Main Idea: Subheading 8714.20.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), covers parts and accessories exclusively for “carriages for disabled persons,” but does not cover items that have multiple uses even if one of the uses is acting as a carriage for disabled persons.
In ruling N328762, (Nov. 8, 2022) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) considers the tariff classification of three (3) types of wheelchair accessories and a multi-use bath belt from the Netherlands.
The first wheelchair accessory is the Moduform Dynamic Arm Support, which is designed as a mobile support for elbows, forearms, and hands that attaches to either a manual or power wheelchair. It provides the user with upper extremity support, functional dynamic range of motion at the shoulder, and a flexible hand support. It can be adjusted for a customized orthotic fit, and is comprised of an elbow pad, forearm pad, hand block and strap, base board, quick release adapter plate, and a pivot plate with fasteners.
The second accessory is the Flex-Shaft Joystick Handle. The handle is constructed of polyurethane synthetic rubber and is specifically designed with a mounting hold to fit power wheelchairs.
The third accessory is the Tri-Lock Midline Joystick Mounting Hardware, which is designed to safely mount the Flex-Shaft Joystick Handles on the wheelchair, while minimizing any damage to the wheelchair.
The Aeromesh® Rapid-Dru Bath Belt, is a two-piece support belt designed to be fastened to either a wheelchair or shower chair. Each strap is made of 100% polyester knit, dyed gray, Aeromesh® fabric.
The manufacturer of the products, Bodypoint Inc., suggests that all four (4) items are classified under subheading 8714.20.0000, HTSUS, which provides for “Parts and accessories of vehicles of headings 8711 to 8713: Of carriages for disables persons.” Bodypoint also suggests that the Aeromesh® Rapid-Dru Bath Belt is alternatively classified under subheading 9402.90.0020, HTSUS, which provides for “Medical, surgical, dental, or veterinary furniture (for example, operating tables, examination tables, hospital beds with mechanical fittings, dentists’ chairs); barber’s chairs and similar chairs. Having rotating as well as both reclining and elevating movements; parts of the foregoing articles: Other: Other: Other.”
CBP agrees with Bodypoint’s suggestions in part, and states that the applicable subheading for the Moduform Dynamic Arm Support, the Flex-Shaft Joystick Handle, and the Tri-Lock Midline Joystick Mounting Hardware is 8714.20.0000, HTSUS, which provides for “Parts and accessories of vehicles of headings 8711 to 8713: Of carriages for disables persons.” The general rate of duty is free.
However, CBP disagrees that the “Aeromesh® Rapid-Dry Bath Belt” is classifiable under 8714.20.0000, HTSUS, or alternatively under subheading 9402.90.0020, HTSUS.
CBP notes in its decision that the Aeromesh®Rapid-Dry Bath Belt is not designed specifically for use only with a wheelchair or a shower chair. The support belt is designed to be secured to either a wheelchair or a shower chair. Additionally, the support belt is not an integral or a component part, without which wheelchairs or shower chairs cannot function. While the belt can be used on a wheel chair, its universal usage on multiple chairs makes it unlikely that it will be used as an accessory exclusively to a wheelchair, as its design permits the accessory to accommodate any chair where support for a disabled person is required.
Based on this reasoning, CBP determines the applicable subheading for the “Aeromesh® Rapid-Dry Bath Belt Support Belts” is 6307.90.9891, HTSUS, which provides for “Other made-up articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Other: Other: Other.” The rate of duty is 7 percent ad valorem.