Water Extraction >> Blue Water Carpet Cleaning

This is our decision regarding the Application for Further Review of Protest No. 2704-08-100508, timelyfiled on behalf of Rug Doctor, LP ("Rug Doctor"), concerning the classification of carpet cleaning machines Blue Water Carpet Cleaning under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS").

FACTS:The subject merchandise is described as the RED PRO Mighty Pro-R2D ("MP") and is a hot water extraction carpet cleaning machine. The MP is said to have a power capacity of 1320W and Blue Water Carpet Cleaning a collection tankcapacity of 9.5 liters (or 2.6 gallons). The unit weighs 16 kilograms ("kg") (or 36 lbs). 

The MP deposits acleaning solution to loosen embedded dirt from carpets and furniture. The vacuum suction component removes the dirt along with any cleaning solution and Blue Water Carpet Cleaning deposits such into a collection tank. 

According tomarketing information provided by the importer, the subject merchandise is targeted for sale or rental to homeowners and Blue Water Carpet Cleaning is available at rental locations nationwide to the general public.The merchandise was entered on October 4, 2006, under heading 8509, HTSUS. 

On August 3, 2007, thePort reclassified and liquidated the subject carpet cleaning machine under heading 8451, HTSUS, which provides, in relevant part, for machinery for washing, Blue Water Carpet Cleaning cleaning, wringing, drying…fabrics or made up textilearticles; other machinery.

ISSUE: Whether the carpet cleaning machine is classifiable under heading 8451, HTSUS, Blue Water Carpet Cleaning as other machinery for cleaning or under heading 8509, HTSUS, as an electromechanical domestic appliance, wet vacuum cleaner.

LAW AND ANALYSIS:Initially, Blue Water Carpet Cleaning we note that the matter protested is protestable under 19 U.S.C. § 1514(a)(2) as a decision on classification. 

The protest was timely filed on January 28, 2008, within 180 days of liquidation of the first entry for entries made on or Blue Water Carpet Cleaning after October 4, 2006. (Miscellaneous Trade and TechnicalCorrections Act of2004, Pub.L. 108-429, § 2103(2)(B)(ii), (iii) (codified as amended at 19 U.S.C. § 1514(c)(3) (2006)).

We note here that the merchandise was entered in 2006 and thus classified prior to the 2007 revisions to theHTSUS, which merged vacuum cleaners of heading 8509, HTSUS, and 8479, HTSUS, Blue Water Carpet Cleaning into heading 8508,HTSUS. This decision will be based on the terms of the headings as they appeared at the time of entry on orafter October 4, 2006.

Further Review of Protest No. 2704-08-100508 was properly accorded to protestant pursuant to 19 C.F.R.§ 174.24 because the decision against which the protest was filed is alleged to be inconsistent with a ruling of Blue Water Carpet Cleaning the Commissioner of Customs or his designee. 

Specifically, Protestant alleges the action of the Port isinconsistent with Headquarters Ruling Letter ("HQ") 962622, dated August 11, 1999, in which CBP foundthat certain deep cleaning vacuum cleaners were classified in heading 8509, HTSUS, Blue Water Carpet Cleaning as electromechanicaldomestic appliances (wet or dry vacuum cleaners).

Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the GeneralRules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and Blue Water Carpet Cleaning any relative section or chapter notes. 

In the event that the goods cannot be classified solelyon the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, Blue Water Carpet Cleaning the remaining GRIs 2through 6 may then be applied in order.

The 2006 HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:8509 Electromechanical domestic appliances, with self-contained electric motor; parts thereof:8509.10.00 Vacuum cleaners, Blue Water Carpet Cleaning including dry and wet vacuum cleaners 8509.10.0030 

Wet/dry type 8451 Machinery (other than machines of 8450) for washing, cleaning, wringing, drying, ironing, pressing(including fusing presses), bleaching, dyeing, dressing, finishing, coating or impregnating textile yarns, fabrics or Blue Water Carpet Cleaning made up textile articles and machines for applying the paste to the base fabric.

Other support used in the manufacture of floor coverings such as linoleum; machines for reeling, unreeling, folding, cutting or pinkingtextile-fabrics; Blue Water Carpet Cleaning parts thereof:8451.80.00 Other machinery…Note 3 to Chapter 85, HTSUS, provides in pertinent part that:Heading 8509 covers only the following electro-mechanical machines of the kind commonly used for domestic purposes.

Vacuum cleaners, including dry and wet vacuum cleaners, floor polishers, food grinders, processors ormixers, and Blue Water Carpet Cleaning fruit or vegetable juice extractors, of any weight;(b) Other machines provided the weight of such machines does not exceed 20 kg, exclusive of extra interchangeable parts or detachable auxiliary devices.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While not legally binding nor dispositive, Blue Water Carpet Cleaning the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. 

See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127 (August 23, 1989).The ENs to heading 8509, HTSUS, Blue Water Carpet Cleaning provide in pertinent part: The appliances of this heading are of twogroups (see Chapter Note 3):(A) A limited class of articles are classified here irrespective of their weight.This group consists of the following only.

Vacuum cleaners (*previously of heading 8508, HTSUS) Floor scrubbing, scraping or scouring appliances, and appliances for sucking up dirty water or Blue Water Carpet Cleaning soap sudsafter scrubbing.* * *Protestant asserts that the subject merchandise is similar to the vacuum cleaners of HQ 962622 and shouldbe classified accordingly. 

In support of this position, the Protestant relies on the definition of "extractioncleaners" according to the Standard Terminology Relating to Vacuum Cleaners, Blue Water Carpet Cleaning American Society of TestingMaterials, F395-97 (July 1997). 

While the vacuum cleaners of HQ 962622 may have characteristics similarto the standards set forth in Designation F 395-97 of the ASTM, we find that only one of the three models classified in HQ 962622 had characteristics similar to the subject merchandise, Blue Water Carpet Cleaning (the Powersteamer, a deepcleaning vacuum unit). 

Likewise, whether the subject merchandise is characterized as a "vacuum cleaner"does not by itself resolve the present issue.At issue is whether the subject merchandise is properly classified as a "domestic" carpet cleaning machineprovided for in heading 8509, HTSUS, Blue Water Carpet Cleaning or as a "commercial/industrial" grade carpet cleaning machine,provided for in heading 8451, HTSUS.

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