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HQ 086667

May 9, 1990

CLA-2: CO:R:C:G 086667 DRR 841837


TARIFF NO.: 6212.90.0030

Mr. Stanley Dreier
The Dreier Company
375 Turnpike Road
East Brunswick, New Jersey 08816

RE: Modification of New York ruling letter (NYRL) 842012, dated June 28, 1989

Dear Mr. Dreier:

This is in response to your letter of March 8, 1990, in which you requested reconsideration of a ruling letter issued by our New York office on June 28, 1989. That ruling, NYRL 841837, in response to your request of May 30, 1989, classified a knee and thigh support and a waist/back support from Taiwan under subheading 6117.80.0030, HTSUSA, as other made up clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted, ... parts of garments or of clothing accessories, other accessories, of man-made fibers, with a duty rate of 15.5 percent ad valorem and subject to textile category 659. We have had occasion to review that decision and have found it to be in error.


The merchandise is represented by a sample of a knee support constructed of neoprene rubber laminated on both the inner and outer surfaces with knit nylon fabric. It is designed with an opening at the knee for patella support. The second sample is a back/waist support, constructed of neoprene rubber laminated on the outer surface with knit nylon fabric. It has a hook and loop fastener along the edge to adjust and secure the support.


Whether the articles at issue are classifiable under subheading 6117.80.0030, HTSUSA, subheading 6212.90.0030, HTSUSA, or subheading 9021.19.8000, HTSUSA.


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Heading 6117 provides for other made up clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted, knitted or crocheted parts of garments or of clothing accessories. Heading 6212 provides for brassieres, girdles, corsets, braces, suspenders, garters and similar articles and parts thereof, whether of not knitted or crocheted. Heading 9021 provides for, among other things, orthopedic appliances.

The articles at issue do not appear to be designed, marketed or used as clothing accessories and are therefore not appropriately classified as such under heading 6117. Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 086378, dated April 9, 1990, classified tubular shaped articles made of angora, lambswool, polyamid and elastan under subheading 6117.80.0020, HTSUSA. However, those items, designed principally for warmth, rather than support, are distinguishable from the items under consideration in this ruling request.

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized System may be consulted for guidance as to the correct international interpretation of the various HTSUSA provisions. The Explanatory Notes to heading 9021 state that it covers orthopedic appliances including medical and surgical corsets and belts characterized by: (a) special pads, springs, etc., adjustable to fit the patient; (b) the material of which they are made (leather, metal, plastics, etc.); (c) or the presence of reinforced parts, rigid pieces of fabric or bands or various widths. These appliances are for preventing or correcting bodily deformities or supporting or holding organs following an illness or operation. The Explanatory Notes also state that the special design of these articles for a particular orthopedic purpose distinguishes them from ordinary corsets and belts, whether or not the latter also serve to support or hold. The articles is question do not have the special features set forth as the specific criteria in the Explanatory Notes to heading 9021 and are therefore not properly classifiable under heading 9021.

The Explanatory Notes to heading 6212 state that that heading covers articles designed for wear as body-supporting garments, including suspensory bandages, braces, and body belts, other than orthopedic appliances. The Explanatory Notes do not restrict the heading to items which cover the torso. The articles in question are properly classifiable under heading 6212.


The neoprene knee support and the neoprene waist/back support are classified under subheading 6212.90.0030, HTSUSA, and are subject to textile category 659.

Pursuant to section 177.9, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177.9), NYRL 841837, dated June 28, 1989, is modified in conformity with the foregoing. This notice is not to be applied retroactively to NYRL 841837 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2) (1989)) and will not, therefore, affect the transaction for the importation of your merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, NYRL 841837 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this revocation, in that current contracts for importation arriving at a port subsequent to the release of HRL 086667 will be classified under the new ruling. If such a situation arises, you may, at your discretion, notify this office and apply for relief from the binding effects of the new ruling as may be dictated by the circumstances.


Gerald Laderberg,

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