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HQ 083267

March 17, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083267 SM


TARIFF NO.: HTSUS 6117.80.0030

Mr. Ryden Richardson, Jr.
Customs Administration Manager
Carmichael International Service
P.O. Box 54772, Terminal Annex
Los Angeles, CA 90054-0772

RE: Tariff classification of "conditioning belt"

Dear Mr. Richardson:

Your letter of November 16, 1988, on behalf of AMF Whitely Fitness Products, directed to our New York office, requesting a tariff classification ruling for a "conditioning belt," has been referred to this office for reply.


A sample of the merchandise in a retail package was sub- mitted. The article, described as a "conditioning belt," is approximately eight inches wide and 34 inches long with a hook-and-loop-tape fastener adjustable for "one size fits all." It is made of an expanded synthetic rubber laminated on one surface to a nylon knit fabric. It is worn with the nylon on the outside.

You state that the article is used in connection with exercise applications, as stated on the packaging. Informa- tion printed on the box indicates that the belt increases perspiration around the waistline, aiding in loss of water weight; holds in the stomach; and promotes good posture. It can be worn under clothing and is suitable for jogging, cycling, racquet sports, and yard and house work.

You believe that the most specific provision covering this merchandise is subheading 9506.91.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), a provision for gymnasium or other exericse articles and equipment.


Is the conditioning belt classifiable under heading 9506, HTSUSA? If not, how is it classified?


Heading 9506, HTSUSA, provides for articles and equip- ment for gymnastics, athletics, and other sports or outdoor games if not included elsewhere in Chapter 95, as well as swimming and wading pools and parts of those articles. Sports equipment covered elsewhere in the chapter includes fishing rods, hooks, and other tackle, decoy birds, and similar hunt- ing or shooting equipment, of heading 9507, HTSUSA.

The tariff does not define "articles and equipment for gymnastics, athletics, and other sports." The goods named in the various subheadings of heading 9506, HTSUSA, include skis, surf boards, golf clubs, balls, rackets, skates, archery equipment, hockey sticks, sleds, snowshoes, and swimming pools. The subheading you suggest, 9506.91, HTSUSA, for gymnasium or other exercise articles and equipment and their parts and accessories, includes exercise cycles and exercise rowing machines. All these articles enable the user to engage in the various sports or perform various gymnastics. The "conditioning belt," in contrast, is not needed for any sport or gymnastic exercise. While it may be worn during various athletic activities, it does nothing in particular to make them possible, and it may even be worn during normal yard and house work. The effects it is specifically stated to be designed to produce--losing water weight and improving posture --are neither sports nor gymnastics.

Further, various textile articles to be worn are excluded from Chapter 95. Note 1(e) of the chapter excludes sports clothing. Note 1(g) excludes sports gloves, footwear, and headgear generally. While neither of these notes specifi- cally covers the "conditioning belt," they indicate an inten- tion to exclude even those articles of apparel that might, at first look, be thought to be included in Chapter 95 because they would be worn while using the sports and athletic equip- ment named in the chapter. The excluded articles, as well as others not specifically excluded, are obviously to be classi- fied under the headings appropriate to them.

Garments of rubberized textile fabrics, knitted or crocheted, are classified under heading 6113, HTSUSA. How- ever, belts are not considered garments but accessories. Heading 6117 provides for other made up clothing accessories. The Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, indicate that this heading is intended to include belts of all kinds.


The "conditioning belt" is classified under subheading 6117.80.0030, HTSUSA, textile category 659, a provision for other accessories of man-made fibers.

Because of the changeable nature of the statistical annotation, i.e., the ninth and tenth digits of the classi- fication number, and of the textile restraint categories, you should contact your local Customs office before importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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