.
Under Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(c), HTSUS, "a provision for parts of an article covers products solely or principally used as a part of such articles but a provision for ‘parts’ or ‘parts and accessories’ shall not prevail over a specific provision for such part or accessory." Accordingly, although the pad is a part of the B&D Power Mop, a specific provision for this part will prevail.
You contend that heading 4818, HTSUS, specifically provides for the disposable pads because the pad includes some paper pulp, or wood slurry. However, heading 8509, HTSUS, is a more comprehensive classification than heading 4818, HTSUS, because heading 8509, HTSUS, refers to the entire part regardless of its plastic, wood slurry and terylene components. Heading 4818, HTSUS, only corresponds to the wood slurry component. Moreover, the EN to heading 8509, HTSUS, specifically provides for “scrubbers with a soap feeder and suction device for removing dirty water or soap suds . . . and parts and accessories presented with it, provided they are of a kind and number commonly used with the appliance.”
Pursuant to GRI 1, the disposable pads are classified in heading 8509, HTSUS. The pads are specifically provided for in subheading 8509.90.55, HTSUS, which provides for: "Electromechanical domestic appliances, with self-contained electric motor, other appliances; parts thereof: other, other.” The column one, general rate of duty is 4.2 percent ad valorem.
EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS: NY M87515, dated November 9, 2006, is hereby affirmed.
Myles B. Harmon, Director Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division