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NY A85213

July 25, 1996

CLA-2-90:R:N4:119 A85213


TARIFF NO.: 9021.30.0000; 9817.00.96

Mr. Dale Sprague
Cascade Orthopedic Supply Incorporated
P.O. Box 649
Chester, CA 96020

RE: The tariff classification of a prosthetic device from Sweden

Dear Mr. Sprague:

In your letters dated May 14 and June 26, 1996 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Based on the sample and literature provided, the article to imported is a titanium alignment system for BK (below the knee) modular limb prostheses. The device consists of a 30mm (diameter) tube adaptor ("pylon") with integrated four screw alignment head and sliding adaptors for either laminate or thermoplastic socket. The tube adaptor is approximately 30 centimeters long.

A complete modular below-the-knee limb prosthesis generally consists of a prosthetic socket (including sheath for residual limb), a prosthetic foot, an adaptor which connects the prosthetic foot to the prosthetic socket, and cosmetic covers. At one time limb prostheses were all made individually by hand using various materials. The introduction of modular prostheses brought many changes to the industry. Limb prostheses could be assembled from selected manufactured components to meet the special needs of an amputee.

Subheading 9817.00.96, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), provides for articles specially designed or adapted for the use or benefit of the blind or other physically or mentally handicapped persons; parts and accessories (except parts and accessories of braces and artificial limb prosthetics) that are specially designed or adapted for use in the foregoing articles... other.

Classification under 9817.00.96, when applicable, is not in lieu of but in addition to the Chapter 1 to 97 classification (see statistical note 1 to subchapter XVII, Chapter 98, HTS). It is not disputed that the subject prosthetic alignment system is provided for in Heading 90.21. Therefore the only issue here is whether this prosthetic device is a part or accessory, or an article.

The prosthetic alignment system meets all the criteria that have been used in Customs classification history to determine what a part is. The alignment system cannot be used on its own as a prosthesis but must be combined with other articles. It is an integral, constituent or component part of a below-the-knee limb prosthesis. The alignment system has no other identity except as a part of the prosthesis. See CD 3834, TD46851 and CD 2370. The fact that the alignment system is sold as a unit to prosthetists who use it to construct a complete prosthesis does not make it other than a part.

The applicable subheading for the titanium alignment system will be 9021.30.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other artificial parts of the body and parts thereof. The duty rate will be 3.5 percent.

Since the alignment system is a part of a prosthesis, it is excluded from subheading 9817.00.96.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.

If you have any questions pertaining to this matter, please contact National Import Specialist Jacques Preston of this office at (212) 466-5488.


Roger J. Silvestri

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