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HQ 952829

February 19, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952829 jb


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9986

Mr. Arturo E. Dominguez
ADCO International Trade Services
1015 Juarez, Suite 110
Laredo, Texas 78040

RE: Wrap-around support belts; worn over garments; heading 6307, HTSUSA; other made up articles

Dear Mr. Dominguez:

This is in reply to your letter, dated October 1, 1992, on behalf of your client, Rooster Products, Inc., concerning the classification of wrap-around support belts under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Samples were provided to this office for examination.


The merchandise in question consists of four samples:

1. Style RC-603 is a 2-1/4 inch wide work belt of woven fabric over stiff foam. A thinner woven piece is sewn at each end of the belt to which an adjustable plastic belt buckle is secured.

2. Style RC-630 is a six inch wide wrap-around work belt that tapers to four inch wide ends. Its construction is similar to Style RC-603, with the addition of a thicker foam back center piece, four belt loops, four fabric loop tabs sewn to the top edge at intervals, and a hook and loop closure.

3. Style RC-624 is similar in size and construction to Style RC-630. It lacks both sets of loops and has a two inch wide woven fabric belt and plastic buckle closure in addition to the hook and loop fabric.

4. Style RC-629 is a 9-1/2 inch wrap-around support belt with suspenders. It is constructed of heavy elastic knit fabric with five vertical stays. Each tapered end section has hook and loop fabric. The belt also has two elastic fabric outer-bands, each of which is sewn at one end to the rear center. The narrow bands extend around either side and with hook and loop end tabs provide additional tension adjustment for the wearer. Removable, adjustable, elasticized suspenders are attached with hook and loop fabric.

You state that the support belts have several uses, among which, lifting heavy articles, lifting weights, gymnastics, and gardening.


Are the articles classifiable in heading 6212, HTSUSA, which provides for body supporting garments or in heading 6307, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up articles?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied, in the order of their appearance.

The competing provisions for these articles are heading 6212, HTSUSA, which provides for body supporting garments or heading 6307, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up articles.

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN), to heading 6212, HTSUSA, state in pertinent part:

This heading covers articles of a kind designed for wear as body-supporting garments or as supports for certain other articles of apparel, and parts thereof... (Emphasis added)

The heading includes, inter alia:

(1) Brassieres of all kinds.

(2) Girdles and panty-girdles.

(3) Corselettes (combinations of girdles or panty-girdles and brassieres).

(4) Corsets and corset-belts. These are usually reinforced with flexible metallic, whalebone or plastic stays, and are generally fastened by lacing or by hooks.

(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 90.21 (see Explanatory Note to that heading).

In HQ 952841, dated January 26, 1993, HQ 952390, dated December 16, 1992 and HQ 952201, dated October 26, 1992, Customs ruled on a similar back support belts. Those rulings determined:

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, is a residual provision which provides for other made up articles of textiles that are not provided for more specifically elsewhere in the nomenclature. In HQ 088540, dated June 3, 1991, addressing the classification of a weight lifting belt, Customs held that the article was classifiable under the provision for other made up articles of heading 6307, HTSUSA. A later ruling, HQ 089581, dated November 4, 1991, addressing the classification of a similar article, a "Tummy Shaper" belt, also classified the article in heading 6307, HTSUSA.

There has been some confusion in determining what distinguishes the belts of heading 6212, HTSUSA, from those of heading 6307, HTSUSA. The EN to heading 6212, HTSUSA, are clear in designating these articles as body-support garments or supports for other kind of apparel. The distinction centers on the fact that while the articles enumerated in the EN to heading 6212, HTSUSA, are principally used or worn as garments or garment accessories, those of heading 6307, HTSUSA, are not.

Stated simply, merchandise similar to the subject articles, is classifiable as belts of 6212, HTSUSA, if it functions with a dual purpose, in providing:

1. support for the body, or support for certain articles of apparel; and

2. a construction that allows the belt to be worn comfortably next to the wearer's skin, under other garments

This is the case for example, for such articles such as the brassieres, girdles, corset-belts, suspender-belts, hygienic belts, corrective belts, etc.

The belts in question are distinguishable from the enumerated articles of heading 6212, HTSUSA, in that they are neither garments nor a kind of apparel. Nor can it be said that the belts are designed for the purpose of being worn next to the wearer's skin. They are belts which are to be worn over other garments--not as underwear. As the subject belts are not ejusdem generis with the body supporting garments of heading 6212, HTSUSA, and since there are no headings that specifically provide for the instant textile belts, they are classifiable in heading 6307, HTSUSA, as other made up articles.


The articles in question, referred to as Styles RC-603, RC-630, RC-624, and RC-629 are classifiable in subheading 6307.90.9986, HTSUSA, under the provision for other made up articles. The applicable rate of duty is 7 percent 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 the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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