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HQ 950719


December 31, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950719 SK

CATEGORY: CLASSIFICATION

TARIFF NO.: 6210.10.4010

Jack Ross, President
Sunbelt Medical Products, Inc.
P.O. Box 560355
Miami, Florida 33156

RE: Classification of spunlaced or bonded fabric; disposable surgical apparel; unisex top and pants; 6210, HTSUSA; must be disposable "gown" of man-made fibers intended for use during surgical procedures to be under heading 9902, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Ross:

This is in response to your request for a binding tariff classification, on behalf of Sunbelt Medical Products, Inc., of a nonwoven unisex top and pants intended for use during surgical procedures. Samples were submitted to this office for examination.

FACTS:

The submitted samples consist of a nonwoven unisex top and pants. The articles are comprised of spunlaced or bonded fiber fabric and are disposable. The inquirer states that these articles are intended to be used during surgical procedures. The subject merchandise will be manufactured in Malaysia.

ISSUE:

Whether the submitted sample is classifiable under heading 9902, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, spunlaced or bonded fiber disposable gowns of man-made fibers intended for use during surgical procedures, or under heading 6210, HTSUSA, which provides for garments made up of fabrics of headings 5602, 5603, 5903, 5906 or 5907, HTSUSA?

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings in the tariff and according to any pertinent section or chapter notes.

Heading 9902, HTSUSA, deals with a wide variety of goods which have a temporary reduction in their rate of duty by virtue of legislative action.

Subheading 9902.62.10, HTSUSA, provides for spunlaced or bonded fiber fabric disposable gowns of manmade fibers intended for use during surgical procedures (provided for in subheading 6210.10.40) and spunlaced or bonded fiber fabric disposable surgical drapes of manmade fibers (provided for in subheading 6307.90.70). For classification to be proper within this provision of the Nomenclature, there are specific prerequisites that need be met:

1) the article must be comprised of spunlaced or bonded fiber fabric;

2) the article must be disposable;

3) the article must be of manmade fibers;

4) the article must be intended for use during surgical procedures;

5) the article must be provided for in subheading 6210.10.40, HTSUSA; and

6) the article must be a gown. [emphasis added]

The submitted sample is of spunlaced or bonded fiber manmade fabrics, it is disposable and intended to be worn during surgical procedures, and it is provided for in subheading 6210.10.40, HTSUSA. The article is not, however, a gown. In order for classification to be proper under subheading 9902.62.10, HTSUSA, all the aforementioned criteria need be met. The submitted sample consists of a top and pants; as they are not gowns, Customs is precluded from classifying this article under subheading 9902.62.10, HTSUSA.

Customs can not unilaterally change the scope of subheading 9902.62.10, HTSUSA, to include pants and tops as within the definition of "gowns". Change in this area must be effected by means of legislative action. You may wish to contact your representatives in Congress should you desire to pursue classification in Chapter 99.

HOLDING:

Classification of the submitted sample is under subheading 6210.10.4010, HTSUSA, which provides for garments, made up fabrics of heading 5603: other ... nonwoven disposable apparel designed for use in hospitals, clinics, laboratories or contaminated areas. The applicable rate of duty is 17% ad valorem.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification), and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, your client should contact its local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.

Sincerely,

John Durant, Director

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