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NY A89561

December 11, 1996

CLA-2-90:RR:NC:1:119 A89561


TARIFF NO.: 9021.19.8500

Ms. Janice M. Previti
Reebok International Ltd.
100 Technology Center Drive
Stoughton, MA 02072

RE: The tariff classification of ankle braces from Taiwan

Dear Ms. Previti:

In your letter dated November 15, 1996 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The articles to be imported are ankle braces which resemble the upper part of a laced up boot and are made of a heavy reinforced textile material. The two samples you furnished are similarly constructed except that one has an inflating device (Insta Pump) for added firmness and support.

You believe that the ankle braces are designed for use by football players as ankle support and should be classified in subheading 9506.99.2000, HTS, as football... articles and equipment... and parts and accessories thereof.

Heading 9506, HTS, provides for, inter alia, articles and equipment for gymnastics, athletics, other sports and outdoor games. The Explanatory Notes (EN), which although not legally binding, constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level, provide at EN 95.06(B)(13) that Chapter 95 includes protective equipment for sports or games such as fencing masks and breast plates, elbow and knee pads, cricket pads and shin guards.

The sports protective equipment intended for inclusion within heading 9506, HTS, recognizes only that equipment designed exclusively for protection against injury, that is, having protective features with the sole or primary function of directly absorbing the impact of blows, collisions or flying objects. Heading 9506, HTS, will not apply to these ankle braces as their sole or primary function is support and not as impact protection against blows, collisions or flying objects.

The applicable subheading for the ankle braces will be 9021.19.8500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for artificial joints and other orthopedic or fracture appliances; parts and accessories thereof... other. The duty rate will be 3.5 percent.

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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