In ruling NY N304661, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) determined the classification of an alarm clock for the hearing impaired. The Futuristic Alarm Clock is a digital alarm clock with an opto-electronic display that exhibits the hour, minute, AM/PM indicator and snooze button.  The Futuristic Alarm Clock features a dimmable clock display, dimmable light emitting diode (LED) flasher, dual alarms, dual AC outlets and dual USB Charging Ports. The ruling requester stated that the clocks are specifically designed for use by physically disabled persons. The significant electronic/physical features on the Futuristic Alarm Clocks included a blinking light with no audible noise sounding.  The outlets (flashing and steady) are for either a lamp or bed shaker vibrator.  The clocks are exclusively for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

CBP determined that the applicable subheading for the Futuristic Alarm Clock will be 9105.11.40 HTSUS, which provides for other clocks: alarm clocks: electrically operated: with opto-electronic display only.  The rate of duty will be 3.9 percent on the movement and case plus 5.3 percent on the battery.

Furthermore, CBP also determined that the item satisfies the description set forth in Chapter 98, Subchapter XVII, U.S. Note 4(a), HTSUS which defines the term blind or other physically or mentally handicapped persons as including “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.”.  CBP also determined that a secondary classification would apply to the Futuristic Alarm Clocks under 9817.00.96, HTSUS, and will be free of duty and the MPF upon importation into the U.S.

The clocks are designed to wake up a person by use of an audible alarm.  Should the sleeper not be able to hear the audible noise, the blinking lights may be used.  In cases where the blinking lights are insufficient to wake the sleeper, the bed shaker may be added to the alarm clock to vibrate the bed or pillow.  These additional features are not normally found on a typical alarm clock and are intended for use by individuals who suffer from hearing impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities which include caring for one’s self and hearing.