United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1992 HQ Rulings > HQ 0089574 - HQ 0089808 > HQ 0089581

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 089581

November 4, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 089581 KWM


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9490

Mr. Duncan A. Nixon
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C. 1707 L Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Revocation of New York Ruling Letter 862971; Dynamic Classics, Ltd.; Tummy Shaper Neoprene Belt; neoprene rubber; belts; other made up article.

Dear Mr. Nixon:

This is in response to your request dated May 13, 1991, regarding the reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 862971, classifying merchandise described as a neoprene rubber "Tummy Shaper." Our response follows.


The sample consists of a rectangular piece of expanded synthetic (neoprene) rubber laminated on one side with a nylon knit fabric. At one end of the strip is a hook and loop fastener, adjustable for "one size fits all." The belt is approximately 8 inches wide and 41 inches long and is worn with the nylon on the outside. The information presented with your letter asserts that the "Tummy Shaper" belt is designed and used to promote weight loss.


What is the tariff classification of this article under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relevant Section or Chapter Notes.

We have determined that the neoprene/textile material is a textile for purposes of classification in Section XI, HTSUSA. In addition, we considered two headings for
classification of the "Tummy Shaper" belt: Heading 6117, HTSUSA, which provides for clothing accessories, and heading 6307, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up textile articles.

Neoprene rubber and textile

Neoprene is a synthetic cellular rubber containing tiny bubbles of gas injected into the rubber during manufacture. The bubbles give the rubber insulating qualities desirable in certain articles. To the cellular rubber (neoprene), a textile fabric has been laminated. The textile acts not only as a reinforcing material for the neoprene, but also provides a comfortable, attractive exterior surface for the item. It also serves as part of the infinitely adjustable fastening device; hence the "one size fits all" claim. Following the legal notes to Chapter 59, HTSUSA, sheets or strip of cellular rubber combined with a textile which is more than mere reinforcing are "rubberized textile fabrics" for classification purposes. Therefore, articles made from the instant textile and neoprene rubber material are considered textile articles for classification purposes.

The belts as accessories

Heading 6117, HTSUSA, provides for "clothing accessories"; the subheadings thereunder are based on constituent material (of cotton, of wool, . . etc.). We find no Legal Notes to either Chapter 62 or Section XI, HTSUSA, which would influence the classification of these goods. The alternative heading, 6307, HTSUSA, provides for other made up textile articles. However, this is not a true alternative in that heading 6307 is a "basket" heading. It serves to classify merchandise not provided for more specifically in other headings of the nomenclature. Therefore, we must first determine whether the merchandise is included under the terms of heading 6117, HTSUSA; if not, then we will address its classification under heading 6307, HTSUSA.

An accessory is generally understood to mean an article not necessary to the functioning of the primary good; an adjunct; something subordinate or supplemental. An accessory must relate to or exhibit some nexus with the primary article.

Lastly, an accessory must be intended for use solely or principally as an accessory. Accessories of heading 6117 are used to enhance, adorn or compliment articles of clothing. Articles used principally for other purposes are not classified in heading 6117.

The Explanatory Notes to heading 6117, HTSUSA, indicate that "belts of all kinds . . . " are included in the heading.

While the Explanatory Notes are not binding on the Customs Service, they are instructive. In this case, we find that the heading will include belts of all kinds, provided that they may also be properly considered to be "clothing accessories" as the legal terms of the heading require (see above).

In the opinion of this office, the instant belts are not clothing accessories. They do not exhibit the relationship with clothing necessary to be considered accessories to clothing; they do not adorn or accent clothing. The principal use for this merchandise is in conjunction with exercise for
weight loss. The items do not function as accessories. They are therefore excluded from classification in heading 6117.

Other made up articles

Heading 6307, HTSUSA, provides for numerous miscellaneous made up articles of textile not specifically provided for elsewhere in the nomenclature. The Explanatory Notes to heading 6307, HTSUSA, provide that the heading may include "belts, which although worn around the waist, do not have the character of belts of heading 62.17, . . .." This describes the merchandise at issue. As noted above, the instant belts do not have the character of accessories in heading 6117. They are known as belts only because they are worn around the waist. The Explanatory Notes to heading 6307 substantiate our rationale above that items such as these are not accessories to clothing. Once excluded from the accessory provision, the nomenclature anticipates that these items may fall within the provisions for other made up textile articles.

TSUS case law

Because the merchandise may be classified by applying GRI 1, following the terms of the headings and the relative legal notes, we need not resort to other authorities in reaching our decision. Therefore, we expressly decline to rule on whether the TSUS cases cited in your submission are applicable for determining HTSUSA classification issues presented.

The merchandise at issue is classified in subheading 6307.90.9490, HTSUSA, as an other made up article, other, other, other. The applicable duty rate is 7 percent ad valorem. There is no textile visa category associated with this classification.

This notice to you should be considered a revocation of HRL 862971 under 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1). For the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type. HRL 862971 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this modification in that current contracts for importation arriving at a port subsequent to this decision will be classified pursuant to it.

If such a situation arises, you may, at your discretion, notify this office and may apply for relief from the binding effects of this decision as may be warranted by the circumstances. However, please be advised that in some instances involving import restraints, such relief may require separate approvals from other government agencies.


John A. Durant,
Commercial Rulings

Previous Ruling Next Ruling