Rita MihalekPhilips Electronics North America Corporation
3000 Minuteman Road
Building 1, M/S 109Andover, MA 01810
RE: The tariff classification of a carrying case from China
Dear Ms. Mihalek:
In your letter dated June 27, 2011, you requested a tariff classification ruling. Your sample is being returned to you.
Style number 1057531/1063857 is a carrying case for a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. It is constructed with an outer surface of man-made textile material. The case is designed to provide storage, protection, organization, and portability to a CPAP machine and its circuit accessories. The bag has an adjustable shoulder strap and a zipper closure along three sides. The interior of the case has a permanently attached foam divider, with hook-and-loop straps, that is specially designed to hold the power cord in place next to the respiratory machine. The underside of the top panel of the case has a mesh pocket to hold additional device components such as the circuit tubing and mask. The carrying case measures approximately 14” (W) x 8” (H) x 7” (D).
The applicable subheading for the carrying case will be 4202.92.9026, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for other containers and cases, with outer surface of man-made textile materials. The general rate of duty is 17.6% ad valorem
In your ruling request, you suggest a secondary classification in HTSUS 9817.00.96 for the CPAP carrying case, as an article specially designed or adapted for use by the chronically or permanently disabled or handicapped persons. HTSUS Chapter 98, Subchapter 17, U.S. Note 4(a), states that the term "blind or other physically or mentally handicapped persons" includes any person suffering from a permanent or chronic physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, or working.
In your submission you state that Philips Respironics’ line of CPAP machines are designed to treat individuals with chronic lung disease and other respiratory afflictions, such as Sleep Apnea and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. You indicate that the carrying case, which is imported separately, is specially designed to accommodate Philips CPAP devices. As stated above, the carrying case features a pre-cut foam divider that allows a user to securely hold the CPAP device and its power cord next to one another. There are internal pockets, including the aforementioned mesh netting, which are intended to hold additional device components. You included design sheets and specifications for the CPAP carrying case, as well as information concerning the models of Philips CPAP machine that would be used with the case.The carrying case at issue is similar in form and function to the case described in New York Ruling Letter N059778, May 29, 2009. In that ruling letter, which covered a CPAP machine designed to treat Sleep Apnea along with its accompanying carrying case, it was determined that CPAP machines were specially designed and adapted for the benefit of persons suffering from a chronic physical impairment and thus were eligible for secondary classification under HTSUS 9817.00.96. The same held true for the specially designed carrying case that held the CPAP machine, when it was imported separately.
On that basis a secondary classification will apply for the carrying case by itself in HTSUS 9817.00.96, as specially designed or adapted for the use or benefit of the permanently or chronically physically or mentally handicapped (except articles for the blind), free of duty and user fees (if any). Note that the requirement that you prepare and file a U.S. Department of Commerce form ITA-362P has been eliminated via a notice from the International Trade Administration, published in the Federal Register of June 1, 2010. Also note that this classification has no effect on any quota, visa, or restricted merchandise requirements.
Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).
A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the classification in 9817.00.96 of this item, contact National Import Specialist J. Sheridan at (646) 733-3012. If you have any other questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Vikki Lazaro at (646) 733-3041.
Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity Specialist Division