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NY C85135

March 31, 1998

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:347 C85135


TARIFF NO.: 4303.90.0000, 6403.51.90, 9817.00.96

Ms. L. Hullaby
DHL Worldwide Express.
5791 W. Imperial Highway
Los Angeles, CA 90045

RE: The tariff classification of medical sheepskin articles from Australia.

Dear Ms. Hullaby:

In your letter dated February 24, 1998 you requested a classification ruling on behalf of your client, Jumbuk Boots. You have submitted samples of three items which are made of what is described as urine resistant high temperature washable skin.

The first item is a Michell Hitemp UR medical sheepskin. It is cut to shape to accommodate multiple uses, measures approximately 46" long, 16" to 30" wide and has dyed green fur that is attached to the sheepskin. Descriptive literature shows it being used for persons to sit or lay on in hospital beds and as a covering for wheelchair seats.

The applicable subheading for the medical sheepskin will be 4303.90.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "Articles of apparel, clothing accessories and other articles of furskin: Other. The rate of duty will be 0.7% ad valorem.

The other two items submitted with this ruling request are designed to be worn on the foot, the first covers the entire foot and the second is open at the toe area. The descriptive literature shows these items used by persons with foot ailments. Both items are held to the foot by a hook and loop closure system. The applicable subheading for these two items will be 6403.51.90, (HTS), which provides for footwear with outer soles and uppers of leather, covering the ankle, for other persons. The rate of duty will be 10 percent ad valorem.

Regarding your claim that these three items are classifiable in HTS 9817.00.96, we do not agree. The medical sheepskin is urine resistant, but it is also unusually comfortable due to the wool on the skin. It is not simply an item to be used by or on behalf of people with chronic incontinence. As your statements indicate, the item is primarily intended to prevent or reduce pressure ulcer sores. The figures you have provided show that the largest single group, nationwide, who become afflicted with pressure ulcer sores are patients in Intensive Care Units. ICU patients are routinely suffering from a temporary medical crisis. They are not normally "suffering from a permanent or chronic physical or mental impairment" as required for classification in 9817.00.96 per U.S. Note 4-a to Subchapter 17 to HTS Chapter 98.

The urine resistance is obviously even less important in the sheepskin slipper and half-slipper, open from the arch forward. You have provided no information specific to them, but it is obvious that they would be quite comfortable for patients recovering from various foot surgeries and-or inflammations. We see nothing that indicates that they are specifically designed for the permanently or chronically handicapped although we do expect that they could be used by them as well. The fact that they are also made of sheepskin that can be disinfected indicates that they could readily be used by a hospital for new patients after the previous users have recovered.

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

A copy of this ruling letter or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding this ruling, contact National Import Specialist, Richard Foley at (212) 466-5890. Inquiries concerning 9817.00.96 (HTS) should be directed to National Import Specialist, James Sheridan at (212) 466-5669.


Robert Swierupski

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