Ms. Toni L. Garcia
Emerson Tool Company
8100 W Florissant Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63136

RE: The tariff classification of a wet-dry vacuum cleaner power-head from Mexico.

Dear Ms. Garcia:

In your letter dated July 7, 2009, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You describe the imported item as a wet-dry vacuum cleaner power-head, with a 500 watt self- contained motor. You state that the power-head is to be sold at retail in its imported form, packed with accessories including a hose, adaptor and filter. It is designed to fit on a standard five gallon bucket, which is sold separately at home improvement stores. The power-head rests on the rim of the bucket. Two latches, incorporated on the power-head, lock under the bucket’s rim thus securing the items together.

Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.  GRI 2(a) extends the scope of the HTSUS headings to include unfinished parts, provided the unfinished parts have the essential character of the finished parts. GRI 2(a) further states that, “Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article.  It shall also include a reference to that article complete or finished (or failing to be classified as complete or finished by virtue of this rule), entered unassembled or disassembled”.

It is the opinion of this office that the power-head in its imported condition possesses the essential character of a vacuum cleaner.  Accordingly, the applicable subheading for the wet-dry vacuum cleaner power-head will be 8508.11.0000, HTSUS, which provides for Vacuum cleaners; parts thereof: With self-contained electric motor: Of a power not exceeding 1,500 W and having a dust bag or other receptacle capacity not exceeding 20 L. The rate of duty will be free.

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

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 ruling, contact National Import Specialist Patricia O’Donnell at (646) 733-3011.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity Specialist Division