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HQ 952201

October 26, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952201 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9986

John M. Peterson, Esq.
Peter J. Allen, Esq.
Neville, Peterson & Williams
39 Broadway
New York, NY 10006

RE: Lumbar support belt; body-supporting garments; other made up articles; HRL 088540.

Dear Sirs:

This is in reply to your letter of June 2, 1992, on behalf of Global Systemax, Inc., concerning the classification of a lumbar support belt under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample of the merchandise in question was provided and is described below.


The merchandise in question is a support belt for the lower back made from inch thick rubber/plastic sheet covered by woven nylon fabric. The belt measures approximately 31 inches in length and from 3 inches to 5 inches in width. The rear or center portion of the belt features a 5 inch by 5 inch rubber pad that doubles the belt's thickness at that point. The belt fastens by means of a narrower, extended nylon web belt that is drawn through a plastic buckle and secured by a hook and loop fabric closure. The belt is designed to be worn over clothing in order to provide additional support for the lumbar region for workers engaged in heavy lifting activities.

The belt is manufactured in Taiwan. It is anticipated that the belt will be imported through several ports, including New York and Chicago.


The issue presented is whether the merchandise in question is a body supporting garment similar to a body belt such that it is classifiable under a provision for body supporting garments, or whether, it is classifiable under a residual provision for other made up textile articles.


Heading 6212, HTSUSA, covers brassieres, girdles, corsets, braces, suspenders, garters and similar articles ... whether or not knitted or crocheted. The scope of the expression "similar articles," as used in the terms of this heading, is amplified by the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes, which although not legally binding, comprise the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. Explanatory Note (EN) 62.12. provides in pertinent part that heading 6212 covers "articles of a kind designed for wear as body-supporting garments or as supports for certain other kinds of apparel." EN 62.12, 857. In addition to the articles specifically provided for, heading 6212 includes:

(5) Suspender-belts, hygienic belts, suspensory bandages, suspender jock-straps, braces, suspenders, garters, shirt-sleeve supporting arm- bands and armlets.

(6) Body belts for men (including those combined with underpants).

(7) Maternity, post-pregnancy or similar supporting or corrective belts, not being orthopaedic appliances of heading 9021....

In Customs' view, the belt in question is not similar to any of the aforementioned articles. It does not support apparel or other items, and therefore is not similar to braces or garters. Moreover, while it is designed to support and prevent injury to the back, the article in question is not a form of garment, nor is it worn underneath other garments as, for example, maternity belts or men's body belts.

Heading 6307, HTSUSA, provides for other made up articles of textiles that are not provided for more specifically elsewhere in the nomenclature. Included in the heading are "belts which, although worn around the waist, do not have the character of belts of heading 62.17, e.g., belts for occupational use..." EN 63.07(16), 867. In Headquarters Ruling Letter 088540 of June 3, 1991, the issue was whether a weightlifting belt, made from textile and rubber, measuring 4 inches in width by 40 inches in length, was classifiable as sports equipment, as a clothing accessory, or as a made up textile article. Customs held that the weightlifting belt was classifiable under the provision for other made up textile article of heading 6307.

Similarly, the belt in question is not an accessory and is therefore distinguishable from belts of headings 6117 and 6217. Since it is not ejusdem generis with the body-supporting garments and apparel supports of headings 6217, and since there are no headings that specifically provide for the instant textile belt, it is classifiable in the residual heading for made up articles.


The merchandise in question is classifiable in subheading 6307.90.9986, HTSUSA, under the provision for other made up articles. It is dutiable at the rate of 7 percent ad valorem.


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