Werner Media Partners LLC
DBA Nature’s Sleep LLC
7143 West Broward Blvd
Plantation, FL 33317
RE: Classification of a mechanically adjustable bed base from China.
Dear Mr. Plaza:
In your letter dated July 2, 2020, you requested a tariff classification ruling. In lieu of samples, illustrative literature and a product description were provided.
The Ghostbed by Nature’s Sleep, model number 17AN4039, is a twin-size, adjustable bed base measuring 80" (L) x 38" (W) x 15" (H). Both the head and foot of the articulated metal frame and fabric-covered platform can be tilted up or returned to horizontal by remote-controlled, electronically operated actuators. Foot and head motors provide the additional functionality of a massaging vibration. Although the frame is sold with a mattress, the mattress is not included at the time of importation.
In your letter, you suggest that the GhostBed Adjustable Power Base is massage apparatus and the applicable classification should be 9019.10.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). However, this subheading provides for electrically operated psychological aptitude-testing apparatus and parts thereof, not for massage apparatus. Although heading 9019, HTSUS, covers vibratory-massaging appliances that vibrate parts of the body (abdomen, feet, leg, etc.), the Ghostbed Adjustable Power Base is not for such use. It vibrates the mattress and is not designed to come into contact with the muscles, joints, etc. It is not a vibratory-massaging appliance that is applied to the intended body part to bring about the desired massage effect. Two rulings cited in your letter are dissimilar to the merchandise in question and appear to have little relevance in this case.
Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). 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.
GRI 6 is implicated at the [sub]heading level, because the contents of the Ghostbed is composed of different components (i.e., base metal frame, motors, fabric, etc.) and is considered a composite good. Under GRI 6 the classification of goods at the subheading level shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, mutatis mutandis, to the above rules [GRIs 1 - 5], on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable. For the Ghostbed, consisting of a metal base frame and fabric-covered platform the competing subheadings are 9403.20 (other metal furniture) and 9403.89 (furniture of other materials).
The Explanatory Notes (ENs) to the HTSUS constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The ENs to the HTSUS, at GRI, Rule 3 (b) (VIII), state that “The factor which determines essential character will vary between different kinds of goods. It may for example, be determined by the nature of the materials or components, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.” When the essential character of a composite good can be determined, the whole product is classified as if it consisted only of the material or component that imparts the essential character to the composite good.
The Ghostbed is composed of different material components (metal, plastic and textile). The metal components are significantly more expensive than the plastic and textile materials and provide the Ghostbed with its structure, shape, and functionality. Therefore, it is the metal that imparts the essential character to the Ghostbed.
The applicable subheading for the Ghostbed will be 9403.20.0035, HTSUS, which provides for “Other furniture and parts thereof: Other metal furniture: Household: Other: Mechanically adjustable bed or mattress base, not foldable, having the characteristics of a bed or bed frame, of a width exceeding 91.44 cm, of a length exceeding 184.15 cm, and of a depth exceeding 8.89 cm.” The rate of duty will be free.
Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheading 9403.20.0035, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty. At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 subheading, i.e., 9903.88.03, in addition to subheading 9403.20.0035, HTSUS, listed above.
The HTSUS is subject to periodic amendment so you should exercise reasonable care in monitoring the status of goods covered by the Note cited above and the applicable Chapter 99 subheading. For background information regarding the trade remedy initiated pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, you may refer to the relevant parts of the USTR and CBP websites, which are available at https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/enforcement/section-301-investigations/tariff-actions and https://www.cbp.gov/trade/remedies/301-certain-products-china, respectively.
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 the World Wide Web at https://hts.usitc.gov/current.
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 Seth Mazze at [email protected].
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division